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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm starts the formal process of cutting promises jobs for hourly workers

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]

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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..

    • See 3 previous
    • Ravenuer Ravenuer on Dec 17, 2018

      @schmitt trigger There's Something About Mary.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.