GM lays off 160 white-collar workers at Warren

March 24, 2009

GM lays off 160 white-collar workers at Warren

By TIM HIGGINS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors Corp. began white-collar layoffs today, telling about 160 workers at the Warren Technical Center that their last day will be April 1.

The move is just the beginning of GM’s plans to cut 3,400 salaried jobs in the United States this year. Worldwide, GM plans to cut 47,000 workers by the end of the year.

The job cuts are part of GM’s sweeping restructuring efforts to make the company viable.
 

GM’s restructuring plan was presented to the U.S. Treasury last month as a condition of the $13.4 billion in government loans keeping the company afloat. GM, which lost nearly $70 billion over the past two years, is seeking as much as $16.6 billion more in government loans. It faces a March 31 deadline to impress the government with its progress or face the possibility of the loans being pulled.
 

“It’s a tough day,” said Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman. “It’s a very difficult decision for GM. These are talented, capable people. It’s unfortunate that we had to let them go but we need to restructure the company and resize it to be profitable at a lower industry volume and this is part of the process.”
 

Salaried workers that are let go will receive severance packages. Most of the workers told they would be let go are engineers and support staff, Wilkinson said.
 

The announcement came as UAW members face a deadline today to accept buyout and retirement packages to leave the company.


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