By on December 14, 2018

Image: GM

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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11 Comments on “GM Starts the Formal Process of Cutting, Promises Jobs for Hourly Workers...”


  • avatar
    tomLU86

    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

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      That is really the bottom line here: GM stinks at selling vehicles, of any sort. They have gone from a 50% market share 50 years ago to 17% now. They have been closing plants for years. They closed an armload more during the bankruptcy. They are closing another batch now. And yet, Fairfax, Lansing Grand River and Orion Township are all running below 50% of capacity, implying there is another wave of closings to come as they keep trying to get ahead of their shrinking market share.

      GM has abandoned Europe and India. They appear to be in the midst of shutting down production in Korea, while keeping the engineering department alive. GM sales in China are falling faster than the industry average.

      FCA quit making mass market passenger cars, but they haven’t abandoned any plants, because their new models are in demand. FCA has the highest plant utilization of the big three and is reportedly trying to improvise another assembly line to add more production capacity.

      Ford is treading water, with enough new and in demand models to keep everyone employed by transferring new models in to existing plants or transferring people to plants making more in demand models.

      Barra has been CEO of GM for nearly 5 years. She owns GM’s present failures.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I predict market share decline to <= 15% in 18 months. Barra is the new Roger Smith.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve203

          A significant further erosion of GM market share is baked in as they abandon market segments without having anything popular enough to pick up the slack.

          Seems they could have moved the LaCrosse to Fairfax, and done an Impy version of it, while doing a Buick Regal version of the Malibu, so, between the 4 models, Fairfax would have a better run rate, but nope. Axe the other models and leave the Malibu by itself so it and Fairfax looking ready for the chop.

        • 0 avatar

          THY ECONOMIC RAPTURE IS NIGH! UNLESS THEY ERECT THE HOUSE THE LORD BUILT, FLINT NORTH, AND RESURRECT THY HOLY BUICK V6, WE SHALL ALL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR OUR SINS.

  • avatar
    orioncanam

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

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