GM Getting Rid Of Half Its U.S. Workforce

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GM, the leading U.S. automaker by volume, will gut its U.S. workforce “voluntarily” according to a confidential internal memo from Chairman and CEO Mary Barra that leaked this week.

Barra’s memo states that “Accelerated Attrition” requires proactive workforce planning. “We are announcing today a voluntary program that gives the majority of our U.S. staff an opportunity to leave GM, and to transition to the next phase with attractive compensation and a health care package.”

Barra put a smiley face to the matter and explained that her voluntary separation program, also known as a VSP, offers an opportunity for Barra to explore new industries, change careers, start a business, or retire earlier.

This move is intended to “accelerate attrition in America.”

This means that more than half the American General Motors workforce will have just two weeks to decide whether they want to retire or not. “Taking this step now will help prevent the possibility of involuntary actions.”

It sounds great! Employees would be wise to accept the voluntary separation package.

According to the memo, workers in Canada, Mexico, and Europe will not receive a similar VSP package from General Motors’ South Korea Division. It is not clear if Barra intends to make similar job cuts in these countries.

The company employs approximately 167,000 people in the US at present, distributed across its four remaining divisions (Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet, GMC, and corporate headquarters.

General Motors was once the largest seller of cars in America. It now sells one of six cars. It is unclear how many cars it will be able to produce with less than half the current headcount. This topic was not addressed by Marra in the memo.

How the mighty have fallen.