Official company statement:

GM continues to transform its North American operations by announcing approximately 19,000 of its U.S. hourly employees have decided to take advantage of the company’s attrition program. Most of the employees participating in the program will leave the company no later than July 1, 2008.

GM will fill job openings with current employees whenever possible, as spelled out in the provisions of the GM/UAW national labor agreement. In facilities where GM needs new employees, those individuals would be hired in at the entry-level wage and benefit structure. The extent of the new hiring at each facility will be determined on a plant-by-plant basis.

“Despite significant challenges in the U.S. market, we continue to reshape our business for long-term success,” said Troy Clarke, Group Vice President and President, GM North America. “This attrition program gives us an opportunity to restructure our U.S. workforce through the entry-level wage and benefit structure for new hourly employees.”

Clarke recognized UAW leadership’s role in negotiating the 2008 attrition program. “We appreciate the UAW’s support in making business improvements that provide a more secure future for General Motors and its employees,” he said.

He also recognized employees’ role in the continued transformation of GM’s business.

“Participation in the attrition program was an important, personal choice for employees and their families,” Clarke said. “I want to personally thank those who decided to participate for their many contributions to General Motors. For those who chose to stay, we must continue to work together to build the world’s best products for our customers.”