Chrysler LLC will offer new buyouts to factory workers at seven of its
eight U.S. plants slated for closure under its bankruptcy plans, the
United Auto Workers union said on Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury has told
Chrysler the buyouts must be completed by May 26 for the automaker to
stay on schedule for coming out of bankruptcy, UAW Vice President
General Holiefield said in a memo to local union presidents.
the next few days, each member at these facilities will be sent a
letter from the corporation listing the special program options,
Holiefield said in the memo sent on May 11, a copy of which was
obtained by Reuters.
The automaker, which filed for bankruptcy on
April 30 after failing to restructure its debt, has detailed plans to
close eight plants as part of a sweeping restructuring needed to emerge
from bankruptcy by the end of June.
With the exception of
Chrysler's axle plant in Detroit all the workers at the other plants
scheduled for shutdown -- which include Sterling Heights and Conner
assembly plants in Michigan -- will be offered special programs,
The automaker has been offering buyouts and
early retirement incentives to all of its 26,000 U.S. hourly workers
under a program launched in February. The program offers
retirement-eligible workers $50,000 in cash and a voucher of $25,000
for a new Chrysler vehicle if they leave.
Chrysler spokesman Max
Gates declined to comment whether the company was planning new
incentives to the hourly workers at the affected plants. UAW
representatives were not immediately available for comment.
U.S. government-supported restructuring centers on selling
substantially all of its assets to a new company, which would be 55
percent owned by a union-aligned healthcare trust, or Voluntary
Beneficiary Employees Association.
has idled all of its U.S. plants for the duration of the bankruptcy
reorganization. The automaker aimed to complete the reorganization
within 60 days of the filing.
Holiefield said the UAW is in discussions with Chrysler to resolve the
many issues we are confronted with to assure the bankruptcy process is
completed in order to get our plants back up and running as a viable