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GM offering new retirement packages, while hiring new engineers

While offering a new round of early retirement packages to skilled trades, GM is also attempting to hire more engineers to replace the brain drain of the last two years. This latest offer appears to be focused solely on adjusting its North American manufacturing staff since emerging from bankruptcy on July 10 last year.

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Details in the Bloomberg report indicated the early-retirement packages are worth $60,000 each to about 2,000 skilled-trades workers at 14 U.S. plants. However, Bloomberg also noted that CNBC reported the retirement incentives earlier without ever saying where it got the information.

GM then officially announced the offer and aims to eliminate the positions by March, according to Tom Wilkinson, a company spokesman. Eight of the 14 plants are scheduled to close and two may shut if GM doesn’t need them.

On the white collar side

GM said Nov. 30 that it will hire 1,000 engineers in Michigan over the next two years to help expand the automakers’ lineup of electric-drive vehicles. Rumor even has it that GM is having difficulty hiring proficient CAD operators to keep pace with next wave of its present program releases. Another rumor has some working overtime.

TorqueNews readers should not be surprised, though. Read my very first TN article, GM may be challenged to find 1000 engineers.

What about retirees saying?

There is a sidebar aspect to these latest offers: White collar retirees, especially pre-62, early retirees who are ineligible for social security, had to take significant medical cuts after they made their decision to leave. In fact, they lost dental, eye care and had to absorb increases as well as a $5K annual deductible.

Saturn employees, for example, got hit especially hard. Although Saturn was a wholley-owned subsidiary, not a division, their Saturn time was not allowed to be counted toward their social security supplement.

Their sacrifice was greater than any of those who retained their job. It is not surprising that retirees balk at these $60 K offers in addition to management complaints that it wants to give raises to executives.

Some local Detroit articles reported there has been a tremendous amount of chatter on various websites about retirees being offended.

Many even wonder when the GM Retirees Association is going to do more than just put up a website.

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