Chrysler LLC has resorted to firing 250 salaried workers in order to meet targeted job reductions as it shrinks its struggling U.S. operations, the company said on Sept. 26. "There are involuntary separations underway," Chrysler spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said. "It's certainly very difficult. But we have to take these steps to ensure the long term financial health and competitiveness of the company."
The layoffs are part of a cost cutting plan announced in June which involved the elimination of 1,000 white collar positions. The company said at the time that it hoped to eliminate the positions through buyouts and retirements.
Chrysler has eliminated 22,000 jobs since February of 2007 and now has approximately 66,000 employees. It is planning to eliminate another 4,000 jobs during 2009.
Officials from privately held Chrysler have confirmed the company lost $1.9 billion in 2007 and has lost approximately $400 million through the first half of 2008.
Vice chairman Jim Press recently said the company was in no danger of bankruptcy and has cash reserves of $11 billion. He has also said the company is continuing to evaluate alliances with other companies.
The automaker said last week that its principal owner, Cerberus, is discussing buying Daimler AG's remaining 19.9% stake in Chrysler.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008