Toyota Refuses to Lay Off Workers

Company will hang on to employees despite idled factories.

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Toyota refuses to lay off the 4,500 workers idled for three months by halted production of the company's Tundra pickups and Sequoia SUVs at plants in Texas and Indiana.

From Workforce Management:

As the U.S. auto industry sheds workers, and even Nissan offers buyouts, Toyota is sticking by its proud—and expensive—tradition of no layoffs during hard times.

"This was the first chance we've really had to live out our values," says Latondra Newton, general manager of Toyota's Team Member Development Center in Erlanger, Ky. "We're not just keeping people on the payroll because we're nice. At the end of all this, our hope is that we'll end up with a more skilled North American workforce."...

It's an expensive proposition. Toyota won't estimate the financial hit. But keeping 4,500 of its workers on the clock at full pay and benefits for 14 weeks, even at a conservative estimate of $20 an hour, would represent at least $50 million. The shutdown also means a production loss of 30,000 to 40,000 big-ticket pickups and SUVs. At an estimated wholesale value of even $25,000 per vehicle, that translates into as much as $1 billion in lost revenue.

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