Employment Law

GM’s Cruise laying off 24% of staff following dismissal of ‘key leaders’

A photo of a person driving behind two other vehicles on a road. (Photo: Rodrigo dos Reis / Unsplash)

Cruise, the self-driving arm of General Motors (GM), is laying off 24 per cent of its workforce.

The reduction, which is expected to affect approximately 900 jobs, comes one day after the company dismissed nine “key leaders” in an effort to move forward following an accident on Oct. 2 that involved one of its vehicles.

What’s happening at Cruise?

In a memo to staff that was obtained by multiple news outlets, Cruise said it has decided to “slow down commercialization” and restructure so it can “focus on delivering the improvements to our tech and vehicle performance that will build trust in our [autonomous vehicles (AVs)].”

“As a result, we are reducing our employee counts in operations and other areas. These impacts are largely outside of engineering, although some tech positions are impacted also,” the Dec. 14 memo reads.

The robotaxi startup added that it has ended “additional assignments of contingent workers who support our driverless operations, as we refined our go-forward plans.”

In a statement to CNBC, GM said it supports the “difficult decisions” being made by Cruise.

“We are confident in the team and committed to supporting Cruise as they set the company up for long-term success with a focus on trust, accountability, and transparency.”

Impact on Canadian staff

It remains unclear if Canadian employees are affected by the job cuts at Cruise.

According to reports, the company employs a total workforce of approximately 3,800 people.

Severance offers for employees at Cruise

While Cruise said affected employees will “remain on payroll through Feb. 12” and receive at least eight weeks of severance pay, Canadian workers who are let go could be owed as much as 24 months’ pay.

In Canada, non-unionized employees at GM and Cruise are entitled to a full severance package when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes non-unionized individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

The amount of compensation you are owed is calculated using a variety of factors, including age, length of service, position at the company, and your ability to find new work.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

If you don’t receive the correct amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and should take legal action.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for manufacturing sector staff
• Severance packages during mass layoffs

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Major layoffs continue

Cruise joins the long list of companies that have announced sweeping layoffs in 2023.

Big names, including Etsy, Hasbro, Nike, Spotify, RBC, TD Bank, Broadcom, Amazon, AbCellera, Unity, Canadian Tire, and PwC, have significantly scaled back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
‘Quiet Layoffs’: What employees need to know
• Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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