Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Union says many Kenosha Chrysler workers sign up to retire

By Associated Press April 30, 2008 - 7:57 a.m.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — A union official says more than 30 percent of workers at the Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant are slated to retire this year under a buyout program from the firm.

United Auto Workers Local 72 president Dan Kirk says 272 of the approximately 800 members of local have signed up.

Kirk says the retirements are being phased in monthly rather than a sudden departure of all the workers. He says five people left in February, 39 in March and 34 so far in April.

Plant manager Kevin Sell says the buyout was offered to everyone at the plant who is eligible for retirement, and employees had to evaluate their own financial and personal lives before making their decision.

Those workers who have left so far under the buyout have been replaced by Kenosha workers who were on layoff.

Sell says the Kenosha plant is one of the few that has maintained its production volume during the process.

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