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GM tells its Cruise employees 24% of them will be laid off 'through no fault of their own'

Company says it now will focus on just 1 market for driverless taxis before scaling up

The GM-owned Cruise driverless taxi startup said Thursday in a blog post on its website that 24% of full-time Cruise workers will be laid off. The company said workers will get pay through April 8. Photo courtesy of Cruise
The GM-owned Cruise driverless taxi startup said Thursday in a blog post on its website that 24% of full-time Cruise workers will be laid off. The company said workers will get pay through April 8. Photo courtesy of Cruise

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- On Thursday, the GM-owned Cruise driverless taxi startup told its employees in an email and blog post that 24% of full-time Cruise workers will be laid off.

"Today, we are making staff reductions that will affect 24% of full-time Cruisers, through no fault of their own," the company said in a blog post on its website. "We are simplifying and focusing our efforts to return with an exceptional service in one city to start with and focusing on the Bolt platform for this first step before we scale. As a result, we are reducing our employee counts in operations and other areas."

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GM said in the post that laid off workers will get pay through April 8, "plus continued subsidized health benefits, RSU vesting, the January 5 bonus, and additional immigration support for those holding work visas" will continue to be factors.

"We know there's no 'good' way to lay off employees, but treating people fairly on their way out was a key principle that guided our approach, and our top priority was determining how we could provide a strong severance package, while treating departing Cruisers with respect," the company said.

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Laid-off workers will stay on payroll until Feb. 12 and are eligible for an additional 8 weeks of pay, with long-time workers being offered an additional 2 weeks' pay for every year at Cruise over three years.

In November, the GM-owned Cruise recalled all of its 950 self-driving systems after one vehicle dragged a pedestrian struck by another car.

That followed California's suspension of Cruise's permit to operate driverless vehicles in October.

Cruise stopped its driverless taxi operations across all its fleets right after that "to rebuild public trust" after losing the ability to operate in California.

"As a result of our decision to slow down commercialization, we are restructuring to focus on delivering the improvements to our tech and vehicle performance that will build trust in our AVs," the Cruise post said.

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