GM to cut 1,600 jobs this week

These involuntary cuts are part of the previously announced plan to eliminate 3,400 salaried U.S. employees.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors sent an email to all employees Monday announcing it will cut about 1,600 salaried workers this week as part of a previously announced plan, a company spokesman confirmed.

The embattled automaker said in February it planned to cut 3,400 of its 29,500 U.S. salaried employees, with the majority of cuts completed by May 1.

"This will be a very trying time for the entire GM team, especially for the employees impacted by this action," said the email from Troy Clarke, president of GM North America.

Clarke's Monday email told employees that 1,600 of those cuts would take place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

As the recession has hammered the auto industry, the Treasury Department has loaned GM (GM, Fortune 500) $13.4 billion so far and is looking at providing additional assistance to help the automaker avoid bankruptcy. President Obama announced March 30 that the company needed to make additional cuts to become viable and receive additional government loans.

The 3,400 U.S. cuts are part of the 10,000 salaried positions GM plans to eliminate around the world mostly before May 1, said Tom Wilkinson, spokesman for General Motors.

Since the February announcement, hundreds of U.S. employees have retired or left voluntarily to help meet that 3,400 target. However, Wilkinson could not say how many came forward or close the company is to its 3,400 goal. He did indicate that the 1,600 cuts are involuntary.

About 250 involuntary job cuts have already been completed, and no cuts beyond the 1,600 will occur before May 1, Wilkinson said.

While the cuts will affect nearly all GM operations in the U.S., the engineering and administrative sectors are particularly hard-hit at this point, he explained.

U.S. salaried employees who keep their jobs will receive pay cuts effective May 1 and running through the end of this year. Executive employees will have their base pay reduced by 10%, and many other salaried employees will see reductions of 3% to 7%. To top of page

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