15,000 GM Employees Will Have Been Fired After Valentine’s Day

Sad and bad news
Canadian GM workers protest impending firings (Photo: Reuters)

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors Company, has remained silent this week about her firm's decision to terminate the employment of some 15,000 employees. GM is the largest car maker in the United States.

Not much has been heard from Barra since last week when she said GM is "more convinced than ever that our strategy is sound and in the long term." GM announced the firings in November 2018 and expects to complete most of these layoffs by mid-February.

At the time she said the "industry is changing very rapidly. "These are things we are doing to strengthen our core business. We are right-sizing capacity for the realities of the marketplace."

In mid-January, GM executives said the company's full-year results for 2018 exceeded its expectations. They also gave a positive outlook for 2019. The broad reorganization of the firm and the mass layoffs are expected to save GM some $6 billion by 2020.

The biggest mass firings in GM history saw the first of over 4,000 salaried workers at GM plants in the United States and Canada receive their pink slips on Monday, said Reuters. GM hopes to have completed this round of firings before its scheduled earnings call on Wednesday.

The latest round of layoffs that began Monday will see the firing of hundreds of employees at GM's information technology centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan. More than 1,000 jobs at GM's Michigan Tech Center will also lose their jobs.

In November 2018, GM said it will fire over 15,000 employees (salaried and hourly) and terminate production at five plants in the U.S. and Canada. The layoffs will see the elimination of more than8,000 salaried workers, or about 15 percent, of GM's workforce. GM fired 1,500 contract workers in December and said 2,300 salaried workers accepted buyouts.

"These actions are necessary to secure the future of the company, including preserving thousands of jobs in the U.S. and globally," said GM spokesman Pat Morrissey.

"We are taking action now while the overall economy and job market are strong, increasing the ability of impacted employees to continue to advance in their careers, should they choose to do so."

GM is also slashing its executive ranks by 25 percent. Morrissey said GM is providing salaried workers with severance packages and job placement services.

In addition to the firings, GM will halt production this year at three assembly plants: the Lordstown small-car factory near Youngstown, Ohio; the Detroit-Hamtramck complex in Detroit and the Oshawa, Ontario assembly complex near Toronto. GM will stop building several models now assembled at these plants.

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