GM to Offer Buyout to 74,000 U.S. Workers

Action comes as company reports $38.7 billion loss

General Motors said Feb. 12 it planned to offer voluntary buyouts to all 74,000 members of its union-represented U.S. workforce, as it posted its biggest annual loss ever.

GM reported that it had lost a record $38.7 billion in 2007, mostly due to a writedown in accumulated tax credits in the third quarter that were expected to expire unused.

The buyouts would permit GM to make a further transformation of its workforce in the face of eroding market share, especially in North America. The company said it was offering $140,000 to employees with more than 10 years of service and $70,000 to others.

GM is offering early retirement pension incentives of $45,000 for production employees or $62,500 for skilled trades workers. Eligible employees can select from a variety of ways to receive their incentive.

The plan is an expansion of an agreement with the United Auto Workers on a "comprehensive special attrition program."

"We've worked with our UAW partners to ensure our employees have a variety of attractive options to consider," said Rick Wagoner, GM CEO. "The special attrition program is an important initiative that will help us transform the workforce."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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