General Motors Corp. is cutting 25,000 jobs and closing an unspecified number of plants over the next 3-1/2 years, CEO Rick Wagoner told shareholders Tuesday, as the world's largest automaker struggles to stem huge losses.In all fairness, GM itself bears a lot of the responsibility for the automaker's poor performance -- certainly more than the Bush economic policies. The CNN article quoted this GM critic:
Wagoner, who is also chairman of GM, did not offer more details other than to say the troubled automaker needs to cut capacity by the end of 2008. GM, which has lost $1.1 billion in the first quarter, is facing its worst financial crisis in more than a decade.
The 25,000 jobs represent about 17 percent of GM's U.S. work force, which includes 111,000 unionized employees and another 39,000 salaried staff.
"As things currently stand, GM has too many brands, workers, managers, capacity and bureaucracy," said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland and a critic of GM's management who says the cuts announced Tuesday were too little and too late.On the other hand, the Bush crew hasn't done much to help the competitive position of U.S. automakers. By pushing for drilling in ANWAR and opposing a rise in gas-mileage standards, the Bushies have encouraged GM's status quo, anti-hybrid-car thinking.
"Offered the challenge to rescue GM from the dust heap of history, occupied by other formerly mighty icons like Bethlehem Steel, AT&T and Packard, Wagoner demonstrated he will not be making any history worth remembering," [Morici] said in an e-mail.
At the rate U.S. automakers are bleeding, the letters UAW will eventually stand for Used-to-be Auto Workers.