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Business Briefing / Labor

GM is said to be offering buyouts

February 03, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A United Auto Workers official said General Motors Corp. was moving to reduce its factory workforce by offering early retirement and buyout packages to all U.S. hourly workers represented by the union.

The official said the offers of $20,000 in cash and a $25,000 voucher to buy a vehicle were made by e-mail to local union officials. The official asked not to be identified because not all workers had been notified.

Meanwhile, a union official said Chrysler already was offering buyout and early retirement packages to hourly workers in an effort to replace them with new hires who would earn less money.

The official said that Chrysler announced the offers Friday and that they were similar to packages the automaker offered last year. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan had not been announced publicly.

Chrysler production workers who are represented by the UAW make about $29 an hour. Under a contract reached last year, the company can pay some replacement workers $14 an hour and give them less-costly healthcare and retirement benefits.

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