General Motors started its long-dreaded white-collar job cuts today by telling 160 people at its manufacturing engineering plant in Warren, Mich., that the would be laid off as of April 1. Spokesman Tom Wilkinson said that the move is the beginning of 3,400 salaried layoffs in the U.S. as a part of GM’s 47,000 worldwide job cuts.
“It will impact every area of the business. Some of those will be through normal attrition, but there will be a significant number of involuntary separations coming from now through the early part of May,” Wilkinson told the Associated Press.
GM has announced the closure of nine assembly, parts stamping and powertrain factories since 2005 and plans to close an additional five factories. GM is currently surviving on $13.4 billion in government loans and is waiting for approval on another $16.6 billion as it faces the worst auto sales downturn in 27 years.
GM also has plans to cut 18,000 more U.S. blue-collar jobs by the end of this year. It has a total of 29,650 salaried employees and 62,400 blue-collar workers in the Unites States.