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Lordstown to restart OT, 9-hour shifts

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Lordstown to restart OT, 9-hour shifts

By LARRY RINGLER Tribune Chronicle

LORDSTOWN — In a sign of stronger sales, Saturday overtime and nine-hour shifts are scheduled to return to the General Motors Corp. Lordstown Complex, a union leader said Monday.

The giant car complex is expected to work two Saturday overtime shifts, the first likely to be April 21 and the second set for April 28, United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Jim Graham said.

In addition, workers are scheduled to resume nine-hour shifts right after Easter, he said.

Lordstown worked a series of Saturday overtime shifts last year due to strong sales of its Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 small cars.

GM ended the extra shifts over the winter when sales typically weaken, but the arrival of spring is expected to bring stronger sales, Graham said.

Meanwhile, union and complex leaders continue to bargain for a Competitive Operating Agreement, which is needed so the factory can convince GM to award it a new vehicle to build in the summer of 2009.

Graham declined to give any details of the talks except to say, ‘‘Everything’s going well. We will get a new car.’’

Auto analysts have speculated Lordstown could build the Astra, an upscale small car GM is building at a Belgian plant but plans to introduce into the U.S. Union and plant leaders have said they can build whatever GM awards them.

Another of GM’s small-car plants, the Saturn operation in Spring Hill, Tenn., is believed to be in line for a Chevrolet crossover vehicle, the Associated Press reported late last week, citing unidentified people familiar with an announcement made at the Saturn plant by GM officials.

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