General Motors reported Thursday that 18,657 U.S. hourly workers — almost a quarter of its blue-collar employees — have taken buyout offers originally offered in February. By clearing out more expensive experienced workers, GM can fill the vacancies with less-expensive, lower-paid employees thanks to a deal negotiated with the UAW last fall. Because nothing will help maintain GM's new-found, hard-earned vehicle quality like paying all their experienced line workers to piss off so they can teach Burger King rejects to spot-weld for $8 an hour.
Considering that buyout incentives ranged from $45,000 to $140,000, depending upon seniority and job description, a sociologist might visualize tens of thousands of factory workers taking their new-found cash cushions, re-educating themselves, and re-entering the workforce in a few years' time trained for new, high-demand jobs. A cynic, on the other hand, might visualize jet-ski and snowmobile sales spiking during the next six months, followed by a wave of repossessions and unemployment claims as ex-assembly workers deplete their savings and sober up. Thank God we're sociologists. Oh, wait...
[Automotive News (Sub. Req.)]