GM’s white collar workers face deadline to consider buyout offer from automaker
Susan Tompor | Detroit Free Press | March 23rd, 2023
General Motors Co. white collar workers who want to take a buyout have a noon deadline Friday. But they could end up waiting up until March 31 to know if GM will let them stay or go.
For some, the last day of work could be as early as April 1. But some who accept the voluntary buyout will be required to stay beyond April 1 to assist in the transition of their work duties at GM. All would leave by June 30.
GM salaried employees have been able to change their mind during the window of the offer, which began March 9 until March 24, but at noon March 24 decisions will become final, according to Maria Raynal, a GM spokesperson.
Financial planners across Michigan and other parts of the country spent the past two weeks talking with existing clients and reaching out to new ones as GM salaried employees weighed one of the biggest financial moves of their careers. Stay or go?
The deadline gets real
Financial advisers like Sam Huszczo said some clients started reviewing their options just a week ago.
“Then over the weekend, this deadline got real for people,” Huszczo said Thursday. “I will have been working from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for four days straight, including today.” He was set to meet with 20 employees through Thursday.
Some people, he said, appear to be really on the fence.
One GM employee was on luxurious vacation in the sun for two weeks when the news broke but hadn’t been checking the phone or emails. He returned home to find out about the buyout on Tuesday.
“He walked into a hornet’s nest,” Huszczo said.
The rumor mill, according to some GM employees that he’s talked with, seems to indicate that upper management isn’t getting the number of takers that they were hoping to get at this point.
But Huszczo said it’s very likely way too early to tell, as most people planning to take the offer won’t officially put their name in until Thursday evening or Friday morning.
Many clients within two years of retiring anyway, he said, seem to be more willing to take the offer.
Some had been looking for other jobs before this news and had serious irons in the fire. Some younger employees want to switch to new opportunities in new industries.
Many who have had a tougher time deciding, Huszczo said, are those long-term GM salaried workers who might be three to five years away from the day they once wanted to retire.
“This is too short of a timeframe to make a decision on something that’s been in your life for 25 plus years,” Huszczo said. “And it feels rushed from their vantage point. The default setting for people feeling rushed is to do nothing, to avoid a mistake.”