General Motors will delay the start of the third shift at the Flint Assembly plant on Sunday night to allow its employees to watch the Detroit Lions take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL’s NFC Championship game.
Flint Assembly is the only GM production facility in Michigan to feature a third shift on Sunday nights, with the general assembly line starting their shift at 10 p.m., Detroit Free Press reports. That might be somewhat of a problem this week, as the West Coast game doesn’t start until 6:30 p.m., and the average NFL game lasts a little over three hours. To accommodate the local fans, GM has decided it will delay the start of that third shift by one hour, dropping the shift length to eight hours.
Workers won’t be compensated for that hour of work spent watching the game, but UAW Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter told the Free Press that the time is not part of the standard 40-hour week to begin with. Flint Assembly is responsible for production of the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups and is home to around 5000 employees.
"We know this is a rare moment in Detroit sports history and we want our team to savor the moment, while still assuring we’re providing our customers and dealers with the trucks they need," GM spokesman Kevin Kelly told the Free Press.
Neither Ford nor Stellantis have opted to follow General Motors’ lead when it comes to production over the weekend.
This is not the first time that GM has delayed production at its plants for football. The automaker has previously delayed its Lansing facilities to accommodate the Michigan vs Michigan State rivalry, according to Kelly. The Detroit Lions have not challenged for the NFC title since 1992, making this weekend quite the occasion in the Motor City. Should the Lions win, they will move on to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. The team has never been to a Super Bowl in all of franchise history.
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