General Motors will begin laying off 4,250 North American salaried workers Monday morning as part of a restructuring that includes the closure of five plants and the elimination of 15,000 jobs, but the auto company is making record profits.
The layoff plan announced in November calls for the elimination of 15 percent of the company’s 54,000 North American salaried jobs, in the form of ‘rolling layoffs’ that will continue until the end of the month.
Three assembly plants and two facilities that make auto parts are slated to close by the end of the year, devastating entire cities in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Ontario, Canada.
GM management is determined to begin the layoffs before the company’s 2018 earnings reports are released because Wall Street is demanding cost-cutting and other attacks on the workers in order to drive up stock prices and profits for the banks, hedge funds and big investors.
The automaker claims these job cuts and plant closings will free up $6 billion in cash, but critics say it spent $10.6 billion buying back its own stock shares in order to enrich financial oligarchs since 2015.
The cuts have generated enormous anger among autoworkers in the US and Canada, who have never recovered from concessions imposed on auto unions with the collaboration of the Obama administration during the 2009 forced bankruptcy of GM.
The cuts will further impoverish regions in both the US and Canada that have been ravaged by decades of deindustrialization.
During two years of layoff, workers will get benefits through supplemental pay and state unemployment but in time, the workers could lose everything.
Industry analysts say the sagging U.S. auto market and tax accounting changes will force GM to close more plants.
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