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GM to open the wallet for workers one more time

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http://money.canoe.ca/News/Other/2008/07/29/6295886-sun.html

GM Oshawa workers demanded work or wages.

The Canadian Auto Workers Local 222 told more than 1,000 members inside the GM Centre yesterday that now they have both.

Union leaders unveiled details of a grievance resolution that will give workers close to retirement up to $120,000 to walk away and offer cash buyouts for young workers. All who leave will get $35,000 car vouchers.

Those left in the thinned ranks of the auto giant were told the deal locked in car model production east of Toronto for the near future.

Local president Chris Buckley called it making "the very best out of a very terrible situation."

The landmark package comes after last month's bombshell announcement that the GM Oshawa truck plant was closing and the ensuing 12-day blockade of GM Canada's head office.

The retirement incentives and buyouts range from $37,500 for a worker with less than three years experience up to $120,000 for a tradesman ready to retire. The offer was being made to around 3,676 eligible workers at GM Oshawa. Each employee is eligible for a $35,000 car voucher along with the cash.

"This is incredibly expensive for GM," said David Robertson, CAW director of work organization and training. "This is all money GM has to find over and above income security."

Aside from the details of the deal, the message to workers was the blockade of GM's Canadian head office last month was a successful skirmish in the ongoing war to weather the "perfect storm" of a high Canadian dollar, high fuel prices, the U.S. mortgage meltdown and low sales, battering the auto industry.

Workers marched on GM's head office after the company announced the closure of the Oshawa truck plant, just weeks after GM and the union inked their collective bargaining agreement.

"Fighting back makes a difference," Buckley told the crowd. "Made in Canada matters."

In exchange for the commitments, the union agreed to drop the grievance filed against the company after the blockade.

"Heaven forbid they want us to go back to the swamp," plant union chairman Keith Osborne said, referring to the company's head office. "All we want is jobs."

Alongside the Chevrolet Camaro expected to start being produced in Oshawa later this year, GM committed to extending the Chevrolet Impala production by one year to 2013.

Two mid-size, front-wheel drive vehicles will be produced at the plant starting in late 2010 and early 2013 and an additional rear-wheel drive vehicle have been committed to the plant.

PLANT CLOSURE DELAYED

GM also agreed to not demolish the truck plant for the life of the agreement.

Both the company and the union were tight-lipped about what those car models would be, citing the need for secrecy to remain competitive.

Stew Low, director of communications for GM Canada, said the resolution "turns the page," for the company and the union. "It puts the truck plant closing behind us," he said. "This is about doing the right thing for employees."

The company has a history of providing packages for employees left jobless because of plant closures or restructuring, he said.

"We've always been able to sit down and solve problems (with the union) in a collaborative way," Low said.

The company said it was up to any employee considering the buyout to make a "personal decision." Low said there was no set number on how many employees had to take advantage of the offers.

Despite celebrating yesterday's resolution, union officials warned their membership the fight to keep automotive jobs in Canada isn't over and that GM plants in Asia, Mexico and Russia continue to grow while the Oshawa plant shrinks.

One official said "one more plant closure would wipe Oshawa off the map."

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THE DEAL

GOODBYE PACKAGES

Option 1 -- Retirement Incentive

Individuals who are eligible to retire will be entitled to:

- Production: $100,000 plus $35,000 car voucher.

- Trades: $120,000 plus $35,000 car voucher.

Option 2 -- Buyout Program

Those not eligible to retire who agree to leave:

- Production: $37,500 (less than three years) ranging to $100,000 (greater than eight years) plus $35,000 car voucher.

- Trades: $45,000 (less than three years) ranging to $120,000 (greater than eight years) plus $35,000 car voucher.

Option 3 -- Leave to Retirement Program

For those close to retirement:

- Production: $50,000 (26 years but less than 27) ranging to $80,000 (29 years but less than 30) plus $35,000 car voucher plus leave to retirement at 65% of wages.

- Trades: $60,000 (26 years but less than 27) ranging to $96,000 (29 years but less than 30) plus $35,000 car voucher plus leave to retirement at 65% of wages.

HIGHLIGHTS OF GM PLEDGES

TRUCK PLANT

- GM won't demolish the plant even after they close it next year for the life of the agreement or unless mutually agreed upon.

- A gym inside the plant will remain open or be relocated.

CHEVROLET IMPALA

- Subject to market demand, GM will maintain three shifts for 2009.

- Production extended from 2012 to '13.

OTHER VEHICLES

- A rear-wheel drive vehicle will be added to production at GM Oshawa alongside the Chevrolet Camaro.

- Two mid-size front-wheel drive vehicles will be added to production in late 2010 and early 2013 respectively.

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- A rear-wheel drive vehicle will be added to production at GM Oshawa alongside the Chevrolet Camaro.

Interesting. G8? G8 Truck? Buick? STS/DTS replacement? :scratchchin:

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I'll walk for $120,000! Hell I'll even sprint barefoot!

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Interesting. G8? G8 Truck? Buick? STS/DTS replacement? :scratchchin:

May we be pleasantly surprised whichever it is.

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