GM to cut workers, idle U.S. manufacturing plants


General Motors says it is planning to cease production of some models at three vehicle assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada in 2019. It also plans to cut production at two plants in the U.S. that make transmissions. The company said the moves are part of an effort to cut 15 percent of its workforce.
The decision, announced Monday, will impact Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit, Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio, and Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Two transmission plants — one in White Marsh, Md., and another in Warren, Mich. — are also set to stop production.
The company said it plans to halt production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown plant in March. In Detroit, it plans to halt production of the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt in March and the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala in June. In Ontario, it plans to halt production of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS by the final quarter of 2019.
The company says 5,901 hourly employees and 804 salaried employees work at these plants.
"We are announcing the cessation of certain products resulting in a number of plants being without allocated volume to produce," GM spokesperson Julie Huston-Rough told NPR. She added that shutting down or closing a plant is an issue that must be discussed in negotiations with the United Auto Workers.
GM added that it expects to save some $6 billion by the end of 2020.
"With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year," the company said.
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes called it a "callous decision" that would be "profoundly damaging to our American workforce."
"The UAW and our members will confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership," the union said in a statement.

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