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GM union leader doubts Janesville plant will reopen

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A union leader says he doubts that General Motors will reopen its Janesville plant, amid new reports indicating that it's possible.

CEO Ed Whitacre said Thursday that GM is thinking about reopening one of its two "stand-by" facilities to meet a growing demand for new vehicles.

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Janesville and Spring Hill, Tenn., are GM's only "stand-by" plants. Janesville shop chairman John Dohner says the odds favor Spring Hill - mainly because 1,000 people are still building engines there. Dohner said GM "decimated" the Janesville workforce after closing the entire facility early last year.

He and other ex-Janesville employees have transferred to other GM plants.

Meanwhile, state officials say they're not giving up. Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, a former GM union leader at Janesville, said he made a trip to the company's headquarters in Detroit as recently as two months ago.

Sheridan said he wanted to make sure the top brass knows that Janesville is still there, and they'll do whatever it takes to get production back.

Last year, Janesville and Spring Hill were candidates for the production of a new GM small car - but the work went to a plant near Detroit.

Michigan had offered a $779 million incentive package, while Wisconsin's incentives totaled about $195 million.

Sheridan said he would have to talk with Gov. Jim Doyle before trying to put another incentive package together.

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