General Motors Co on Monday said it was starting to hand pink slips to about 4,000 salaried workers in the latest round of a restructuring announced in late November that will ultimately shrink its white-collar workforce in North America by 15 percent out of 54,000.
February's cuts will help to amass a projected cost savings of $2.5 billion in 2019. It is also making a push to develop a ride hailing service that will allow GM to make more money by selling rides to customers rather than vehicles.
"This is about making sure that GM is lean and agile", CEO Mary Barra said in announcing the cuts November 26. However, the number of job openings at the company has decreased since late September, which was nearly two months before announcing its restructuring plans.
Trump, who made a 2017 speech near GM's Lordstown Assembly plant in OH, said in November the company had "better" find a new product for that plant.
These planned layoffs come just after job listings at the company hit all-time lows in the past month, with as little as 26 individual openings at the company being listed.
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He commiserated about the closures in a series of phone calls with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.
The exact timing of these layoffs remains unclear, however. President Donald Trump plans to deliver the annual State of the Union address a day earlier on Tuesday. A senior administration official said Friday the speech's theme would be "Choosing greatness".
That said, the largest of the Detroit-based carmakers will, with the latest cuts, have eliminated more than 14,000 jobs in the USA and Canada since November. But trade tensions and global economic anxiety have led some companies to rethink their business plans and sparked concerns about the risk of a slowdown.
Those with 12 or more years of employment will be given the same package as the roughly 2,500 employees who participated in voluntary buyouts late last year, he confirmed.
Barra and other executives have noted that not all the workers affected by the plant closings will lose their jobs. Another 1,500 contracted employees are said to have not been offered an extension or renewal on their contracts.