Workers weigh pros, cons of latest buyout offer from ailing GM

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Workers weigh pros, cons of latest buyout offer from ailing GM

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

The bankruptcy speculation surrounding General Motors Corp. is clouding the decision-making process of hourly workers who must decide today whether to accept early retirement and buyouts, or stick with a company that could be forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The automaker is trying to thin its ranks by offering eligible workers a $25,000 voucher for a new GM vehicle and $20,000 in cash. A large participation could help GM inch closer to becoming a viable company, help it meet requirements of a $13.4 billion loan package and improve odds of receiving up to $16.6 billion in additional federal aid. Workers are worried about what might happen to pensions and other retirement benefits if GM files bankruptcy but also are concerned about passing up what could be the last buyout and early-retirement offer from GM.

"I’m really afraid to take it," said Bobbie Cornett, 58, an assembly line worker at GM’s plant in Fairfax, Kan. "I’m not sure if it’s worth it to wait and see if they’re going to file bankruptcy. I’ll probably be in a better position if I’m still working than if I’m out there and retired."

GM spokeswoman Sherrie Childers Arb would not say how many workers accepted the offers ahead of today’s deadline.

GM would like to see at least half of the 22,000 retirement eligible workers leave. The offers apply to all of its 62,000 hourly workers. Under its restructuring plan, GM wants to eliminate 47,000 workers, shutter 14 plants and sell, shrink or kill its Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab brands.

There has been "moderate participation" among UAW Local 1714 workers in Lordstown, Ohio, where GM produces the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, said UAW local President Dave Green.

Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier