General Motors temporarily laid off 3,500 workers at its Van Nuys plant Monday as the plant is prepared for the production of the 1988 models of the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. The layoffs will last for two weeks.
To prepare for the production shutdown, GM temporarily suspended a new and controversial Japanese manufacturing approach implemented in May. The method, called Team Concept, requires that workers meet to discuss and solve problems.
"Those meetings focus on long-term problems and we had a more immediate concern" in making the plant-retooling deadline, said Ernest Schaefer, the plant manager. He said car production is expected to resume Aug. 17.