Buyout offers from Delphi, GM getting mixed reception
Monday, March 20th 2006, 8:41 AM CST
LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Buyout deals being offered to UAW members at General Motors Corp. and auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. are getting a favorable reception from some workers.
Chris ``Tiny'' Sherwood of United Auto Workers Local 652, which represents GM workers in some Lansing-area plants, said members were calling union headquarters by late morning to say they plan to take the buyout.
But Bob Tyrrell of Norman, Okla., doesn't want the deal. He has worked the second shift at the GM plant in Oklahoma City since 1979 and said he was more interested in having a good job.
Tyrrell, 45, had planned to retire in 2009 after 30 years of employment with the automaker.
``Cash doesn't really help me,'' he said. ``Potentially I could live 30 years. We'd rather be working than waiting. I don't want to sit around and collect welfare. Money for nothing is not my way of life. I want to work. Most of us want to work.
About 100,000 hourly GM workers will be eligible for payouts of between $35,000 and $140,000 depending on their years of service and whether they want to keep retirement benefits such as health care coverage.
At Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors in October, up to 5,000 workers will be eligible to return to GM, Delphi's former parent company, while 13,000 U.S. hourly workers will be eligible for a lump sum payment of up to $35,000 to retire. Delphi has about 34,000 U.S. hourly workers.
At a Delphi plant in Anderson, Ind., one worker said he's considering the buyout.
``I'm going to take a really hard look at it because at my age and years of service. I've been contemplating retirement, so this might be the time to do it,'' Estes Boles, a Delphi worker for 39 years in Anderson and bargaining chairman for UAW Local 662, told WISH-TV.
Under the plan, GM and Delphi workers will be eligible for payouts of $35,000 for normal or early voluntary retirements retroactive to Oct. 1, 2005. The deal applies to workers who are at least 50 years of age and have 10 years or more of credited service.
GM employees with at least 10 years' experience can take a one-time $140,000 buyout to sever all ties to GM and Delphi, including health care coverage and other post-retirement benefits. Vested pension benefits would not be affected.
GM employees with fewer than 10 years' experience could take a one-time $70,000 buyout to accept the same deal.
GM's plan doesn't require approval, and company spokesman Dan Flores said retirements could begin as early as June 1. Salaried workers won't be eligible for the early retirement offers. Delphi's plan must be approved by a bankruptcy court.