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General Motors to offer buyout to 74,000 workers

US automaker plans to offer voluntary buyouts to all 74,000 members of its union-represented US workforce, as it posted its biggest annual loss ever.

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US automaker General Motors said Tuesday it planned to offer voluntary buyouts to all 74,000 members of its union-represented US workforce, as it posted its biggest annual loss ever.

GM reported Tuesday that it had lost a record 38.7 billion dollars in 2007, mostly due to a writedown in accumulated tax credits in the third quarter that were expected to expire unused.

The buyouts would permit GM to make a further transformation of its workforce after years of painful reorganization in the face of eroding market share, especially in North America.

The company said it was offering 140,000 dollars to employees with more than 10 years of service and 70,000 to others.

GM is offering early retirement pension incentives of 45,000 dollars for production employees or 62,500 dollars for skilled trades workers. Eligible employees can select from a variety of ways to receive their incentive.

The plan is an expansion of an agreement with the United Auto Workers on a "comprehensive special attrition program."

"We've worked with our UAW partners to ensure our employees have a variety of attractive options to consider," said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive. "The special attrition program is an important initiative that will help us transform the workforce."

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