GM announces they will lay off nearly 14,000 workers

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A major announcement from General Motors.  The automaker announcing it will shut down five plants in North America and lay off nearly 14,000 workers.

This comes down to GM slashing 15% of its salaried workforce, about 8,000 white collar jobs and 6,000 factory workers.  Five plants; four in the US and one in Canada, will close by the end of 2019.

GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra calling it part of the company’s “transformation” to autonomous and electric cars, which it views as the vehicles of the future.  Barra says, “Market conditions require that five North American assembly and propulsion plants will be unallocated product by the end of 20-19.”

Analysts also say GM is looking to shore up its biggest markets; China and the US.

But, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says, “It’s an extremely disappointing decision.”

And, the United Autoworkers calling it “callous,” saying the move won’t go unchallenged. 

President Donald Trump was quoted in February of this year as saying, “I think you’re going to see General Motors — they’re coming back. A lot of companies are coming back…” 

Now, today, saying, “I’m not happy about it… This country has done a lot for General Motors. You better get back in there soon.”

In a call with investors, Barra said the steep tariffs on steel, implemented by the Trump Administration, have impacted the company, but stopped short of saying they are the cause of the restructuring. 

Dino Chiodo, Unifor Union Auto Director, says, “The reality is this is just a corporation, a greedy corporation trying to make more money off of the backs of employees.”

Mary Barra has a meeting scheduled today with the White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, President Trump said he has spoken with Barra and said he was “very tough”.

–Emily Rau, ABC News

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