Workers who are losing their jobs at GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario could receive retirement packages that reach as high as $150,000, along with a $10,000 voucher against the purchase of a new car.
The plant's closure will send some 2,600 assembly line workers out the door when the Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS
and last-generation full-size pickup trucks end production later this year.
GM recently announced it is investing $170 million into the plant to stamp new and aftermarket parts, and to turn a portion of the plant into a test track for autonomous vehicles. The move is expected to save 300 hourly jobs, which could grow to 500 jobs in three years.
Unifor Local 222, which represents the workers, outlined the retirement packages. About 1,300 employees will qualify to receive them.
The top package of $150,000 is for skilled trades. For other employees with 30 years of credited service, or who are of retirement age, the package will be $130,000. Both packages would include a vehicle voucher.
Workers with ten years of service, but who are younger than 50, can accept a $130,000 package and voucher. Those of the appropriate age can instead opt for a three-year layoff and then receive early retirement benefits when they turn 50 years old.
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The packages for those with less than ten years of service range from $40,000 for those with at least four years, to a payment of $10,000 for those who worked for less than a year.
GM also operates two other facilities in Ontario: a powertrain plant in St. Catharines, and a parts centre in Woodstock. Some Oshawa workers with more than five years of experience will be eligible for a $10,000 allowance to relocate to those facilities, and in turn, senior workers at those plants will be offered a $40,000 retirement incentive to open new positions on a one-job-for-one-job basis.