21 November 2005

Biggest Layoff Ever?

General Motors today announced plans to lay off 30,000 U.S. workers, about 27% of its hourly work force, by 2008. This adds 5,000 workers to layoff announcements made in June. It started this year with 111,000 hourly workers in the U.S. Non-hourly U.S. staff will be cut 7%. It is doing so because it is losing money hand over fist.

When I first started following General Motors as a company, it has more than 800,000 workers total, most of them hourly. With the spinoff of Delphi and round after round of layoffs, it has become a shadow of that company. Offshoring has played a part, as has technology, but the biggest factor appears to be a declining market share.

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