Nearly 600 GM Lordstown workers accept early retirement or buyout
Special program expected to alleviate layoff of second shift
By Jordyn Grzelewski
As the layoff of the second shift approaches, nearly 600 employees at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Complex have opted to retire early or accept a buyout.
Dave Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, said Monday that 595 production and skilled workers had opted in to the company’s special attrition program, which was announced in April when GM announced the elimination of the second shift at the Lordstown plant.
The program is expected to mitigate the layoffs, although the exact impact has not yet been announced.
Previously, GM said the shift elimination could lead to up to 1,500 layoffs, which represents half of the plant’s current workforce.
“Obviously it’s going to help retain some people,” Green said. “We want to retain as many members working as we can. For the people who leave, that should save the spot of someone else.”
General Motors declined to comment at this time.
The Vindicator previously reported the terms offered to production workers.
Under the retirement option, employees who opted to retire early agreed to retire no later than July 1 “under the normal or voluntary provisions of the 2015 GM-UAW pension plan.” Early retirees who work in production will receive a cash payment of $60,000.
Under the buyout option, participants agreed to “relinquish all seniority and rights under GM benefit plans” other than vested pension plans.
Those who accepted a buyout will receive a lump-sum payment based on their seniority. The sums for production workers range from $50,000 for workers with 20 or more years of seniority to $5,000 for workers with less than five years of seniority.
June 22 is slated to be the last day with two shifts. The plant lost its third shift in January 2017.
The plant builds the Chevrolet Cruze sedan.
Cruze sales declined for 11 consecutive months as of March, when GM stopped releasing monthly sales reports. A quarterly sales report will be released next month.