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GM says it will offer early retirement incentives to workers


DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it plans to offer early-retirement incentives to thousands of white-collar workers in hopes of eliminating about 5,000 jobs.

The automaker wants to cut its U.S. white-collar work force of about 50,000 by 10 percent. GM employs more than 300,000 workers worldwide.

GM spokesman Tom Wickham said the buyouts are the latest attempt by the automaker to cut costs.

The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that select groups of white-collar employees 50 and older will be given a lucrative early-retirement package effective April 1.

The news surfaced in the midst of the media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Company officials also said the automaker will delay handing out annual merit raises to employees until late 2002. GM traditionally gives out pay raises at midyear.

Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce a major cost-cutting campaign on Friday that analysts say could mean the elimination of up to 20,000 jobs.

DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group is in the middle of restructuring, with plant closings and 26,000 job cuts announced nearly a year ago.
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