Packers Shut Down GM Plant

The Green Bay Packers weren't the only ones shut down during their Monday night loss. A General Motors plant also was idled by workers who called in sick for the night shift, presumably so they could watch the game.

"We just didn't have enough people to operate," said Gary Giles, manager of the assembly plant that makes GM sports-utility vehicles such as the Suburban and Tahoe. "We tried to do everything we could, like trading people around between departments, but in the end there was nothing we could do."

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  • About 140 second-shift employees phoned in sick in the apparent outbreak of green-and-gold flu. Employees who did show up were sent home about 6 p.m., Giles said Tuesday.

    The plant also had to send workers home during a Monday night game in October 1996 after about 200 employees called in sick.

    Plant officials sent employees a letter last week stressing the importance of showing up for work. Televisions around the plant were tuned in to the ABC telecast Monday, when the Packers lost to the Minnesota Vikings.

    The Packers have this weekend off but play another night game Oct. 15 at Detroit. Plant officials plan to talk with employees who called in sick Monday in hopes of avoiding the same problem during the next night game, Giles said.

    "We're all rooting for the Packers, but people have to be responsible and come to work," Giles said.

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