Published: Tue, November 27, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

General Motors To Slash 14,700 Jobs In North America, Including In Baltimore

General Motors To Slash 14,700 Jobs In North America, Including In Baltimore

General Motors is laying off 15 percent of its salaried workers and shuttering five plants in North America, the Detroit automaker announced on Monday.

Some 8,000 salaried employees and 6,000 hourly workers will either lose their jobs or be reassigned to other plants, and more layoffs are likely on the horizon, industry experts said. Some will take buyouts while others will be laid off.

Some displaced GM auto plant workers could find jobs at truck factories, GM officials said.

The Lordstown, Ohio, plant could also go, with GM's boss saying the factory's production of the Chevrolet Cruze would stop on 1 March.

According to Chiodo, the Oshawa plant has "some of the best employees in North America". The raft of changes announced on Monday will not impact GM's new fullsize trucks and SUVs, which are "doing very well in the marketplace", Barra told reporters.

While still the economic powerhouse of the city of about 160,000 people 60 kilometres east of Toronto, the GM operations in Oshawa are only a small remnant of the 40,000-worker monolith that once dominated the area's economy.

In a massive restructuring, USA auto giant General Motors announced on Monday (Nov 26) it will cut 15 per cent of its workforce to save $6 billion and adapt to "changing market conditions".

The company is also closing a Canadian plant at the cost of 2,500 jobs. The affected facilities build cars that will not be sold in the USA after next year.

Amid a heavy winter downpour, stunned GM workers walked off the job in protest Monday after learning the company has no plans to produce vehicles there after December 2019.

GM said the moves will save $6 billion in cash by the end of next year, including $4.5 billion in recurring annual cost reductions and a $1.5 billion reduction in capital spending.

Barra is reducing staff from operations that make conventional cars and hiring people who can design electric cars or add software prowess to GM Cruise, the automaker's autonomous vehicle unit in San Francisco.

CEO Mary Barra is seeking to reposition GM for a future defined by self-driving cars, ride-sharing networks and electric vehicles. It also offered buyouts to thousands of workers earlier this year.

The company expects to take a pretax charge of $3 billion to $3.8 billion due to the actions, including up to $1.8 billion of asset write downs and pension charges.

Not allocating product doesn't mean the plants will close, but it puts their future and the jobs of roughly 6,300 hourly and salaried factory employees-3,300 in the USA and 3,000 in Canada-at risk heading into contract negotiations with the UAW in 2019 and Canadian union Unifor in 2020.

"I once again urged GM to make a commitment to bring a new product to the plant, especially since GM is proposing to build a number of new electric vehicles", Mr. Portman said.

Before 1953, the facility produced McLaughlin Buicks and was one of six locations building Chevrolet before it merged with GM in 1918.

That's cold comfort for Darryl Donnithorne 38, who said he was laid off by GM when it closed its Oshawa truck plant in 2008, He just got hired back a couple of months ago to install windshields on the pickups sent from Indiana.

Since then, a quarterly sales report continued to show declining sales numbers for the Lordstown built Chevy Cruze.

Arno Hill, the mayor of Lordstown, home of the hulking factory where GM now plans to stop producing the Chevrolet Cruze small auto next year, said mood in the village of about 3,000 people was "somber".

A sign stands outside Oshawa's General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. GM Canada said it will slow production and temporarily lay off employees at the factory as switches over to truck from vehicle production to address shifting USA buyer preferences.

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