Job Cuts All Around…
Force Reductions Slated at GM and Nissan
By Kevin Miller
GM will eliminate approximately 5000 white-collar jobs, which equates to about fifteen percent of its workforce. This is yet another aspect of the automaker’s drive to raise liquidity by cutting around ten billion dollars in costs, which was slated to include reduction of costs by twenty percent through headcount reduction, benefit changes, and related savings. Additionally, salaries will be frozen this year and next, and bonuses for senior level managers have been suspended. GM’s headcount reductions will be achieved through normal attrition, early retirements, mutual separation programs and other separation tools.
Meanwhile, Nissan announced that they will be offering voluntary buyouts to Tennessee workers in their assembly plant in Smyrna and their powertrain plant in Decherd in an attempt to cut around 1200 positions. Technicians and salaried employees in those locations will be offered an opportunity to receive a lump sum of $100,000 or $125,000, depending on tenure, plus medical and car purchase benefits. Nissan employs about 5,500 hourly and salaried employees at its vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, and about 1,100 hourly and salaried employees at its powertrain assembly plant in Decherd.
“We feel this program is a good opportunity for employees wanting to transition to another phase in life,” said Nissan’s Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction. “This will provide many with the financial means to take a step they otherwise might not have been able to take.”
Nissan cited rising fuel prices and economic downturn, which reduced demand for full-sized trucks and SUVs, and ever-increasing productivity at its plants, as the rationale for reducing its workforce. Cuts will not occur at Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Canton, MS.
Nissan’s cuts will span three years. Employees can elect now if they would like to participate in fiscal year 2008, 2009 or 2010. The election period for 2008 ends September 12. Employees also will have an opportunity to sign up again for the program in 2009 or 2010, although benefits will be reduced compared with levels available in 2008.
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