GM luring idled workers to four plants

June 25, 1994|By New York Times News Service

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. is offering some of its idled hourly workers up to $60,000 to move to four plants where jobs are available.

The offer is the latest in a series of attempts by GM to plug a perennial drain on its coffers: members of the United Automobile Workers union who draw full wages for not working.

The UAW negotiated that benefit as part of a 1990 contract with GM, to discourage the company from laying off workers. Under the terms of the 1993 contract, GM can generally force laid-off workers to take new jobs only if those jobs are within 50 miles of their old ones.

As a result, GM has resorted to a series of sweeteners to induce its workers to move or retire.

Through the new offer, GM is trying to move workers to its plants in Arlington, Texas, Shreveport, La., Janesville, Wis., and Defiance, Ohio.

Under the terms of the deal, which has been available to some workers since April, employees who decide to move will receive a $25,000 "signing bonus," said Charles C. Licari, a spokesman for GM. They will then be reimbursed for some moving expenses and will receive additional bonuses after the first and second years at their new jobs.

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