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General Motors strike in Detroit causes factories to shut down in Mexico

The Lear Corp. has temporarily halted production at one of its factories in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Courtesy photo

General Motors halted operations at two maquiladoras (factories) located in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, a consequence of the ongoing strike by 49,000 autoworkers in Detroit.

The two maquiladoras – known as the Lear and EKM maquiladoras – assemble components used in the manufacture of vehicles made by General Motors, according to El Financiero

Around 200 workers are out of work due to the temporary shutdown, officials said.

“From this Thursday and at least until Oct. 7, the part of the staff that worked in the product lines for GM, went into technical unemployment,” said Leocadio Hernández Torres in an interview with El Financiero.

Torres is the head of the Confederation of Mexican Workers in Piedras Negras. The Confederation of Mexican Workers is one of the largest labor unions in Mexico.

Piedras Negras sits along the U.S.-Mexico border, directly across the Rio Grande River from Eagle Pass, Texas.

In Piedras Negras, there are 11 maquiladoras that are part of the automotive sector. General Motors also has plans to suspend production at its plant in the Mexican city of Ramos Arizpe, which is part of the production lines of the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox models.

Javier Berain Tamez, director of economic development of Piedras Negras, said he believes the shutdown is temporary and there is no risk of layoffs. 

“I do not believe that there will be layoffs, precisely in view that all the maquiladora companies manufacture more than one component or part,” Tamez said in an interview with El Siglo Coahuila.

General Motors also recently halted vehicle assembly operations at its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada on Sept. 20. 

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]