GM Offering Buyouts to 5,200 Workers

New round aims to slash labor costs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 5:59 AM CST
United Auto Workers members meet at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich. to discuss the new contract with General Motors in this Sept. 29, 2007 file photo. The revolutionary new contract shifts $46.7...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – General Motors is offering to buy out another 5,200 hourly workers, the Detroit News reports. The automaker, worried that the slowdown in auto sales will carry into next year, is keen to get veteran workers out the door and lower-paid new workers in. Over 34,000 blue-collar workers left the company last year in a similar deal.

"The acceptance rate should be lower this time, but it's definitely money well spent," commented an industry analyst. GM boss Rick Wagoner is trying to close the gap in labor costs between the company and its Asian rivals, and is negotiating with the United Auto Workers over further buyouts. Employees will have 45 days to accept the latest offer.