FLINT, Mich. -- General Motors President Mark Reuss on Tuesday announced the automaker will add 1,000 workers to build new heavy-duty pickup trucks at its plant here.
Many of those employees, he said during an event at the plant, will come from four U.S. plants, including two Midwest assembly operations, where the company plans to end production in 2019.
Reuss, following the event, said “pretty much” all of those positions will be new jobs compared to simply filling open positions.
GM on Wednesday, a day after the event at the plant, said 943 workers at impacted U.S. plants had accepted transfers to other facilities, including more than 600 to Flint Assembly.
The announcements come after the automaker has faced mounting pressure from the UAW, politicians and the Canadian union Unifor for its plans to stop production at five North American factories and cut up to 15,000 jobs, including 5,900 hourly workers in North America.
The impacted U.S. plants are Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio and powertrain operations in Michigan and Maryland. The Canadian facility is Oshawa Assembly in Ontario.
Reuss reiterated that the company has had to make “difficult” and “tough” decisions, but leaders feel now – when the company is healthy – remains the right time to make such cuts.
“There’s no good time to restructure the company and make sure that you’re viable for the future,” he told reporters after the event. “The best time to do it is when the company’s healthy and that’s right now.”
GM has said that for 2,800 active U.S. hourly workers affected, the company has 2,700 open positions available. The 2,800 figure includes 1,200 who were retirement-eligible, meaning that even more positions may open up for some workers who were laid off before the November moves.
GM CEO Mary Barra last month said 1,500 employees have volunteered to be moved to other plants, including 700 who are already in the process of moving.
For 2,600 hourly workers impacted at GM's Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant, Barra said the company is working with local government, community colleges and businesses, and has identified 5,000 potential job opportunities.
GM didn't definitively say it would close the U.S. plants, only that production would end and no products would be allocated for the sites. The company contractually has to negotiate closures with the UAW. The Canadian plant is set for closure by year end.