hourly GM workers change their minds on voluntary redundancy
7 April 2009

Around 600 General Motors workers who originally agreed an early retirement settlement have changed their minds, GM has admitted.

Of more than 7600 hourly-paid employees who had originally accepted the early retirement package, just over 7000 have actually taken up the option.

The final deadline for the GM offer came last week, just a day after the Obama administration rejected GM’s outline plan for a return to profitability.

The offer, which includes a $20,000 (£13.5k) lump sum and a $25,000 (£17k) voucher towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle, is aimed at reducing the amount of GM employees on hourly wages.

In 2007 GM negotiated a deal that meant newly hired hourly-wage workers would get around half the pay - $14 or £9.40 - of existing employees.

However, the downturn in the global and domestic US car market has left GM with no need to hire new hourly workers, and with a wage bill that hasn’t been reduced anywhere near as much as GM had envisaged.

Matt Rigby

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