Chrysler to Temporarily Shut Down Plants

ABC News' Charles Herman reports: Chrysler has announced that at the end of this Friday's shift, all manufacturing facilities will be closed until January 19, 2009.

Chrysler has 30 facilities in North America.  All will close temporarily.

The plant in Windsor, Ontario -- which makes minivans -- and the Detroit/Connor Assembly -- which builds engines and Vipers -- will close through the month of January.  The two plants in Toledo will be shut down until January 26. 

This will impact 46,000 UAW workers, according to Chrysler.  Chrysler says these employees will receive state unemployment benefits as well as supplemental payments from Chrysler during the layoff according to a union negotiated formula. 

These workers will not be receiving their regular income.  There will be an unknown number of white collar workers who will not be working as well, but the expectation is that they will continue to receive their regular salaries during this time.

As for the number of cars and trucks not being built -- the privately held company (which wants billions of your tax dollars) will not disclose that information.

The company says dealers are telling them there are buyers out there, but they can't get financing and as a result, have lost 20 to 25 percent in sales.  One bankruptcy expert predicted that while Washington tinkers with how much aid to provide and under what conditions, the auto companies will continue their game of chicken.

General Motors is also putting the brakes on production.  According to the Associated Press, GM is halting construction of a factory in Flint, Mich., set to make 1.4-liter engines for the Chevrolet Cruze and the Chevy Volt plug-in electric car. 

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