General Motors begins cutting more than 4,000 jobs

The General Motors headquarters building

Modal Trigger The General Motors headquarters building Getty Images

When GM CEO Mary Barra made the announcement, she met with legislators on Capitol Hill about why her company planned to close four American plants.

The layoffs are part of a larger restructuring plan that was first announced in November, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The cutbacks will, overall, save the company about $3 billion by the end of this year, despite the cost of the buyouts, and a total of $6 billion by the end of 2020. It is also making a push to develop a ride hailing service that will allow GM to make more money by selling rides to customers rather than vehicles. In his rebuke of GM, Trump focused on the closures in OH, a state he won in the 2016 election. However, the number of job openings at the company has decreased since late September, which was nearly two months before announcing its restructuring plans.

GM Canada president Travis Hester has said the future of cars is electric, rather than internal combustion. "You don't know if you should plan ahead for anything or not?"

He commiserated about the closures in a series of phone calls with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.

The exact timing of these layoffs remains unclear, however.

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Trump is due to tout his economic successes on Tuesday during the annual State of the Union address to Congress. Friday's job report beat expectations, showing more than 300,000 jobs were created last month. But trade tensions and global economic anxiety have led some companies to rethink their business plans and sparked concerns about the risk of a slowdown.

The cuts mostly affect salaried staff and include both blue- and white-collar positions.

Industry trade journal Automotive News learned the lay-offs are part of an on-going restructuring effort envisioned as a way to make GM a leaner, more efficient, and more profitable company. Another 1,500 contracted employees are said to have not been offered an extension or renewal on their contracts.

Two people briefed on the cuts said GM is cutting hundreds of jobs at its information technology centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan and more than 1,000 jobs at its Warren, Michigan Tech Center.

General Motors will begin involuntary layoffs on Monday, hoping to complete the latest round of cutbacks before releasing its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

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