DETROIT - General Motors Corp. is planning to slash 10,000 more salaried jobs this year, saying the cuts are unavoidable with a government restructuring deadline looming and industrywide sales mired in one of the worst downturns in history.
The automaker said yesterday it will reduce its total number of white-collar workers by 14 percent to 63,000. About 3,400, or 12 percent, of GM's 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs will be eliminated.
Meanwhile, GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said the Detroit automaker is committed to meeting tighter fuel efficiency requirements as he met with House and Senate leaders who could play a role in developing global warming legislation.
Mr. Wagoner was on Capitol Hill to meet with Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.). The two Democrats control committees with jurisdiction over the auto industry.
A 2007 federal energy law required car makers to meet 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40 percent increase.
In its plan submitted to Congress late last year, GM said it would have to reduce both salaried and hourly positions so that the company could become viable long-term.
The company plans to cut its total U.S. work force from 96,537 in 2008 to between 65,000 and 75,000 in 2012, but did not specify how many of the surviving jobs will be salaried or hourly. Pay will be cut for most of its remaining salaried employees.
Since 2000, GM's salaried work force has shrunk by 33 percent from its 2000 high of 44,000. At the same time, the number of hourly employees has plunged to about 63,700 at the end of last year from 133,000 in 2000.
Most of the cuts are expected to take place by May 1.