Well, you may or may not know that I work for Delphi Automotive, the spun-off arm of GM’s component operations. They’ve filed for bankruptcy and however that plays out, it’s plain to see that things are not going back the way they were.

GM and Delphi offered a retirement incentive package designed to cut the total number of employees drastically. Employees with 30 years of service, who are already elegible to retire, are being offered $35k to go. Those who are a bit short of 30 years are being offered another deal. Those with 27-29 years seniority are being given a pre-retirement package where they will be allowed to leave and accumulate the rest of their 30 years while being paid a slightly lower monthly amount.

Locally, that’s the bulk of the workforce. The last really big hirings were in the last half of the 70s. Until some recent, limited hirings in the 90s, almost no new hires were made. Anyone in betweeen those were GM area hires, and have other GM time that puts them near the 30-year service mark.

Those who are left without a retirement option, are being given a “Flowback” opportunity to transfer to a GM plant, if an opening exists. With GM offering essentially the same package, there should be openings despite their closing of some plants.

A friend at work, who will fall under the 30-and-out category and get the $35k incentive (as I do also) summed it up like this:

It’s like being given the last seat in the last lifeboat on the Titanic and they’re handing you a lifejacket to boot. You’d be a fool not to take it.