Layoffs for about 4,000 salaried staff at General Motors are underway.
The layoffs are part of a 15 percent reduction in white collar jobs in North America that the automaker first announced back in November.
At the same time, it announced plans to close four US plants as well as a fifth in Canada.
In a message to employees, General Motors said:
“This is the implementation of the salaried actions announced late last year. These actions are necessary to secure the future of the company, including preserving thousands of jobs in the U.S. and globally. 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.”
The job cuts and plant closings are part of ongoing cost reductions to free up $6 billion annually to invest in a new generation of autos, such as electric and self-driving vehicles.
The family of one former employee in Lansing told 6 News that he’ll receive full pay and access to his company-owned vehicle for a month, and will receive severance pay after that. They added, employees knew the cuts were coming for awhile, they just did not know who would be impacted, or when they would happen.
In a statement to 6 News, a GM spokesperson said that a number of Fortune 500 companies have already reached out to employees affected by the job cuts.