General Motors Cuts Deep — 21,000 Jobs

21,000 jobs. Thousands of families. Tens of thousands of children. Hundreds of communities. Blood letting.
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General Motors (GM) is to cut 21,000 US jobs this year and phase out its Pontiac brand, as it aims to meet a 1 June deadline to revamp its business.

GM has to complete its restructuring by then to gain the government loans it needs to avoid bankruptcy protection.

After shedding Pontiac by the end of 2010, GM will focus on its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands.

The firm also said it hoped to halve its debts by persuading bondholders to swap $27bn (£19bn) of bonds for shares.

The loss of 21,000 blue-collar jobs includes an additional 7,000 to 8,000 employees from a plan submitted to the government on 17 February.

The cuts mean that its American workforce will be reduced from 61,000 to 40,000.

GM also wants the government to swap half its current loans for a 50% stake.

The government has so far given GM $15.4bn in loans.

Shares in General Motors rose 21%, or 35 cents, to $2.04.

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