Tenn. VW workers to put in 4 weekly 10-hour shifts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- The expanded work force at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga has helped decide a new production schedule that calls for employees to work four 10-hour shifts a week.

The German automaker announced Tuesday that employment at the more than $1 billion plant has reached 3,350 workers.

Under the new plan, the plant will operate six days a week, for nearly 20 hours each day. Workers' preferences were taken into account for scheduling details ranging from break times to when shifts will start and end.

Frank Fischer, the CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said the new shift model was patterned on the practices of other auto manufacturers. The company said the new schedule is designed to maximize plant operations while also striking a family-work balance.

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