Auburn Hills, Michigan – Chrysler LLC has announced that its assembly and stamping plants in Belvidere, Illinois will move from a “shift-smoothing” integrated  schedule to a traditional one-shift operation, laying off 992 workers indefinitely as of July 27, 2009.

The shift-smoothing process enabled employees from the first and second shifts to share work as a one-shift operation, while working a one-week work/one-week layoff practice.

The shift change will not affect production volume. The plants, which are temporarily idled, currently employ 2,600 workers, who build the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

Chrysler said it will work closely with the United Auto Workers union to manage the changes. All employees at the facilities are also eligible for a special buyout program.

The company said it will “continue to monitor economic indicators” as it develops its future operating schedule.

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