General Motors to lay off 1,500 workers in Thailand after plants sale

General Motors

General Motors will start laying off around 1,500 workers in Thailand in June, after declaring the sale of its production plants in the country, a government official stated on Wednesday.

The automaker said on Monday it would sell its two plants in the eastern industrial province of Rayong to Great Wall Motor. Its recent moves to retreat from Asia as well as Australia.

Jak Punchoopet, adviser to the Minister of Labour, informed Reuters all of the Rayong plants’ workers would be laid off under the terms of General Motors’ sale agreement with Great Wall.

“The agreement was only for the sale of the plants and didn’t include the transfer of works,” Punchoopet said.

“Their plan is to lay off 1,000 workers in the auto parts manufacturing line in June, and then around 300 to 400 in the assembly line in October,” he said. The rest of the workers at the two plants would be let go towards the end of this year, he said.

“Everything will be done by the end of the year,” Punchoopet added.

GM will adhere to Thai labor law and offer severance pay for the affected workers, and the automaker will also grant an extra four-month bonus to all workers, Punchoopet added.

Labour Minister MR Jatumongkol Sonakul has put his adviser Jak Punchoopet in charge of assisting workers of General Motors’ Rayong manufacturing facility secure new jobs since the automaker announced it will stop production in the country by the end of the year.

Great Wall Motor stated it will sell cars from the Thai base as part of its strategies to go global and look forward to rest of the Southeast Asian automotive industry.

GM Southeast Asia’s representative, Sean Poppitt, stated that details provided by Thai Ministry of Labour’s are “broadly correct” and referred questions on whether any workers might be rehired to Great Wall Motor.

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