US: GM jobs axe now poised over salaried staff
Salaried workers at General Motors are bracing for cuts expected to come as early as today (28 March), according to US reports.
Workers at the GM Technical Centre in Warren, Michigan, have told The Associated Press (AP) that there is speculation that GM will cut jobs this week at their facility and others. Around 14,800 salaried employees work at the technical center in Warren, which includes design and engineering studios.
The Car Connection said that it would probably take GM several days to deliver notice to all affected employees and speculated that those departing involuntarily might be offered some sort of buyout package.
GM spokesman Robert Herta told AP the company won't respond to rumours, but he said GM has already announced plans to cut 7% of its U.S. salaried work force this year - the automaker currently has around 36,000 US salaried workers.
AP noted that GM has previously announced plans to shutter 12 plants and cut thousands of jobs by 2008 as part of a restructuring of its ailing North American operations - it lost $10.6 billion in 2005, largely because of market share losses and rising costs in North America.
GM's severance packages vary by position and level of experience, but employees generally receive one month of severance pay for each year of service at the automaker up to a maximum of 15 months, the news agency added.
The Associated Press said the layoffs would be GM's second major job-related announcement in a week - last Wednesday it said it would offer buyouts to its US hourly workers of between $35,000 and $140,000. Salaried workers aren't eligible for those buyouts, however.
Asked on Monday if there would be cuts in GM's marketing staff, GM's North American sales and marketing vice president Mark LaNeve told The Associated Press his organisation is getting leaner but he wouldn't give a target for the number of employees that could be cut.
GM's sales and marketing staff is 40% smaller than it was five years ago, LaNeve reportedly said.
"We're going to do a little bit this year and we'll probably do a little bit forever," LaNeve told AP.