With the trend in manufacturing starting to make a turn toward our domestic North America shores, news that GM cuts jobs and plants in the U.S. creates a somber effect. The latest news is that GM is set to eliminate 15% of the salaried jobs in the U.S. This same cut will reduce executives for the auto-giant by 25 percent. In an effort to majorly restructure, GM is also shutting down several plants (3-5) and canceling production of several vehicles.
GM Cuts Jobs And More!
On Monday, November 26, GM released this information, however, any actions won’t take place until 2019. Completion of the plant closings and job cuts won’t occur until the end of 2019. Plants affected are in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Ontario, and two other plants outside of North America. Along with these locations, the GM job cuts eliminate several low-selling models: Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, and Impala; Cadillac CT6 and XTS; and the Buick LaCrosse.
- Two plants outside North America
GM Car Models Terminated
- Buick LaCrosse
GM Cuts Jobs 15% and 25% – What Does it Mean?
Without a direct number of workers associated to the GM job cuts, we have to back our way into these numbers. As of 12/31/2018, GM had about 180,000 workers. 77,000 of these are salary earners and 51,000 were associated with unions, such as the UAW. Robert Ferris gets a little deeper into these number is his take on GM Terminating Jobs and Plants. First, it’s pretty obvious that 77,000 and 51,000 still doesn’t equal 180,000, so where are the rest of the jobs?
UAW = Minority or Majority
“This callous decision by GM to reduce or cease operations in American plants, while opening or increasing production in Mexico and China plants for sales to American consumers, is, in its implementation, profoundly damaging to our American workforce,” said Terry Dittes, a UAW vice president who leads negotiations with GM.
Since when does the minority become the majority? This is quite eye-opening. If this is true, then how does a number like 51,000 (union employees) dictate what a group of 180,000 does? Right, wrong, or indifferent, it just doesn’t add up that in a capitalist system, the minority has the power. This is a bit of the tail wagging the dog.
At the same time, looking at the situation as a whole, it doesn’t look good if these duties are shipped offshore. President Trump wasted no time to weigh in on this too. “I am not happy,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Monday afternoon, speaking of CEO Mary Barra. “You know, the United States saved General Motors. For her to take that company out of Ohio is not good. I think she is going to put something back in soon.”
Our Thoughts on GM Cutting Jobs
According to them, the reason GM cuts jobs and car models is to advance further into the electric and autonomous vehicles. The cost savings on the labor side is set to pay for the $3.8B (Billion, with a “B”) in restructuring costs. What does all this mean to the mechanic working on these vehicles? In the near future, probably nothing! There is a real separation between manufacturing vehicles and servicing or repairing them. Regardless of the cars being produced, and where, these vehicles still need maintenance, repair, and bodywork. Long term, it may be affected by vehicles being so technical and modular that fixing them equates to only switching out electrical components. Since we’re yet to see a Jetson mobile after 50 years, our doubts are on the mechanic-less vehicle as well…at least for a few years. Still, we don’t like seeing jobs leaving our North American boundaries. Let’s keep the our jobs here, and create more.
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