Automaker General Motors announced Monday that it will reduce its salaried workforce by 15 percent and may close as many as five plants in an effort to cut costs. The company will lay off about 14,700 workers in North America, some of whom will be offered buyouts. As GM pivots its focus to electric and autonomous vehicles, a spokesperson for the company said it will also cancel several car models, including the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Impala, by 2019, according to USA Today. Five plants—which are located in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; Oshawa, Ontario; Warren, Michigan; and Baltimore—will be “unallocated” in 2019, a move that could affect 6,000 factory workers. “These actions will increase the long-term profit and cash-generation potential of the company and improve resilience through the cycle,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
The United Auto Workers union called the massive restructuring a “callous decision.” “GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” the union said in a statement.