Thousands Of GM Employees Take Buyouts

A large number of hourly employees, 35,000, took GM up on its buyout program, placing GM ahead of its schedule to reach a 30,000 job reduction by Jan. 1, 2007. Approximately 4,600 of the employees accepted buyouts and 30,400 chose to retire.

"These moves have given us a fast start toward achieving our stated objective of reducing GM's global structural cost from approximately 34% of revenue in 2005, to 25% of revenue by 2010, and setting us up to be successful for years to come," said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.

Employees who chose to leave the company will retire or leave no later than Jan. 1, 2007 and GM will use temporary employees as necessary while permanent replacements are put in place."All temporary, relocated, and Delphi flow-back workers will receive extensive training to maintain GM's safety leadership and strong quality performance," GM said.

Wagoner thanked the UAW in his statement; "We appreciate the UAW's steady support in working with us as we make the necessary moves to restructure GM North America for long-term success."

Workforce reduction is part of GM's overall North American turnaround plan. According to a company statement, other major actions taken towards this plan include, "the health-care agreement with the UAW and the IUE-CWA; the manufacturing capacity plan; changes to U.S. salaried health-care and pension plans; a complete overhaul of GM's marketing strategy; and accelerated launches of key new product entries and technologies."

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