When a franchise like the Detroit Lions, that’s been an NFL punching bag for decades, finally finds itself back on the brink of a Super Bowl, fans are going to watch the game no matter what. But General Motors is cool with it.
The automaker is delaying a shift at one of its factories in Michigan so employees can watch the Lions play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. According to the Detroit Free Press, GM is pushing back the start of the third shift at a Flint assembly plant by one hour on Sunday. It’s a nice gesture to the employees and it’s significant considering the plant builds the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra, two of the top 10 selling vehicles in the U.S.
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UAW Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter cheered the move even though employees will lose an hour of pay. He said, “They don’t want to work it anyhow, so no one is complaining about losing the hour’s pay. It’s not an hour of their regular 40 hours, it’s their overtime, so they’ll make it up somewhere else."
After the UAW strikes last year, the decision by GM is an especially amicable one. In November, the automaker said its earnings took a $1.1 billion hit due to the strike that resulted in a six-week production stoppage.
Ford and Stellantis, the other two automakers involved in the 2023 strikes, also have plants in Michigan. However, it’s unclear if they’ll also be adjusting their schedules to accommodate the Lions.
Ford didn’t immediately respond to the Free Press’ inquiries, but the company did post a rousing hype video on its press page. However, Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson did respond, telling the publication, "While we celebrate that success and root for another win against the San Francisco 49ers, Stellantis will run normal production schedules on Sunday to meet the expectations of our customers and dealers."