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General Motors revamp causes massive job cuts

by Panagiotis Argitis - Managing Editor
Wed, Dec 5th 2018 05:00 pm
engine backfire  With recent plans to layoff jobs, thousands of people working for General Motors (below) are facing unemployment. The company has been on the decline since the early 2000s and this restructuring plan puts everybody who works for them in a hurry to find a new place of employment.
engine backfire With recent plans to layoff jobs, thousands of people working for General Motors (below) are facing unemployment. The company has been on the decline since the early 2000s and this restructuring plan puts everybody who works for them in a hurry to find a new place of employment.

The big secret is finally out. Following its bankruptcy a decade ago, the number one United States automaker, General Motors (GM) leaked its biggest restructuring plans in several years. The plans were released to the public on Sunday, Nov. 25 and include more than 10,000 hourly and salaried job layoffs, a shutdown of three assembly lines and the discontinuation of five vehicle models from its line.

Part of a huge cost-cutting vision, the automaker’s CEO Mary Barra and the board of directors kept the plan behind the curtain without any notice. Instead, media outlets uncovered the story, which allowed for thousands of GM members and workers to find out about their fate.

Majority of company employees, specifically those working under the Detroit-Hamtramck plant were furious and rightfully so. The news was devastating for many of GM’s correspondents and the neglect of notice from the actual company didn’t help. After the damage was done, along with those affected by the major change of GM’s future, President Donald Trump responded.

Trump criticized the company over its ruthless process of saving on cost and has threatened to revoke all subsidies for GM. He took his thoughts to Twitter on Tuesday, Nov. 27, tweeting “nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get.”

Barra and the rest of GM’s directors were not bothered by the president’s threats and have marched on toward the beginning processes of the restructuring. The known steps for completing its plans are the closings of Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown in Ohio and Oshawa in Ontario, Canada by the end of 2019 in addition to the end of production for the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Impala, the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS models.

The controversial and hushed-up project has halted the jobs of many employees as well as white-collar workers and, according to Free Press, will continue to do so with more layoffs expected to be announced come January 2019. Apart from the unexpected call for closures the people at stake of losing their jobs were shocked as to why the plan of restructuring was executed in the first place.

GM’s past, particularly its bankruptcy, resulted by indecisive moves within the company. With that in mind, GM is looking to avoid a repeat and instead learn from its mistake, which took place ten years prior.

That being said, GM is now focusing on mass production and technology improvement of electric and autonomous vehicles. With recent oil shocks and conservation of energy and materials in hopes of maintaining a better environment in light of the climate change crisis, electric cars will soon be the standard for automakers across the globe and simply put, GM does not want to miss on the opportunity of stepping foot into the game first.

As far as autonomous driving goes, the technology surrounding the service is relatively new and has been in a testing period for a couple of years now by automakers like Subaru, Toyota and most famously Tesla. Despite the lack of proven foundation, the technology is believed to be the way forward into the future of transportation and the phenomenon of car-sharing. According to the Ford Motor Company, the annual business of autonomous vehicles is estimated to reach 300 billion dollars. GM cannot miss hitting that market if it wishes to save itself and its reputation.

In the new year, GM hopes to hire and fulfill new positions, which will focus on the development of future electric-powered and autonomous vehicles. Let’s just hope their efforts don’t end up like the Chevy Volt.

Its recent effort at an electric-powered car, the Chevy Volt, was a complete failure. The car was GM’s first take at an electric car and it did not sell as expected. The car was way too expensive to make and compared to the amount of sales, the company was losing more money than gaining.