GM cuts 327 jobs at plant in Rayong
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GM cuts 327 jobs at plant in Rayong

Cars made at General Motors' plant in Rayong province are exported around the globe. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Cars made at General Motors' plant in Rayong province are exported around the globe. (Bangkok Post file photo)

General Motors Thailand, the local car production unit of the US parent, cut another 327 jobs at its Rayong plants as part of a plan to reduce operating costs and slim down the manufacturing facility.

There was widespread news on social media yesterday that GM Thailand laid off both regular and contract workforce by sending letters to employees on Wednesday.

Of the total cuts, 141 jobs were regular employees. The dismissals took effect from yesterday. 

According to the letter, the company noted it has proceeded with a reorganisation plan since late 2017, but continued to suffer a declining financial performance. 

GM Thailand needs to manage operating costs and cut its manpower expenses for manufacturing, said the letter.

Each employee will receive severance pay, calculated based on employment period plus one-month salary.

A source familiar with this matter told the Bangkok Post this plan is not a regional restructuring by GM, rather the local company needed to adjust its manpower costs to be competitive under the current environment.

"The reduction in headcount is similar to other carmakers operating in Thailand," the source said.

GM Thailand submitted a statement to the media that the company remains committed to its local operation but needs to be more efficient. 

"The operation in Thailand will not change focus, with GM producing pickups, sport utility vehicles and diesel engines in Rayong for domestic and international sales," GM Thailand said.

GM entered Thailand in January 2000, later establishing two manufacturing facilities at Rayong’s WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate — a vehicle assembly plant with annual production capacity of 180,000 units and a powertrain plant with annual capacity of 120,000 units — with a combined investment of US$1.4 billion.

GM has 1,900 employees in the country, with 1,200 at the manufacturing site. The car plant builds under the Chevrolet and Holden nameplates.

The local plant used to produce Chevrolet passenger cars, but it was put off in line with GM's restructuring plan in Southeast Asia, announced in February 2015.

Under that plan, 749 jobs were axed from the Rayong plant, according to the General Motors Workers Union Thailand.

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