35,000 Hourly Workers Taking Buyouts Or Early Retirements

Tuesday, June 27th 2006, 5:29 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) About 35,000 hourly workers at General Motors have taken buyout or early retirement offers, surpassing the company's expectations as it tries to cut costs by paring its hourly work force.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said yesterday that the job cuts will help GM's long-term turnaround plan as it cuts production capacity to match its current sales and market share.

GM previously announced plans to cut its 113,000 person US hourly work force by 30,000.

The deadline for GM workers to file paperwork for the offers was Friday, but they have seven days to change their minds.

At a GM assembly plant in Oklahoma City that's idled and slated to be shut down, the United Auto Workers local reported on its Web site that 1,426 workers took the offers. That's almost 60 percent of the 2,400 member local. Another 377 workers will transfer to other plants.

Because so many people are leaving, GM will have to scramble to keep plants and assembly lines running by recalling laid-off workers, bringing in transfers from other plants and hiring new people.