Pilkington laying off 250

The ongoing American Axle strike and the resulting General Motors Corp. parts shortage will force at least 250 temporary layoffs at Shelbyville's Pilkington North America Co. plant, company officials announced Friday afternoon.

Layoffs at the glass-manufacturing plant, located at 300 Northridge Drive, begin Monday and could last until April 1, officials said.

"Pilkington is forced to make this decision based on the decline in GM orders, due to the negotiations breakdown between American Axle and United Auto Workers," said a prepared statement issued by human resources executive Daniel Eckstein. "We are unable to carry substantial operating costs without the customer demand. Business necessity has forced us to temporarily idle production."

The layoffs amount to about two-thirds of Pilkington's local work force of 400, Roberta Stedman, a Pilkington spokeswoman said Friday. Stedman said that 49 percent of the local plant's business is with GM.

Company officials said that the layoff and recall process "will be followed per the collective bargaining agreement, and employees in all job classifications may be affected."

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