According to reports, Stellantis is the latest automaker looking to trim operating expenses by cutting its workforce. The automaker released a statement detailing its decision to offer buyouts to groups of white-collar and unionized employees in the US, in addition to hourly workers in Canada.
“The cuts are in response to today’s increasingly competitive global market conditions and the necessary shift to electrification,” the company said in its prepared statement. In a company email obtained by Reuters, Stellantis Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart told employees that a review of its operations “has made it clear that we must become more efficient.”
The voluntary exit packages will be offered to 33,500 US employees, though the company declined to say how many of the roughly 8,000 unionized workers in Canada will be affected. The company says it’s offering packages to certain salaried workers who have 15 or more years of service, in addition to unionized employees, with information pertaining to the packages expected to be released the week of May 1st.
Shawn Fain, the new president of the United Auto Workers union, is openly critical of this decision, calling the brand’s priorities into question. “Stellantis’ push to cut thousands of jobs while raking in billions in profits is disgusting,” he shared. “This is a slap in the face to our members, their families, their communities, and the American people who saved this company 15 years ago.”
Stellantis is not the only automaker to opt for a job-elimination strategy in response to current market conditions; General Motors and Ford have also offered buyouts to their workforce over the last year. Through this process, GM cut its workforce by approximately 5,000 employees, while Ford incentivized the departure of 3,000 contract and full-time salaried workers.
Notably, contracts between between Detroit’s three automakers, the United Auto Workers, and Unifor, the Canadian union representing auto workers, are expiring in September, setting the stage for heated negotiations in the coming months.