GM readying 4,000 white-collar firings: report

Ohio community on impact of GM plant closing

General Motors will start a round of involuntary layoffs on Monday, cutting about 4,000 white-collar jobs, according to the automaker’s hometown newspaper, the Detroit Free Press. 

GM wouldn’t confirm the timing of the job cuts, with a spokesman telling CBS MoneyWatch that the company’s priority is to first communicate with its employees about the cuts. The job reductions, part of GM’s previously announced plan to reduce its headcount by 15 percent, are coming after more than 2,000 employees accepted voluntary buyouts. 

The job cuts are part of what the company describes as efforts to improve its operating efficiency. At the same time, the automaker is responding to Americans’ shifting preferences for SUVs and electric vehicles over traditional sedans. Yet its plans to cut thousands of jobs and close five plants sparked outrage late last year from President Trump and congressional Republicans and Democrats.

Workers told the Detroit Free Press they have been anxious about the job cuts since GM announced them late last year. 

“Everyone’s waiting for the ax to fall,” one Detroit employee told the publication. “You don’t know if you should plan ahead for anything or not?”

GM has said the job cuts and plant closings will free up $6 billion in cash, for a net savings of $4.5 billion in cash by 2020. Yet the automaker has spent $10.6 billion since 2015 buying back its own shares, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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