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If You Owned An Automaker, How Would You Lay Off Your Employees?

Illustration for article titled If You Owned An Automaker, How Would You Lay Off Your Employees?

With the news of Tesla layoffs and rumors of Chrysler furloughs, plus the dire implications of a GM/Chrysler merger, it seems we're reminded daily of one of the worst aspects of having a job at an automaker: The constant threat of layoffs and restructurings. But instead of wondering about the middle-class impact of such events or pondering the futures of our peers "on the inside," we decided it would be more fun to put ourselves in the professionally polished Italian loafers of the Nardellis, Wagoners and Mulallys of the world. So, you're at the top of the tower. The balance sheet has more red than the floor of a Mexican slaughterhouse. How do you plan to deal with "redundancies in human capital?" Or, as they whisper in the leather-lined corridors of the Detroit Yacht Club, how are you going to lay off your employees? Since it seems the tradition of "fire on Friday" is still alive and well, or has been at some of our more recent employers, do you buck the trend and instead give them a "terrible Tuesday" or a "march your ass out the door Monday?" Do you have managers give the bad news in person or do you prefer a nice, impersonal blog post, a-la Tesla? Tell us: How would you lay off your autoworker employees? [Photo Credit:]


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I'm a little fuzzy on the specifics, but the larger goal of my plan would be to ensure that the lay-offs were completed with as much tact and fairness as possible. All employees would be given a severance package that corresponds directly with their length of service and level of importance, except for seasonal workers and/or interns who would simply be given the standard two-week notice.

On a personal level, I would also probably use the opportunity to finally make an aggressive move on that luscious young secretary of mine.