GM will add new shifts, jobs at three of its auto plants

An unprecedented third shift and 945 new jobs are coming to General Motors' Fairfax assembly plant in January, providing an unusually large boost to Kansas City's economy.

Essentially all of the hiring will transfer employees from idled and closing GM plants because Fairfax, in Kansas City, Kan., has no laid-off workers to recall, said Jeff Manning, president of United Auto Workers Local 31.

"It's great for the Kansas City economy, people coming to Kansas City to make money and spend money," Manning said.

The third shift will come on top of 375 jobs that Fairfax added thanks to its production of the Buick LaCrosse this summer. The plant also builds the Chevrolet Malibu and the Saturn Aura.

The production-line expansion also helps blunt the disappointment Kansas City felt recently from not winning a second Harley Davidson plant that could have employed 1,300.

Fairfax is one of three GM sites moving to a 24-hour production schedule as the company seeks to make up for output lost at other plants being closed or idled.

In total, 2,400 production workers will find work under GM's plans announced Tuesday, including third shifts at its assembly plants near Lansing, Mich., and in Fort Wayne, Ind., beginning in April.

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