When it comes to car manufacturers in America there are few that can hold their own in popularity against General Motors. Established back in 1908, General Motors has provided the United States with a multitude of notable vehicles over the years as well as provided refuge for brands lacking the funding to self-sustain themselves with the times. Some of these brands encompassed under the company’s massive umbrella include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Saturn, and Pontiac. While a few of these vehicles have ceased to go under even with the support of the GM family, such as Pontiac and Saturn, GM has managed to stay as one of the mainstays of mainstream car manufacturers. In addition, GM has always been capable of adapting to the latest trends in the industry.
Unfortunately, as progress happens, changes need to be made. This is exactly what GM employees are facing currently.
Almost akin to the way Tesla announced its companywide purge of a few thousand employees, GM has followed suit in sending out an email prior to the beginning of the workday informing most of their white collar workers of layoffs that will begin impacting the company as a whole. In the email, there was an apparent indication that there will be a massive layoff of around 4,000 of GM’s white collared workers with a potential for more to follow in the coming weeks.
According to a current IT personnel at GM, those who have only been employed 6-8 years will be provided “very small” severance packages. While those who have served for 12 or more years at the company the individuals will be provided the same severance as those who took the buyout last year which equates to half a years’ worth of pay and continued health benefits after termination of employment.
This is also coupled with the grueling process of employee eliminations beginning at 9:30 this morning occurring in 30-minute intervals and concluding tonight at 6:30, leaving most of the employees on edge.
For most, this didn’t come to a surprise for as there have been reports of layoffs occurring throughout the company on a smaller scale in the past two weeks, only these were smaller layoffs with no reason to assume the worst. But After receiving the email this morning, coupled with the massive number of articles released as of writing this, job security is at its weakest. Concerns have risen so much that an official letter released throughout the company included the following warning:
“We all manage stress and emotion differently, and safety is a key element of our culture. As you know from your GM safety training if you see or hear something that may impact employee safety, please speak up.”
Hopefully, this isn’t an eerie foreshadowing of things to come, but in the present day with large events like this impacting individuals’ livelihoods in such a heavy way, there is a chance for anything to occur.
The Reason for the Cuts
According to GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, the layoffs are in attempts to save the company an estimated $2.5 billion dollars in 2019 as the company begins to restructure and move forward in a different direction. With the auto industry changing a large need for research and development is required to stay ahead of the curve. This requires a large amount of funding which is required to adapt and succeed in the up and coming market of autonomous cars for ride sharing and delivery of goods. This is also attributed to the creation of electric vehicles for the mainstream consumer market.
For Those That Were Cut
The employees had a fair amount of knowledge that cuts may occur as early as last fall, with GM announcing they would cut around 8,000 white-collar jobs in North America. Thankfully, this has been met with a massive amount of calls to the company from dozens of other large company’s offering positions to employees being laid off, those interested include many large Fortune 500 companies and other smaller companies. GM will provide outplacement services for those impacted by the cuts to help them find another job.
Currently, the company is focused on working one-on-one with the individual employees being laid off to provide them an adequate severance package, as well as any additional “transition support” through job placement services.
What’s Next for GMC?
While It’s too early to tell how the layoffs will impact the overall quality and progress of the company there is no doubt there is restructuring in mind. As stated earlier, there is a huge shift in leading the market through the means of autonomous transportation, there is still a ton of skepticism centering around their desired area of focus. This may yield to be the beginning of commercialized autonomous vehicles or could push the company further into decline. All we can do is wait to see exactly how the automotive giant handles the transition.