02 July 2009

GM Employees Get A Letter From The CEO

Story from the Wall Street Journal

Full text of GM CEO Fritz Henderson's letter to employees on the auto maker's bankruptcy filing:

June 1, 2009

GM Employees:

Today marks a defining moment in the history of General Motors. This morning, we announced an agreement with U.S. Treasury and Canadian and Ontario governments – which along with the recent agreements with the UAW and CAW unions, and sacrifices by our salaried employees and -- will allow us to form a leaner, more customer-focused, more cost-competitive company -- a "New GM" built upon the strongest parts of our business, with far less debt, lower operating costs and the ability to generate sustained and winning bottom-line performance.

To implement these agreements and launch the New GM, it was necessary to enter a court-supervised process, which we did earlier this morning with the full support of the U.S. and Canadian governments. While we preferred other paths to our goal, what is most important is our destination and getting there fast. The court process we're pursuing gives us powerful tools to accelerate and complete the job of reinventing GM. It also provides strong safeguards to our customers and our business between now and the time the New GM is launched as an independent company, which we expect will be in about 60 to 90 days.

As you know, the actions we've taken to create a New GM include some very difficult steps. Today, we're identifying the 14 manufacturing plants that will be impacted by our accelerated plan to improve our capacity utilization, as called for in our April 27 viability plan. These facilities include our Pontiac and Wilmington assembly plants, our Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Mansfield Metal stamping plants and our Livonia Engine, Flint North Components, Willow Run, Parma Components and Fredericksburg Components and Massena Castings powertrain plants. Our Orion and Spring Hill assembly plants will be placed in "standby capacity" status, along with the Pontiac Metal stamping plant. In addition, Janesville Assembly plant's status has been changed from closed to standby capacity. And, our Boston, Jacksonville, and Columbus SPO facilities will cease operations by December 31, 2009. In line with our structural cost reductions and the reinvention of our company, we're announcing plans to further reduce our North American salaried employment by 5,100 this year, including 4,000 in the United States. After completing these reductions, we will have reduced North American employment by 7,900 – or 22 percent this year.

GM will remain open for business during this period. All employees will be paid in the normal course and work as members of the New GM team. The only exception is the amount of non-qualified pension for some executive retirees. We also will reduce some retiree benefits for salaried retirees (those retired now and those who will retire in the future) and non-UAW retirees (those retired now and those who will retire in the future). We are continuing to determine how these changes will be made and we will communicate to the affected employees and retirees as soon as decisions are made. We intend to address this matter as quickly as we can.

Our warranty, service and customer support activities will continue uninterrupted, with U.S. government guarantees. New products and advanced-technology launches will continue on schedule, and all GM facilities will operate on the same basis they did yesterday, with no changes to the scheduled downtime calendar.

I've attached the news release we issued announcing these steps. Please read it carefully, but I want to share a few thoughts about today's news. I encourage you to share them with family, friends and others with a stake in GM's future:

* We're on a proven path. The process we're using to launch the New GM is an established and effective approach. While we expect that some parties will register objections during the court-supervised process, we are well prepared and confident that we will achieve our goals.
* We're committed to our April 27th viability plan. The plan we described in April, along with some additional initiatives, is New GM's plan.
* We remain a vital part of the global auto industry. Thanks to the difficult work we have done in recent years, GM has world-class assets that are highly valuable to consumers, stakeholders and the economy. We have developed a line-up of award-winning vehicles and a pipeline of exciting new products that customers want. We have substantial investments in important green technologies. Our smaller, stronger dealer network will raise the standards for customer service. And, we will remain a global company, with a tremendous work force.
* We're here to stay, and we will succeed by taking care of our customers. We have endured trying times together. The pain has been shouldered by many, and our April 27th viability plan asks for even more from us. But make no mistake – today's actions are designed to reinvent GM for sustained success. From here we move on, and we move up. New GM can and will win, and we will do it by putting our customers first.

We understand that you will have many questions throughout this transition process. Further information is available on Socrates or at GM.com/restructuring. Both will be updated often as new information becomes available. I also encourage you to visit GMreinvention.com and share it with others who have an interest in GM's future.

We also recognize that the further changes necessary to complete GM's reinvention must come from within the company. With that thought in mind, I'll post an Employee Blog later today with some of my thoughts about what we need to change at GM, and how we'll make them happen. I look forward to your feedback.

Along with our leadership team and Board of Directors, I am consistently inspired by your resilience and resolve. We know you will continue to rise to the occasion. Thank you for everything you have done and will do for GM.


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