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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

GM to cut white-collar jobs

DETROIT (AP) General Motors Corp. plans to offer another round of early retirement offers and buyout packages to U.S. salaried workers early next year, company officials said.

GM declined to say how many employees would receive the offers, but the program is expected to cut the automaker's U.S. salaried ranks now at 38,000 by hundreds of employees.
DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group plans to exercise a contract provision to reduce skilled trades workers at some of its plants. Troy-based Delphi Corp., the world's biggest auto parts supplier, has reduced its earnings forecasts and is cutting about 8,500 jobs next year. Visteon Corp. has said it will offer buyouts to salaried employees.
In a sensible world facing peak oil and global warming, cutbacks in automobile production would be a completely positive development. But in the nonsensical world we live in, these cutbacks will mean real hardships for real people--loss of health care, mortgage foreclosures, probably some divorces and domestic violence. In our current world, the well-being of a state blessed with many resources (including perhaps the most important, water) depends on selling unnecessary and destructive products to the rest of the world. And in our nonsensical world, the demands of the wealthy few for greater profits trumps the needs of the many for decent wages. So, like everything else, cars will be made where they can be made the cheapest, no matter how many people get destroyed in the process.