General Motors will cut 10,000 jobs globally including 3,000 to 4,000 in Europe to reduce costs during the economic crisis.
The troubled automaker said it will cut 10,000 of its 73,000 white collar jobs across the world as it battles pretax losses that reached a $2.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008. The company has yet to report full year figures.
In the United States, approximately 3,400 of GM's 29,500 salaried employees will be affected. The rest of the job cuts will impact Europe and GM's other operations around the world.
GM also will cut the salaries of many of its employees. The cut in base pay for executives will be 10 percent. "Many other" salaried workers will have their pay reduced by 3 percent to 7 percent, GM said.
Chris Preuss, General Motors Europe's head of communications, said the job cuts will affect Europe, but declined to say how many.
Company insiders said the about 3,000 to 4,000 employees in Europe likely will be affected.
The details are currently being worked out on a country-by-country basis and will include jobs that will go when GM separates its Swedish unit Saab into a standalone company.
"Job reductions in Europe are part of this, although how many and where is still being discussed," Preuss told Automotive News Europe .
Preuss said GM would also continue to reduce labor costs through short time working and other measures.
Klaus Franz, who chairs GM Europe's employee forum, said he opposed any compulsory job cuts or plant closures.
He said: "We have a contract that runs to the end of 2010. The contract says there can be no forced layoffs or plant closures. These are binding contracts and the company must stick to this."
Franz added: "If GM go ahead with this, they will violate German and European Union law. We will fight this very strongly."
GM's sales in Europe including Russia and Turkey fell 6.5 percent to 2.04 million units in 2008 compared with 2007. Its European market share fell to 9.2 per cent from 9.4 percent.
Sales of Opel and its sister brand Vauxhall fell 10.5 percent to 1.63 million after the financial crisis spread into key western markets such as the UK and Spain.
Opel is seeking about $1.4 billion in financial guarantees from the German government in case parent GM files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.
Saab's global sales fall 25.5 percent to 93,338 units. GM has launched a review of the Swedish brand with options including a sale.