Tuesday, June 27, 2006

35,000 to head for exits at GM in buyouts


35,000 to head for exits at GM in buyouts
More than 12,000 workers accept Delphi's offer of cash in exchange for leaving early.
By John Nolan
Staff Writer

DAYTON — About 35,000 hourly workers at General Motors Corp. have accepted buyout or early retirement offers to leave the automaker and help it reduce its manufacturing capacity and costs, GM said Monday.

Delphi Corp., GM's biggest parts supplier, separately said that about 12,600 of its employees have accepted retirement incentives to leave Delphi, a former GM unit in bankruptcy reorganization and trying to reduce its hourly labor expenses.

At both GM and Delphi, the workers have until Friday to change their minds about accepting the attrition offers, so the numbers won't become official until after that, company officials said.

Delphi has reached a separate agreement to offer buyouts to workers not yet eligible for retirement; the response to that program won't be known for weeks.

Rick Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive officer, said the workers who accepted the voluntary departure offers by last Friday's deadline included 33,800 represented by the United Auto Workers and 1,200 represented by the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America.

Of the 35,000 who accepted, 30,400 chose to retire and 4,600 who haven't worked long enough to qualify for retirement chose buyout options, Wagoner said.

Wagoner said the response exceeded GM's expectations and will help the company achieve its goal — reduce its hourly work force by 30,000 workers — two years earlier than expected, on Jan. 1, 2007.

The company will keep its plants running by relocating workers who accept transfers and absorbing some who return from Delphi, Wagoner said.

Rick Tincher, 50, an official with UAW Local 696 which represents hourly workers at Delphi's Dayton brake plant, said he signed up last week for a pre-retirement departure, but is reviewing his decision before it becomes official Friday.

He and other union members are under pressure to make important decisions that affect their families, he said.

"There's a lot of stress right now on the people in the plant," Tincher said.

Who was eligible

About 113,000 GM workers were eligible for buyouts of $35,000 to $140,000 . About 13,000 Delphi workers were eligible for a $35,000 payment.

What it will cost

GM will take a net, after-tax charge of $3.8 billion to pay for the GM and Delphi attrition programs . GM is to report more specific cost details July 26.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2242 or


Copyright ©2006 Cox Ohio Publishing, Dayton, Ohio, USA. All rights reserved.


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