GM Layoffs Begin
CBJ — General Motors has begun involuntary layoffs in Detroit, with about 4,300 white-collar workers among those affected across North America.
The automaker first announced cuts in November, including the closure of its Oshawa plant, in a move expected to save the GM billions of dollars and help it prepare for an expected slowdown of the U.S. automotive market during the next several years and a parallel move towards electric vehicle technologies. About 2,500 people in Oshawa will lose their jobs at the end of this year. Unifor, the union representing the workers, has tried hard to convince GM to change its mind, but to no avail.
The automaker says it has largely completed salaried job cuts in Canada, and most of those threatened with layoff here have accepted an incentive package to leave.
The company said last October that it would offer buyouts to 18,000 workers with more than 12 years with the company across its North American operations as part of cost-cutting efforts.
GM has a broader plan that will see three North American assembly plants and two component factories close by the end of 2019.
The company says 2,200 white-collar employees took buyouts and 1,500 contract workers were let go.
GM Canada president Travis Hester has said the future of cars will be electric, not internal combustion.