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2/7/2019 10:35:00 AM
GM begins laying off white-collar workers, including some at Bedford plant

Krystal Shetler, Times-Mail

BEDFORD — Over the next couple of weeks, General Motors will cut about 4,000 salaried jobs, including some at its Bedford facility.

The cuts, which began Monday, are a part of a restructuring deal intended to save the automotive giant $2.5 billion this year.

Originally announced in November, the workforce reductions are primarily coming from GM's North American operations, the company said.

Stephanie Jentgen, a GM spokeswoman, confirmed all plants are affected, including Bedford, but said she could not discuss details of the local layoffs.

"This is the implementation of the salaried actions announced late last year," Jentgen said. "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. Our focus now is on working with each individual employee on providing severance packages and transition support through job placement services."

The cuts were announced by the company Nov. 26 when GM said it wanted to improve its business performance through staff re-organization, manufacturing re-alignment and a reduction in its salaried workforce. The moves, the company said, were expected to increase the annual adjusted cash flow by $6 million by the end of 2020.

“The actions we are taking ... continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra in a press release. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”

With that announcement last fall also came the news that the company planned to shutter assembly plants in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; Detroit, Michigan; and Warren, Ohio. It also plans to close propulsion facilities in White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan. In total, approximately 6,000 manufacturing positions would be affected by the closures this year.

GM Bedford Casting Operations, which makes cylinder heads for full-size trucks and large SUVs, 4-cylinder engine blocks for the small block engine, aluminum transmission cases and converter housings, is the only GM plant that produces die-cast parts. Since 2010, General Motors has invested $426 million in upgrading the facility.

There are 23 GM vehicles that use engine or transmission components built at the Bedford Casting Operations, ranging from the Corvette Z06 to the Chevrolet Cruze and from the Suburban to the Buick Encore.

In fact, the facility produces 65 percent of the transmission cases used in GM vehicles.

“For a very small factory, we have a significant impact,” said Plant Manager Gareth Jolly in a story published by the Times-Mail in December.

The Bedford plant currently employs 190 salaried workers and 650 hourly employees.

Copyright 2019, TMNews.com, Bedford, IN.






Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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