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7,500 GM workers, 12 percent of total, take buyout offer

About 7,500 General Motors workers, 12 percent of the automaker’s U.S. hourly work force, have signed up to take buyout and early-retirement incentives, GM said Thursday.

That includes 162 people at its Arlington assembly plant in Texas, which employs 2,280. The plant is GM’s only one that makes large SUVs. Three hundred accepted hte offer at GM's plant in Kansas City, Kan.

Chrysler also said Thursday that it will extend its deadline to entice blue-collar workers to leave. The old deadline was today.

GM offered $20,000 cash and a $25,000 voucher to buy a car to all of its 62,400 hourly U.S. employees in an effort to further trim its blue-collar work force to match reduced sales.

The departures and other actions taken by GM "will help ensure the long-term viability and future success of General Motors," said Gary Cowger, group vice president of global manufacturing.

Most workers who chose to leave took early retirement, said a person familiar with the numbers who did not want to be identified because the breakdown had not been made public.

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