GM Starts the Formal Process of Cutting, Promises Jobs for Hourly Workers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

It won’t be a joyous Christmas for many General Motors workers. As it embarks on a wide-ranging cost-cutting plan, GM plans to cull six models and mothball five plants in the U.S. and Canada, eliminating up to 15,000 jobs in the process.

On Friday, the automaker said the process of notifying federal agencies of its plans has begun. It also offered up a glimmer for nervous workers.

While the company’s plan will see product dry up at three assembly plants and two transmission plants by the end of next year, some workers will have an opportunity to pick up stakes and settle down at another plant, GM said.

Some 2,800 hourly workers at the four U.S. plants (Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown Assembly, Baltimore Operations, and Warren Transmission) are eligible for jobs elsewhere, as 2,700 positions remain open at the company’s other plants. Thos positions exist at seven plants located in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas.

The automaker said 1,100 workers at the soon-to-be-shuttered plants have already volunteered for a transfer, while 1,200 workers are eligible for retirement.

GM earned no shortage of backlash after announcing the closures — most notably from President Donald Trump. The company’s now trying to frame its decision in the most positive terms possible. Speaking to Reuters, a GM spokesman said the company’s confident all hourly workers can find work if they’re willing to move, adding that some salaried workers “will have opportunities at other GM locations.”

Attrition factors into GM’s predictions.

Given the sparse production landscape north of the border, GM Canada could not make similar assurances. It told workers at Oshawa Assembly Friday that the company “committed to provide financial support to help its employees with retraining and other assistance that will help them be prepared for more than 2,400 good, available new jobs estimated to be open in the Durham Region area in 2019 and 2020.”

Those jobs exist in the local community, at GM Canada, or at GM dealers.

“My priority is to have a transition plan for every Oshawa Assembly employee,” said GM Canada president and managing director, Travis Hester, in a company release. “We will work with our community colleges, universities, the government and all interested local employers, to make this happen and we are committing millions of dollars from GM Canada to support this effort.”

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
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  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Dec 14, 2018

    The truth is, the three pants closing were underutilized. Why was this? Well, the Impala got rave reviews from Consumer Reports, good car. But it was way overpriced compared to its predecessor. Yet GM expected it to sell so well they put it in two plants. Oh and they kept building the old one. Many TTAC readers commented the previous Cruze was nicer than the new one. Having driven both as rentals, that’s my take. The Volt was used as a poster child to persuade the government to bail out GM. Yet since GM loses money on it, due to Volt’s costly components, GM marketing for this innovative car is nonexistent. THese are all decisions made at the.highest levels, up to and including the CEO. Yet the plants will be closed. Oh, and let’s not forget the several thousand salary workers, 90% of whom realize the above strategies are flawed, who will lose their jobs, in the greater Detroit area. THESE are good jobs, that need to be done. The remaining salaried workers will have to work even harder, even as their leaders continue to pursue dubious strategies. What a great place to be! Between them and Ford’s smaller salary layoffs, Detroit’s economy will contract. Perhaps it might be the spark that ignites the anticipated recession in the US? Finally, the new trucks are ALL on Mary Barra’s watch. They don’t look so great, and they are getting zinged here on TTAC and elsewhere. Nice job. The press is quick to report on the wage difference between US and Mexican workers. Where’s a comparison of US vs Asian CEO compensation? Maybe GM’s (overpaid) board should consider hiring a Japanese or Korean. They seem to be doing better, for considerably less money—and without the benefit of a $10 billion subsidy

    • See 4 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 14, 2018

      @tresmonos The Prophet of our Church has spoken.

  • Orioncanam Orioncanam on Dec 14, 2018

    As a recently whacked GM Contract employee, the lyrics to "have a Mary Barra Christmas" are dancing thru my head..

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    • Ravenuer Ravenuer on Dec 17, 2018

      @schmitt trigger There's Something About Mary.

  • Lou_BC Too much money.
  • Lou_BC "The Cannonball Run" "The Gumball Rally""Corvette Summer""Duel""Gone in 60 Seconds"
  • Wjtinfwb I really don't care about charging stations, EVs, their drivers or the issues that seem to plague them and the ownership experience. My use case requires much better range and fueling options than what EVs offer, at least current state. If an EV works for you, great. It doesn't work for me and that's OK as well. hat I object to however, is the Government involvement in a personal use decision and trying to force a technology into widespread adoption when it and its support network is clearly not ready. I also object to Federal dollars, gleaned from the taxpayers being used to subsidize this nascent technology and most importantly, I object to the gaslighting by the Administration that tries to convince consumers that range isn't an issue. Recharging isn't an issue. Cold weather isn't an issue. Fires aren't an issue. The ownership experience disappointment is validated by the poor resale value of EV's and the McKinsey report that states that 50% of EV owners plan to switch back to a gas powered vehicle. I don't have the disposable income to make a 40k mistake and take a beating on getting rid of it. But again, if it works for you, that's what matters. Cheers.
  • MKizzy The top executives of many of the Fortune 500 companies support GOP candidates with their votes and donations while happily filling their corporate coffers with Progressive dollars. Unlike Musk however, they're smart enough to at least try to keep it to themselves. Perhaps Musk's political openness combined with his seemingly declining interest in Tesla is a sign he'll abandon Tesla by the end of the decade.
  • Jpolicke I don't know of any gas stations with a single pump.