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GM Begins Dismissing 10,000 Salaried Workers, a Third of Them in the U.S

General Motors began notifying U.S. salaried workers that they will lose their jobs as it carries out previously announced plans to reduce its global white-collar workforce by 10,000.

March 25, 2009
General Motors began notifying U.S. salaried workers that they will lose their jobs as it carries out previously announced plans to reduce its global white-collar workforce by 10,000.

The automaker intends to cut 160 U.S. positions this week and 3,400 by May 1, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said. Most of those now being notified are engineers and engineering support staff at the Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan.

The moves reflect GM’s efforts to shrink further in the wake of declining sales and a global economic crisis. The automaker also is showing the federal government that it is taking steps to remain viable in hopes of winning $16.6 billion in U.S. loans in addition to the $13.4 billion borrowed already.

“We need to right-size the business to make it viable, and we need to get smaller and leaner to do that,” Wilkinson said.

In early February, GM announced plans to eliminate the 10,000 salaried positions and said about a third of those jobs were in the U.S.

“A significant number of those would come through involuntary separations; some would be through normal attrition,” Wilkinson said.

He said GM offers up to six months of base salary plus a company contribution for insurance after the termination. GM also provides outplacement services.

GM also plans to cut 18,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by year’s end.

Globally, GM employed 243,000 salaried and hourly workers at the end of 2008, Wilkinson said. GM plans to cut about 47,000 salaried and hourly jobs worldwide this year.

Filed by Jamie LaReau of Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.