Around 1,500 United Auto Workers members have taken transfer offers from General Motors after the automaker closed down a handful of its US plants.
According to The Detroit News, the employees are already en route to their new jobs in Michigan and Tennessee.
GM said it had about 2,700 transfer offers for the 2,800 UAW workers that will be left without work after the automaker closes the plants. The automaker is contractually obliged to offer laid off workers the transfer offers .
“In November we announced several actions that we are taking to address these issues to reduce structural costs and to generate cash,” CEO Mary Barra was quoted in saying at GM’s Capital Markets Day event Friday. “These were difficult decision because they impacted people, and they impacted communities. We are taking these steps while the company is strong and the economy is strong and we believe that we have job opportunities for most of the hourly employees in the U.S.”
For some UAW employees, the decision to take the transfer is a difficult one. Their respective plants may not be closed forever, so some workers are understandably apprehensive to pack up and move elsewhere.
GM announced late last year that it would be closing its two vehicle manufacturing plants in Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown, Ohio, in addition to two transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland. The automaker has faced fierce backlash from the UAW as a result of the decision, which blasted the automaker for continuing to allocate production to Mexico.
The automaker also announced its Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada will be shuttered by the end of 2019 and has faced backlash from the Canadian laborer’s union as well.
GM argues the plant closures were a necessary evil, spurred on by an ever-changing industry that’s beginning to show signs of slowing down.
(source: The Detroit News)