General Motors said May 29 about 19,000 of its U.S. hourly employees accepted buyouts as part of an attrition program, with most leaving the company by July 1.
GM had offered the deal to 74,000 employees of the automaker after it posted its biggest ever annual loss of $38.7 billion in 2007.
The company said it will fill job openings with current employees whenever possible, in accordance with its labor agreement with the United Auto Workers. In certain facilities where the company needs new employees, the people will be hired at the entry-level wage and benefit structure, GM said.
"Despite significant challenges in the U.S. market, we continue to reshape our business for long-term success," Troy Clarke, group vice president and president, GM North America, said.
"This attrition program gives us an opportunity to restructure our U.S. workforce through the entry-level wage and benefit structure for new hourly employees."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008