GM to Slash 1,600 White-collar Jobs by May 1

The layoffs are part of GM's plan announced in February to shed 3,400 white-collar jobs this year in the U.S.

General Motors, racing to restructure to avoid collapse, plans to cut 1,600 white-collar jobs in the next 10 days, GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said on April 20.

The layoffs are part of GM's plan announced in February to shed 3,400 white-collar jobs this year in the U.S., he said. "We think we'll complete most of that by May 1," he said.

President Barack Obama's administration has given GM until June 1 to present an aggressive restructuring plan, after the government, which has pumped $13.4 billion in public aid into the nation's biggest automaker, rejected its previous restructuring plan in late March.

In an update on its progress in developing the restructuring plan, GM reiterated on April 17 that it wanted to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection but was preparing for it nevertheless. GM management says it needs $5 billion in additional public funds soon to survive.

To date, GM has reduced worldwide headcount this year by 47,000 jobs, including about 26,000 outside the United States, bringing its global workforce to 200,000.

In the U.S., in addition to white-collar jobs, GM has slashed 7,000 factory jobs this year in a voluntary departure program, Wilkinson said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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