On Wednesday this week, General Motors offered six months of severance pay to 18,000 salaried workers in North America who have 12 or more years of experience. November 19th is the deadline for employees to volunteer for the buyout.
Bowling Green Assembly UAW Local 2164 President Jack Bowers isn’t expecting a huge impact at the only factory in the world that produces the Chevrolet Corvette.
“I heard about it” Bowers said. “The impact on salaried employees does concern me, but I haven’t heard of any impact here. I can’t imagine there would be, with all we have going on.”
With 200 salaried employees and 800 hourly workers, the Corvette Assembly Plant has been the recipient of nearly a billion dollars in upgrades and renovations over the last two years. Those renovations doubled the size of the plant with a new state-of-the-art paint shop.
And while sales of Corvettes are running 21% behind last year, the company may be gearing preparing to launch the 8th generation Corvette sometime in 2019.
GM says the buyouts are being offered to make improvements in the company’s bottom line while its finances are strong. GM reported a third-quarter net income of $2.5 billion.
“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,” GM Corporate News Relations Director Pat Morrissey said in a prepared statement. “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. We are doing this while our company and economy are strong. The voluntary severance program for eligible salaried employees is one example of our efforts to improve cost efficiency.”
General Motors this week also postponed the new studio building for the Design Center and stopped work on the Pontiac Propulsion workspace which is estimated to save the company hundreds of millions of dollars.
In an email to salaried employees, GM chief executive Mary Barra said that GM’s “structural costs are not aligned with the market realities nor the transformational priorities ahead. We must take significant actions now to address this while our company and the economy are strong,” Barra added.
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