Here's the Firm That Fired 400 People on Call After Telling Them to Work Remotely for a Day

Here's the Firm That Fired 400 People on Call After Telling Them to Work Remotely for a Day
Cover Image Source: Stellantis shows off their Ram truck lineup at the Chicago Auto Show | Getty Images | Photo by Scott Olson

The layoff wave has hit firms across industries and while many CEOs have expressed regret about it, some weren't so kind and went on to fire people in ways that have been described as cruel. Stellantis is a global automotive giant that emerged as a result of the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Groupe PSA in January 2021. The company is working towards making a shift to the EV models and plans to spend $50 billion by 2030 on the transition. But it has received backlash for the manner in which it fired 400 people on call after announcing a mandatory day of remote work, so that the managers don't have to face employees.



 

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A memo was circulated regarding a mandatory remote work day citing "important operational meetings requiring specific attention and participation." With layoffs being a familiar occurrence at Stellantis, employees were braced for an announcement. However, their shock was palpable when approximately 400 salaried employees were terminated via a Zoom call the following day, which was deemed a callous move by many.

"It was a mass firing of everybody that was on the call," a mechanical engineer who lost their job during the call told Fox News. "They continue to push low-cost countries that are more efficient for the company and more profitable."



 

 

"The agreements are part of the initiatives implemented by Stellantis to address the effects of the ongoing energy and technology transition process including on employment," the company said in a statement. "This isn’t going to be the last. They are going to be doing this in waves so they can game the WARN Act," a close source told CarScoops.

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The law enacted in 1988 mandates large corporations to adhere to its regulation, stipulating a minimum 60-day notice period before announcing layoffs affecting 500 or more employees in a month. The recent layoffs at Stellantis mark the third round for white-collar workers this year.



 

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One worker shared discontent on thelayoff.com, expressing frustration over the perceived disparity in treatment between hard-working employees facing job loss and high-paid executives focused on maintaining their bonuses.

The employee lamented, "Who cares if hundreds of loyal and hard-working employees lose their livelihoods when there are executives with multi-million dollar pay who need to ensure their bonuses keep growing? Their priorities are perfectly clear. We’re insignificant."

Carlos Tavares, CEO Of Stellantis speaks with journalist during the Press Conference After Meeting Workers on March 31, 2022 in Turin, Italy. Image Source: Getty Images|Photo by Stefano Guidi
Image Source: Carlos Tavares, CEO Of Stellantis | Getty Images | Photo by Stefano Guidi

 

"As the auto industry continues to face unprecedented uncertainties and heightened competitive pressures around the world, Stellantis continues to make the appropriate structural decisions across the enterprise to improve efficiency and optimize our cost structure," the company told The Wall Street Journal.

Following the layoffs, the company offered lucrative buyout packages to its 9,000 US workers, though this move failed to quell the criticism voiced on social media and through protests.

According to the company, these layoffs are being framed as "voluntary" and will include retirement benefits. However, the impact will be felt by 1,520 workers in Turin and 950 at two other locations. With the recent move, the company has slashed approximately 12,000 jobs since 2021.

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