DETROIT -- General Motors will offer about 5,200 UAW employees in the United States buyout offers early next year, the automaker said today.
The buyouts are part of the four-year, labor agreement GM reached with the union on Sept. 26, following a two-day nationwide strike. The contract allows GM to bring in thousands of lower-wage new hires for "non core" jobs to replace current workers as they retire or take buyouts.
These lower-wage new hires will start at about $14 per hour -- roughly half the current average hourly wage for UAW workers.
Workers at 23 company service, parts and operations facilities, two metal stamping plants in Pittsburgh and Massena, N.Y., as well as workers in jobs banks in Oklahoma City, Linden, N.J. and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. will be offered the buyouts, GM spokesman Dan Flores said.
GM will provide specifics on the deal to employees in January, when it rolls out the first phase of its voluntary "special attrition program," Flores said.
The program will be offered later to hourly employees who work in GM's assembly, stamping, powertrain and engineering facilities in early 2008.
GM said the buyouts will include a combination of early retirement incentives and other programs similar to those offered in 2006. Under that deal with the UAW, more than 34,000 workers left GM after accepting buyout packages that ranged from $35,000 to as much as $140,000.
GM's offer comes as concerns mount that the U.S. housing slowdown will hurt auto sales in 2008.
"We continue to work closely with our UAW partners to improve our competitiveness in the currently challenging U.S. market conditions," said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.