The three assembly plants that will close are: Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit, and Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio.
"They told me straight up there's nothing we can do", Ford said, adding that the news was "absolutely devastating".
The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15 per cent of GM's North American white-collar workforce. The company said it is aiming to save $6.5 billion in "cost efficiencies" through 2018. The company last month offered voluntary buyouts for 18,000 salaried workers. The company has said tariffs on imported steel, imposed earlier this year by the Trump administration, have cost it $1 billion.
Through the UAW, workers at Lordstown have worked to improve quality, cut the number of union locals to make it easier for GM to negotiate and agreed to the outsourcing of some jobs, in a bid to persuade the automaker to add more models to its factory line. In Ontario, it plans to halt production of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS by the final quarter of 2019.
Ohio's incoming governor, Republican Mike DeWine, said he plans on meeting with GM officials and make a case for the plant after he takes office in January.
Four factories in the USA and one in Canada could be shuttered by the end of 2019 if the automaker and its unions don't come up with an agreement to allocate more work to those facilities, GM said in a statement Monday. But the political atmosphere might limit realistic choices for the Detroit automaker. GM has several plants running well below that.
GM said it was ending Volt production because the vehicle was meant to be a bridge to fully electric cars when it was introduced about a decade ago. "They better put something else in", Trump said. Actions are being taken to reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent, which includes 25 percent fewer executives to streamline decision making.
Let's start in the U.S. If GM wants to close those OH and MI plants, it can't just lock the doors tomorrow and throw the keys away. "The other two Detroit automakers (Ford and Chrysler) have already announced that they are pulling back from those models so there had to be some correction".
The stepped up cost-cutting and restructuring at GM comes as many industry executives and analysts predict that overall vehicle sales in the United States will decline further in 2019 and 2020. Oshawa is about 37 miles (60 km) east of Toronto.
A spokesperson for GM has declined to comment on the report. GM had been expected to close plants because of struggling sales.
Toyota Motor Corp. also has discussed cutting costs, even though it's building a new assembly plant in Alabama.
"The UAW and our members will confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership", the union said in a statement.
General Motors is axing more than 14,000 jobs and closing factories amid growing fears of an economic slowdown and trade war.
Oshawa Mayor John Henry said he had not spoken to anyone from GM. Jennifer French, who represents Oshawa in the provincial legislature, said she finds the news "gravely concerning".