Detroit, Michigan-based General Motors has announced that it it offering early retirements and voluntary buyouts to 18,000 workers preparatory to cost-reduction layoffs in 2019.
A GM spokesperson confirmed that “We sent a letter to employees saying any salaried employee in North America with 12 years or more experience will have the opportunity to take a voluntary severance program. Depending on how many workers take the offer and other cost-cutting efforts, we'll re-evaluate doing an involuntary program after the first of the year. We’ve been on a journey to transform the company, both in how we operate the business and in how we lead in the future of mobility. Even with the positive progress we’ve made, we are taking proactive steps to get ahead of the curve by accelerating our efforts to address overall business performance." Considering GM is faced with shifting buyer preferences, slowing sales, increased commodity costs due to trade tariffs, currency fluctuations, and stronger competition, it makes sense to prepare for the uncertain future.
In June 2018 it appears almost 600 workers in GM’s Lordstown plant took a similar offer prior to the shutdown of second shift operations and forced layoffs.
It is crunch time for some GM employees. But it is a crap shoot for some older workers who may find that it is difficult to obtain employment when competing with hundreds if not thousands of skilled younger autoworkers suffering from layoffs at the major car companies.
It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you wondering, Am I Next?