Government Motors Laying Off Workers

Interesting story from The Detroit News

GM trims salaried workers

White-collar ranks thinned slowly in global streamlining

Bryce G. Hoffman/ The Detroit News

General Motors Co. has quietly begun laying off white-collar workers as it works to consolidate its global operations.

The numbers are small — a dozen here, a dozen there — but more are coming before the end of the year.

"GM is continually seeking ways to improve our operating performance and reduce complexity to deliver a world-class cost structure and profit margins," spokesman Jay Cooney told The Detroit News. "We are streamlining our business, looking for efficiencies and, to this extent, there could be some headcount reductions and it will be on a global basis."

The cuts are focused on engineering, product development and corporate operations at General Motors' headquarters in Detroit's Renaissance Center. But the company stressed that no mass layoffs are planned.

"In certain parts of the business, we'll be adding people with specific skill sets and leveraging the flexibility of our contract workers," Cooney said.

"What's important is that we are focused on keeping the right skills mix, the right numbers and the right balance of expertise.It's all about responsible management which will keep us strong."

The latest downsizing moves are consistent with CEO Dan Akerson's plan to reorganize the business and better leverage General Motors' global assets and eliminate duplication of effort worldwide.

"Literally, we have 7,000 more people working on the same amount of work on our competitors," Akerson told The News in a June interview. "It's just like the Communist Party in China in the 1960s. There has to be a cultural revolution here."

"The sun never sets on the GM empire," he said. "Substitute 'British Empire.' That didn't work either."

General Motors, which went bankrupt in 2009 and was only saved by a taxpayer bailout, has made progress toward reining in costs under Akerson's leadership.

Last month, the company posted a third-quarter profit of $1.7 billion.

bhoffman@detnews.com

(313) 222-2443

Detroit News Staff Writer David Shepardson contributed.

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I know several people in the automotive supply chain, and white-collar layoffs are now a fact of life there. I have no sympathy, of course. From what little I've heard, these companies are still in the "cash cow" phase of automotive production, and they had loaded up with armies of fairly useless individuals. These companies had needed to downsize and use technology to replace these legions of salary wasters, and then the savings from those reductions should have been passed onto us, the consumers, in the form of greatly reduced prices.

That's how it should have worked, when you have real competition and economies of scale.

But that never happened. Car prices skyrocketed. Union goons gorged themselves on profit sharing (on our fucking money!). Lenders rolled in bloated auto loans. The automotive supply chain just kept milking the money. So screw them. Companies like Tata are doing what our own companies should have been doing: Producing small, cheap, efficient cars.

Hopefully most if not all domestic auto production falls into real, legal bankruptcy and ends up bought for dimes on the dollar by Chinese producers who actually understand how to make cheap cars to keep your workers mobile. We're going to need that mobility around here, folks. We don't have public transportation that's worth anything, and new jobs only seem to open up waaaaaay out in the boonies; obviously employers are looking to stick us with massive commuting costs. Something's gotta give.

This announcement has been made every few years, since I first became involved with GM, starting in 1969. The theory behind it has two parts.
First, GM does this when they're about to go after concessions from the union, in addition to concessions they already get with each new labor contract. They'll tell the union members something like: "management personnel are taking 'hits', you folks need to 'contribute more, too.'
Second, these cutbacks are merely illusory in most cases. In Toledo, GM announced once, that 20 percent(as I remember)of the supervisors were being gotten rid of, to help save GM. Well, what actually happened, was these people were removed from "the floor", and hidden in various classes and seminars, offsite in many cases. Since they got paid out of a different 'pocket', not only was the bluecollar group fooled into thinking the supervisors were gone, so was Detroit, since an internal audit would show much less payroll was going to supervision, after the white collar "20 % job cuts".
Last, if the affirmative action mix isn't correct after any sort of reduction, it won't happen, either, at least in US plants.

How could such a stunt work more than once?

Oh wait, that's right: Union workers. Say no more.

If GM is anything like Jeep, they NEED to get rid of more white collar workers.
At Jeep they have union "team leaders", who do much of the work that used to be the job of the supervisors. The supervisors for the most part sit around and do a lot of nothing.
Everyone used to scream about how during temporary layoffs the union workers would get most of their pay. During those same down weeks, supervision would come to work and do absolutely nothing and get ALL their pay.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

Maybe the'yll offer the laid off workers jobs in the new plant they're building in Mexico?

Even Mexico is sensible enough to limit immigration. So, no.

If I were mexico, I wouldnt want trash like wolfie in my country either. he treats his union handlers like the 'ho's treat the donkeys in TJ...

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