The United Auto Workers union said Monday it had agreed to an early retirement program with General Motors Corp. that would let some workers as young as 50 leave with full benefits, potentially slashing more than 10,000 jobs from the auto maker's hourly work force.
The plan will be financed by up to $450 million in funds set aside by the UAW and GM for training. It is the latest sign of a more cooperative relationship emerging between the company and its union--even as GM seeks to eliminate 54,000 UAW jobs by 1995.
"We have said all along that we sought a problem-solving relationship with GM management, and this agreement demonstrates that we can work together to address the challenges faced by the union and the corporation," UAW Vice President Stephen Yokich told union leaders from GM plants around the country, who gathered in Detroit Monday to hear the details of the plan.
Under the retirement plan, workers between 50 and 61 who have put in at least 10 years with GM can retire with full pension benefits, even if they go to work somewhere else. Workers 61 and older can retire with their full pension benefits, plus $13,000 toward the purchase of a new U.S.-built GM car or truck. Those who take the deal must retire on Feb. 1 or March 1.