GM to shut factories in summer

General Motors will shut most of its plants for up to nine months this summer, the AP reports.

The move was prompted by still-awful sales and growing inventories, sources said. Talk of a bankruptcy apparently isn't helping:
One of the people briefed on the plan said details are still being worked out. Some of the closings could be staggered between mid-May and the end of July, but the exact number of plants to be idled has not yet been determined.

Another person said a few plants that make more popular models could remain open for part of the shutdown period, but at reduced assembly line speeds.

Thousands of workers could be laid off but would still get most of their pay because their United Auto Workers union contract requires the company to make up much of the difference between state unemployment benefits and their wages. UAW officials at several factories said they have meetings scheduled Thursday and Friday with plant managers and GM human resource officials to discuss production changes.

Treasury Department officials had no comment, so it's unclear whether this move was "suggested" as part of the company's government-mandated restructuring.

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