GM may buy out more hourly workers |

GM may buy out more hourly workers

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. may further reduce its blue-collar work force by offering another round of buyouts, according to an industry analyst.In a note to investors after a meeting with Troy Clarke, GM’s North American president, JP Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel wrote that GM has studied Ford Motor Co.’s buyout packages and may make another offer to workers in 2008 or later.”We sensed an implicit statement that certain aspects of Ford’s (more successful) buyout program could have been implemented at GM,” Patel wrote in the note, distributed Thursday.Ford’s buyout and early retirement offers, which included a college tuition reimbursement package and were heavily promoted by the United Auto Workers union, drew 38,000 workers. They have several months to change their minds.GM’s packages earlier this year enticed about 34,400 workers to leave the company. About 30,000 will have left by the end of this year, GM has said.GM spokesman Tony Cervone said GM has no specific plans to offer further buyouts, although it must make more cuts to reach a goal of reducing structural costs to 25 percent of revenue.”While there are no specific plans for buyouts or anything of that sort right now, clearly the goal is still there, and we need to realize it. Nothing’s on the table, but really nothing’s off the table right now, either,” he said.Patel wrote that Ford’s program appears to be more successful in part because the UAW leadership promoted it more heavily.GM shares rose 54 cents to $29.59 in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange.—On the Net:General Motors Corp.:

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