Well, very nearly. My American friends reveal that General Motors is on the very brink of Chapter 11 (managed) bankruptcy. Part of GM's current plan, not so much to avoid this scenario as to come out of the other side of it with some form of independence, is to cut immediately 21,000 jobs. Then it will keep on scaling-down its operations until it's a far smaller, more manageable and, the hope is, profitable operation. The likelihood is that a number of those job cuts will be found abroad.
As the New York Times said yesterday:
By the time it is finished, G.M. expects to have only 38,000 union workers and 34 factories left in the United States, compared with 395,000 workers in more than 150 plants at its peak employment in .1970This is highly significant for British car workers. If the US parent is planning to downsize on that scale - or face complete failure - then the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port is almost certainly under imminent threat. With 5000 employees producing nearly 16% of the nation's car output (around 380,000 last year), the impact felt here would be simply massive.
Those 5000 workers are the assembly-line, front line of an army of dependent engineering companies that provide parts and spares. Already, for example, as orders continue to dry-up during the slump, one such company in a town near me went bust yesterday with the loss of 100 skilled jobs.
If Vauxhall is shut, which is a distinct probability now, then those 100 job losses will become hundreds of thousands.
This is just one more piece of (non-spun) news that gives a fair indication of just how bad this recession is going to get in the UK, thanks in no small part to the diabolical mismanagement of this Labour government. And don't believe anyone who says otherwise!