Instead of saying it will shut down three vehicle assembly plants, GM said the plants "will be unallocated in 2019".
The move is the biggest change to GM since its bankruptcy ten years ago, but the carmaker faces protests from unions and Washington.
GM will shutter its factory in Oshawa as part of a global restructuring as the company shifts to manufacturing electric and autonomous vehicles. "For decades, workers have devoted their lives, working day and night, to produce some of the finest cars in the country for General Motors". In Detroit, it plans to halt production of the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt in March and the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala in June.
"The layoffs are the inevitable outcome of an economic model that views workers as disposable and shareholder excitement as indispensable", said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit that advocates for worker protections in the industry. "Lordstown has been part of the GM family for more than 50 years so it's painful to see this happen to the plant's workers, their families and the community".
Most of the at-risk factories make cars that will not be sold in America after 2019.
General Motors announced Monday it will stop small-car production at its assembly plant near Youngstown and consider closing it for good.
Those plants will be in Oshawa, Ontario, Lordstown, Ohio, and Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., which build six low-margin auto models that GM will discontinue.
The company says 5,901 hourly employees and 804 salaried employees work at these plants.
Barra said GM can reduce annual capital spending by $1.5 billion and increase investment in electric and autonomous vehicles and connected vehicle technology because it has largely completed investing in new generations of trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The company also said it would stop operating two additional factories outside North America by the end of next year, in addition to a previously announced plant closure in Gunsan, South Korea. Propulsion plants targeted are Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Md., and Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Mich. Layoffs would amount to 14,700 jobs.
President Donald Trump, who has made bringing back auto jobs a big part of his appeal to OH and other Great Lakes states that are crucial to his re-election, said his administration and lawmakers are exerting "a lot of pressure" on GM.
Over the last two years, GM has been removing shifts from the Lordstown plant, causing approximately 3,000 workers to lose their jobs.
GM did not immediately comment on Trump's remarks, but the company noted it has other facilities in OH including a transmission plant in Toledo and metal center in Parma. USA sales of the Impala were down 13 percent through September.
The compact Cruze is the only vehicle built in Lordstown.
When you factor in effects on the supply chain, some 49,000 jobs overall in North America could be affected. The affected facilities build cars that will not be sold in the United States after next year.