GM is issuing layoff notices for 5 US and Canadian factories — but over 1,000 workers are interested in relocating

Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesGM CEO Mary Barra.
  • GM has begun to notify hourly workers of layoffs at five plants in the US and Canada.
  • The carmaker has 2,700 positions available at other facilities.
  • GM is also providing severance and services to salaried employees facing layoffs or voluntary buyouts.

Last month, General Motors announced that it intended to idle five US and Canadian factories amid a shift in the auto industry away from passenger cars toward SUVs.

The carmaker has begun to notify the federal government of its layoff plans for the plants that won’t have “allocated” production – in other words, no new vehicles or parts to build once current production at the facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, and Canada winds down.

According to GM, a total of 2,800 hourly employees are affected. Of these, the automaker said in a statement, 1,100 have expressed interest in relocating to plants where GM needs more labour.

Read more:
GM will stop building cars at 3 North American factories and cut its salaried workforce by 15% in 2019 as it shifts to electric and self-driving cars

“Strong US and Canadian economies enable us to provide these opportunities now as we position General Motors for long-term success,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

“Our focus remains on providing interested employees options to transition including job opportunities at other GM plants,” Barra continued. “We remain committed to working with local government officials, our unions and each individual to find appropriate opportunities for them.”

GM has 2,700 positions available at factories in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The company also wants to shed thousands of salaried and contract staff – 15% altogether. Similar opportunities to relocate are being offered to them, as well as severance allocations and job-training services, GM said.

Business has been good in the auto industry for the past three years, as the US market has posted record sales. But GM has been weighed down by factories that have been running well below capacity as consumer preferences have realigned to favour crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

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