FOX47 NEWS - Governor Pledges To Help Layed Off Workers In Janesville

Jeff Angileri
Apr 28, 2008, 11:06 PM

Jim Roehl says for the last couple days he and others had a bad feeling- that a lot of people were going to be losing their jobs.

I heard rumors last week but officially heard it on the news today, Roehl says.

Roehl- like many employees we talked to- feel helpless.

Nothing I can do about it, but I am not happy about it. There isn't a whole lot I can say bout that, says Roehl.

General motors is cutting shifts at four of their plants, including one whole shift in Janesville.

Which means 756 people will be out of a job by July.

City Manager Steven Sheiffer says not all of them will be assembly workers.

A hundred and thrity are skilled electricians and plumbers, and there is still a demand for people with those skills, Sheiffer says.

Sheiffer says he recieved a call from the corporate office who told him to cuts were due to record gas prices and a lack of sales in the market for SUV's.

Now you have a real story about how the national economy impacts local people. It's not retoric anymore. It's the real world 750 people lost their jobs, Sheiffer says.

Some of those affected may have other options besides unemployment- early retirement.

Workers were offered contract buyouts during contract negotiations last Fall.

What the actual layoff will be will depend on how many people take the buy out, Sheiffer says.

Scheifer says the corporate office plans to continue manufacturing SUV's in Janesville.

Just less of them, with less workers.

In a statement.. Governor Jim Doyle says

''This is very disappointing news for Janesville...I have directed my administration to pursue all opportunities to assist the families who are now in transition.''

Gov. Jim Doyle

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