General Motors to slash 14,700 jobs in North America

General Motors to slash 14,700 jobs in North America

Kerry Wise
November 27, 2018

The plan to lop 15 percent of salaried workers follows a round of buyouts that GM offered to about a quarter of its longer-tenured workforce at the end of October.

The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off.

"Contributing to the cash savings of approximately $6 billion are cost reductions of $4.5 billion and a lower capital expenditure annual run rate of nearly $1.5 billion", GM said in a statement.

As initially reported by CBC News, then Bloomberg, GM will end production at the plant in Oshawa, Ontario. The automaker in June ended the second shift at its factory in Lordstown, Ohio, cutting 1,500 workers.

"Actions are being taken to reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent, which includes 25 percent fewer executives to streamline decision making", CEO Mary Barra said.

The Monday closure of GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, was confirmed late Sunday by an official familiar with the decision.

Most of the factories to be affected by GM's restructuring build cars that will not be sold in the USA after next year. But the political atmosphere might limit realistic choices for the Detroit automaker.

"GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state", Ohio Sen. The vehicle produced there is also is built in Mexico. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will also be dropped along with the Chevy Cruze compact (which is sold as the Holden Astra sedan here and built in Korea), which will be made in Mexico for other markets.

A person briefed on the matter told The Associated Press that the plant being shuttered in Canada is just the beginning as GM prepares for the next economic downturn, shifting trade agreements under the Trump administration, and potential tariffs on imported automobiles.

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Opening in 1907 as a manufacturing base for the Canadian McLaughlin Motor Car Company, both the plant and company were purchased by General Motors 11 years later.

At a rally near the plant last summer, Trump talked about passing by big factories whose jobs "have left OH", then told people not to sell their homes because the jobs are "coming back. They're all coming back".

GM opened its factory in Oshawa, near Toronto, in 1953.

Oshawa has two assembly lines: The flex line produces the low-volume Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala while the truck line produces the light- and heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

GM did not immediately comment on Trump's remarks, but the company noted it has other facilities in OH including a transmission plant in Toledo and metal center in Parma.

Closing the aforementioned plants is not all, though.

The Oshawa announcement also raises questions about the future of GM operations in Ingersoll, which now produces the third-generation Chevrolet Equinox, and the St. Catharines engine operations, which produces engines and transmissions that are shipped to 10 different GM assembly plants across North America.

"I don't know how General Motors expects that Canadians are going to continue to support them ... when they clearly have no intention of treating us as a nation and as workers with any respect", he said.

On Sunday, the mayor told The Canadian Press that he hopes reports of the closure are "just a rumor".