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Renita Jablonski: GM shuts down its jobs bank program today. The jobs bank was for workers whose jobs were cut for any reason other than falling car sales. They were paid around 90 percent of their salary while GM tried to find them other work within the company. But as GM scrambles to prove its financial viability to the government, the jobs bank has to go. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: There are 1,600 workers in the GM jobs bank right now.
Brian Fredline is president of a UAW local in Lansing, Michigan. He’s worked for GM for 23 years. He accepts that the jobs bank had to go, but he’s sorry.
Brian Fredline: Yeah, the perception was that it was thousands of people sitting around watching movies, playing cards and checkers all day long.
Not, he says, at the jobs bank where he spent time a couple of years ago:
Fredline: Our membership was involved in local food banks, river clean-ups, we built several Habitat for Humanity homes.
Rick McHugh is with the National Employment Law Project. He says those GM workers still in the jobs bank will now be laid off.
Rick McHugh: They will be out in the general labor market. They will draw state unemployment benefits. They’ll also draw supplemental unemployment benefits.
They’ll join the many more thousands of GM workers who’ve been laid off as car sales have tanked.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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