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Chrysler Launches New Round of UAW Buyouts

September 15, 2008
Related Topics: Downsizing, Retirement/Pensions, Latest News
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Chrysler is offering another round of employee buyouts to its Michigan workforce.

The 2,500 UAW hourly workers at Chrysler’s Warren Truck assembly plant in suburban Detroit received notice of the buyout offers Thursday, September 11, said Mark Dickow, shop chairman at the plant for UAW Local 140.

Earlier buyouts and retirement packages were as high as $100,000. Chrysler spokeswoman Mary Beth Halprin said the next round of buyouts would be “unique to the industry and be achieved in partnership with the state of Michigan.” She declined to elaborate.

Chrysler, which has about 45,000 UAW employees, is following Ford Motor Co. in its efforts to prune UAW production ranks in the face of falling North American sales.

Dickow said about 960 workers at Warren Truck took a buyout in 2007 and 140 more did so this year. He wouldn’t estimate how many might take this third round.

Halprin declined to say how many workers took Chrysler’s earlier buyout offers.

Ford announced another round of buyouts this summer when only 4,100 workers took a package offered after the new year. Ford had hoped for twice that number to take a package.

The carmakers are using buyouts to bring staffing in line with falling production, especially for light trucks. The Detroit Three rely on pickups and SUVs for more than half of their vehicle sales.

Filed by David Barkholz and Bradford Wernle of Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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