GM Buyouts, Pt. 1: 19k Flee Sinking Ship

gm buyouts pt 1 19k flee sinking ship

GM has been trying to realize savings from its two-tier wage agreement with the UAW by offering veteran hourly workers (who are locked in at old wages) cash buyouts to walk from their jobs. Well, the offer has expired and the Detroit News reports that some 19k UAW workers, or nearly a quarter of the General's North American work force, has taken the money and run. Although GM hadn't set a public goal for the buyouts, the 19k number was at the high end of UAW President Ron Gettelfinger's 5k to 20k estimate, and far exceeded Ford and Chrysler's most recent buyout takes. About 4,200 workers took Ford's latest buyout offer, about half of what the blue oval wanted. Chrysler's recently bought out about 7k workers, bringing it to nearly 80 percent of its hourly headcount reduction goal. But GM had to work hard to convince so many of its 46k workers who are eligible for retirement to walk away. The General offered $62,500 to each retirement-eligible worker, who then had the choice of receiving cash upfront or rolling payments into an IRA account, on top of full pension and retirement benefits. And while the carrots for leaving GM were good, the sticks are still looming for those left behind. Ominous reports from Automotive News (sub) tell of GM's "top managers working on additional restructuring measures to deal with a declining U.S. auto market." An anonymous source tells AN that GM plans to cut shifts at truck and SUV plants, cut about 2k salaried jobs through involuntary firings ( sound familiar?), and is considering "other actions." Gee, retirement is starting to sound pretty nice, eh?

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  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on May 30, 2008

    That's a great book, and an easy read, but I hardly think GM would use it for anything except kindling since he isn't so kind to Detroit in the book or any of those poorly run bureaucracies or our current politicians.

  • Nick Nick on May 31, 2008

    SunnyvaleCA...you are in good company, so long as I am good company. I'd kill for an offer like that.

  • Dave M. I will say this generation styling has grown on me; previously I thought the Fiat version was far better looking. Miatas have always been pure joy to drive.
  • Kendahl A Tesla feature has been free, periodic, over-the-air, software updates that add new features or improve existing ones. Owners brag that their x-year-old car is better today, because of the updates, than it was brand new. Will Tesla start charging for these updates after a few years? Teslas hold their value very well. I suspect losing free updates will do serious damage to that.
  • BklynPete When I was a kid, the joke about Nissan choosing the name Datsun goes like this:Nissan execs were uncomfortable with the World War 2 connotations of their name in the North American market. Seeing how successful VW was over here, they went to VW's most-recent German ad agency. The Japanese told the Germans they needed a new name. The Germans agreed. They asked the Nissan execs when they wanted a review of potential names. The execs said two weeks. The German ad people said, "dat soon?"I will be crucified.
  • Kendahl Modern cars are better mechanically in every way compared to cars from the 1960s. But, and my age is probably showing here, the older ones are prettier.
  • Master Baiter I like the references to Red Barchetta. My fun car is a spiritual cousin to this Miata: 2001 BMW M Roadster--green with tan leather; five speed.
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