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7,500 General Motors Workers Accept Buyout; 14,000 More Say No

Approximately 7,500 retirement-eligible General Motors (GM) auto workers have accepted a company buyout worth up to $45,000. A company statement says that most of the UAW-represented employees will leave by April 1. "These employees have many years of dedicated service to General Motors and I'd like to personally thank them for all they have done for the company," says Gary Cowger, a GM group vice president. "This is another example of GM's commitment to execute our Viability Plan." The New York Times reports that more than 14,000 other workers who were offered the buyout packages have opted to stay with the company, presenting a potential problem for GM as it nears a March 31 deadline to demonstrate to President Barack Obama's auto task force that they are making the necessary progress on cutting labor costs. GM has borrowed $13.4 billion from the federal government since December and is asking for an additional $16.6 billion. Chrysler has also offered its UAW-represented workers a buyout; Reuters reports that the company has extended the deadline and did not name a new date. Chrysler has borrowed $4 billion from the feds and has requested an additional $5 billion. Ford Motor Company will also offer buyouts to its union workers, but they have not requested federal bailout funds.

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