Guide Corp. is expected to shed more jobs by the end of the year.

Exactly when that will happen remains unclear.

On Wednesday, employees at Guide in Anderson received a letter informing them that at least 180 employees will be permanently laid off by December. The former General Motors Corp. subsidiary will lose the lamp contract for the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Buick Ranier sport utility vehicles.

“This is one of several letters we’ve gotten over the last several months re-allocating our work,” said Steve Lewis, president of United Auto Workers Local 663. “We know there are going to be several people affected, but we’re not sure when it will happen.”

Lewis said the timetable remains unclear because so many factors must be accounted for including the demand for specific lights and which facility will garner the contract Guide is losing. Before the transition takes place, Guide will have to produce a “bank” of lights — enough to cover GM while the new facility ramps up.

“The speed at which the bank can be built depends on how well the car is selling,” Lewis said. “GM can say, ‘We want it out by the end of the year,’ but whether that happens remains to be seen.”

Lewis said the Guide plant currently employees just under 1,000 people with 200 more laid off. Local 663 represents all hourly workers employed by Guide.

Phone messages left for Guide officials were not returned Wednesday.

Overall, Lewis said, the letter represents the trend affecting auto industry-related businesses all around the country.

And while many at Guide could have predicted the move, Lewis said bad news is always difficult to accept.

“It’s always shocking. We’re given virtually no notice,” Lewis said. “I was notified (Tuesday) afternoon at 2:30 p.m.”

In April, Guide announced it would lay off between 60 and 100 Anderson employees within six months. Soon after, Guide said that workers hired after Nov. 1, 1998, could apply for positions with GM under a program called preferential hiring.

Sixty-two workers were laid off in January and 83 last May.

According to the Associated Press, Indiana has lost 98,000 industrial jobs since 2000.

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