GM 'Reorganization' Includes Plant Closures, Layoffs

GM 'Reorganization' Includes Plant Closures, Layoffs

The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15 percent of GM's North American white-collar workforce. Some will take buyouts while others will be laid off.

About 6,000 factory workers could lose jobs in the USA and Canada, although some could transfer to truck plants.

In October, almost 65% of new vehicles sold in America were trucks or SUVs.

The decision is "devastating" for workers at the plant and auto suppliers, but Oshawa has adapted over the years and will survive this as well, DesRosiers added. And GM also isn't sure whether he'll make good on threats to impose 25 percent tariffs on vehicles imported from Canada and Mexico. In 2015, GM moved the Camaro line to a plant in MI, which saw the elimination of 1,000 jobs at the Oshawa plant.

GM isn't the first to abandon much of its auto market. The company also plans to idle two as-yet-unannounced foreign facilities.

The US$6-billion in savings includes cost reductions of US$4.5 billion and lower capital expenditure annually of nearly US$1.5 billion, GM said.

GM doesn't foresee an economic downturn and is making the cuts "to get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong," Barra told reporters.

"You've got to take a stand at one point, so that's what we're doing", one woman said as she made her exit.

More than 2,200 jobs could go, unions fear, although the precise number of lost jobs is yet to be determined.

GM began making automobiles in Oshawa in 1908.

"We are right-sizing capacity for the realities of the marketplace", Chief Executive Mary Barra said, adding that the cuts were prompted by auto industry changes. The company has invested in newer architectures for trucks and SUVs so it can cut capital spending while still raising investment in autonomous and electric vehicles.

General Motors employed around 180,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2017, with around approximately 103,000 in the U.S. Earlier this year, it offered a buyout package to some employees.

And in July, GM executives said pressure from commodity prices and foreign exchange rates had been more significant than expected and the automaker expected a $1-billion additional headwind, with the biggest exposure being steel.

As of July, GM had five factories in the USA operating significantly below capacity.

The official said it is part of a global restructuring of GM as they shift focus to lower emitting hybrid vehicles, which is not the focus of the Oshawa plant.

The union drove GM into bankruptcy once before and would do so again.

GM's Oshawa plant assembles the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS and finishes Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. In Detroit, it plans to halt production of the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt in March and the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala in June.

GM said it would shut operations at plants in Detroit; Oshawa, Ontario; Warren, Ohio; White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.

Ontario is set to send in its re-employment training body, a type of employment SWAT team used in cases of mass job loss, to provide services that might include funds to relocate to other communities where there are positions or retraining.

Unifor Local 222 shop chairman Greg Moffat said Monday the plant is not closing "without the fight of our lives".

Ford says he asked GM in a phone call on Sunday whether there was anything the province could do to keep the plant open, and was told it could not.

Sales of Cruze, built at Lordstown, fell 27 percent through September 2018.

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