GM slashes 1,600 jobs at three US plants

GM slashes 1,600 jobs at three US plants

Detroit: General Motors will lay off 1,600 workers at three US plants, as it slashes production in the face of a sharp drop off in sales, officials said.

“Unfortunately we’ve had a lot of these announcements lately," said GM spokesman Christopher Lee on Thursday, noting that the automaker said in June it planned to bring production into line with demand.

General Motors has shuttered scores of plants and laid off nearly half its workforce since 2000 as it restructures its business in the face of a steady loss of market share to Asian competitors.

These latest job cuts will not actually come off GM’s books immediately because of a labor agreement that requires the company to retrain temporarily laid-off workers.

GM’s unionised US workforce stood at 72,000 people in June, down from 133,000 in 2000. Most of the reductions were made through buyouts and attrition.

About 4,500 other jobs cuts have been announced in recent weeks.

The latest cuts will reduce the workforce at GM’s truck plant in Pontiac, Michigan to about 1,000 people, said Jim Hall, the bargaining chairman for United Auto Workers union Local 594.

That will halve production of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks from 55 units to 24 units an hour, Hall said.

About 500 workers at GM’s sedan factory in Detroit will be laid off starting January 12, Lee said.

In addition, 400 workers at a two-seat sports car assembly plant in Delaware will be out of work starting 8 December.