March 24, 2009

GM workers face critical decision

Reports General Motors Corp. may go bankrupt haven't created a mad dash to the door by rank-and-file workers, in spite of company incentives to leave.

Workers who volunteer to quit their jobs have been promised a $25,000 voucher for a new GM vehicle and $20,000 in cash in a buyout program that ends Tuesday, The Detroit News reported.

Thinning its ranks considerably would increase GM's financial viability but there's only been moderate participation in the buyout plan, United Auto Workers Local 1714 President Dave Green said to the newspaper.

Company spokeswoman Sherrie Childers Arb wouldn't comment to the News on how many had accepted the offer, which applies to all 62,000 GM hourly workers.

The company's restructuring plan calls for erasing 47,000 jobs, closing 14 plants and selling or closing down Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab brands, the News said.

With the possibility of bankruptcy looming, workers feel caught in the headlights.

I'm really afraid to take it, Fairfax, Kan., assembly worker Bobbie Cornett told the News. 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.