GM Trimming its Skilled Trades Workforce

Automaker is offering buyouts to approximately 2,000 skilled trades employees.

In an effort to reduce headcount in its skilled trades employment ranks, General Motors Co. is offering buyouts to roughly 2,000 skilled workers at 14 GM plants.

The automaker is offering each worker $60,000 to leave by March 2011.

GM will notify the workers between now and Dec. 23, which is the automaker's last workday of 2010.

Skilled trades workers who are retirement-eligible can take the buyout and retire with full benefits, while those who aren't retirement-eligible would forfeit their benefits for accepting the cash, GM spokesman Chris Lee told IndustryWeek.com.

"They would just leave GM as a 'voluntary quit,'" Lee said of those workers who aren't retirement-eligible.

Most of the plants involved in the buyout program have closed or are scheduled to close, Lee said.

Skilled trades workers at GM, such as electricians, millwrights, toolmakers and carpenters, must go through apprenticeship programs to learn their trades.

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