GM Indefinitely Lays Off More Workers Barely a Week After It Said It Wouldn't


On December 8, Susan Gustafson at proclaimed that "GM's announcement of no more layoffs is good news after years of hemorrhaging jobs":

General Motors' announcement this morning that it plans no further layoffs in the immediate future is huge news for both the automaker and Michigan as a whole after years of steady erosion in the ranks of hourly and salaried workers.

.... the company doesn't expect the numbers of hourly workers on indefinite layoff to increase.

That same day, Robert Snell at the Detroit News reported the same thing:
General Motors Co. does not plan any job cuts in the immediate future, the company's new president of North America said this morning.
Eight days later, GM laid off additional workers indefinitely in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
As 75 more workers were indefinitely laid off from General Motors' Corvette assembly plant in this western Kentucky city, those who remain say 2009 has been one tough year.

No one has asked how this move doesn't break the company's promise made eight days earlier. Does it not count because it's "only" 75? Or because it's "only" in Kentucky?

Though their relevance to the accuracy of the company's promise is less clear, about 100 more GM workers lost their jobs last week:

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) ..... As of Friday, December 18th, the GM Plant in Tonawanda rolled out its last V-8 engine. Workers were told the engine line was coming to an end back in June.

.... the company's plan was to lay off 150 employees, but it turns out some of them will continue working.

Local 774 Chairman Bob Coleman explained, "We absorbed a lot of people in the other lines. We'd seen where the need was for the bodies probably about 50 people."

Well, GM said that the number of people on indefinite layoff would not increase on December 8, but it obviously has in both Bowling Green and Tonawanda.

According to NPR on the day of the "no more layoffs" announcement, recently fired CEO Fritz Henderson had previously said that further layoffs might be necessary:

The (no more layoff) news is a turnaround from comments made last month by former President and CEO Fritz Henderson who said GM still had too many hourly workers and could slash some of the 6,000 to 7,000 workers currently on layoff.

It turns out that Fritz Henderson was right. Perhaps saying so contributed to why he was fired.

It look like GM, which was not exactly a model of corporate clarity before it went bankrupt and became a government-  and union-controlled entity, has learned a lot about government-speak in a very short time.

It also looks like the press has learned not to look for contradictions or falsehoods in anything Government Motors says or does.

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