Stellantis offering buyouts for 3,500 hourly jobs

Metro Detroit automaker Stellantis is expected to eliminate 3,500 hourly jobs ahead of contract negotiations that's expected this fall.

Stellantis, which includes Fiat Chrysler out of Sterling Heights, is offering buyouts for the workers in the skilled and production sectors of the company, a letter from the Local 1264 chapter of the UAW said.

The letter described two different incentive packages being offered: One comes with $50,000 for those hired prior to 2007. The other is a lumpsum payment for employees with at least one year of seniority.

"Today the Local Leadership had a conference call with Vice President Rick Boyer of the International Union," said the letter, authored by UAW Chapter President Doug McIntosh. "The purpose was to go over incentive packages that the company will be offering corporate wide.

The letter also mentioned that any openings created by members would be filled by employees "on indefinite layoff."

Contract negotiations between the union and automaker are expected in the coming months with the previous agreement set to expire in the fall. 

The two buyout options have been called the Incentive Package for Retirement and the Voluntary Termination of Employment Program. A tentative date for workers to exit the company is scheduled between June 30 and Dec. 31, 2023. 

Workers who are eligible will receive their package in the mail, the letter said.

In a statement from the company, it said a competitive global market and the shift to electrification means Stellantis needed to reduce costs.

To help in that effort, the Company today announced that it is offering voluntary separation programs to certain non-represented and represented employees," read a statement. "These voluntary programs are being offered to provide a favorable option to employees looking to pursue new opportunities, while preserving critical roles the Company needs in order to maintain its competitive advantage."