GM begins layoffs with 4,300 white-collar workers mostly in U.S.

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Prior to announcing its workforce reduction plans, however, it offered a voluntary buyout to more than 17,000 employees with more than 12 years of experience.

At the time, GM said it wanted to cut about 8,000 salaried workers from its payroll.

At the time of the announced restructuring, GM had about 2,000 salaried employees in Canada as part of about 50,000 salaried workers in North America. "Our focus now is on working with each individual employee on providing severance packages and transition support through job placement services".

'These actions are necessary to secure the future of the company, including preserving thousands of jobs in the U.S. and globally, ' GM spokesperson Pat Morrissey said, adding that the bulk of the cuts should be completed within the next two weeks. "We are taking action now while the overall economy and job market are strong, increasing the ability of impacted employees to continue to advance in their careers, should they choose to do so", GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said, adding the bulk of the cuts should be completed in the next two weeks.

GM said earlier in 2018 that it would discontinue certain auto models over the next several years, but the gravity and timing of these changes was not as predictable from the outside perspective.

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Industry trade journal Automotive News learned the lay-offs are part of an on-going restructuring effort envisioned as a way to make GM a leaner, more efficient, and more profitable company. Some other small salaried layoffs previously took place.

GM also said in November that it planned to close five vehicle plants, four in the USA and one in Canada. These include the Chevrolet Cruze, the Cadillac CT6, the Chevrolet Volt hybrid and the Buick LaCrosse.

Last month, Comprehensive Logistics said it would cease operations at its facility in Lordstown that provides logistics and warehousing, impacting about 180 jobs.

Barra and other executives have noted that not all the workers affected by the plant closings will lose their jobs.

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