* About 1,600 workers at Kentucky plant are eligible
* Toyota expects 20-25 pct of eligible workers to take offer
* Company aims to manage attrition, labor costs to decline
Nov 30 Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday
it is offering retirement incentives to about 2,000 U.S.
workers, or 10 percent of its employees in the country, in an
effort to manage attrition of its aging work force.
About 1,600 workers at the Japanese automaker's Georgetown,
Kentucky plant, or about a quarter of the work force there, are
eligible, Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said.
The rest of the eligible employees work at plants and
offices throughout the United States, he said.
"We're trying to spread out the impact of the attrition over
some time as opposed to the risk of them all walking away at the
same time," Goss said.
Toyota began hiring people in Kentucky 25 years ago and the
plant opened in 1988. The factory builds the Camry sedan, Venza
crossover vehicle and Avalon large sedan.
The automaker employs about 20,000 people in the United
States, including about 6,600 at the Georgetown plant that began
production in 1988 and has an annual production capacity of
500,000 vehicles. Goss said they expect about 20 percent to 25
percent of those eligible to take the offer.
Employees who work 25 years at Toyota qualify for retirement
with full medical benefits, pension and 401k pay, he said. The
offer is also being made, however, to those who have worked at
the company 22 years or more, and includes the ability for
employees to purchase the years needed to qualify for full
retirement. Goss declined to say what it costs for employees to
purchase those years.
Under the offer, each worker will get a lump-sum payment
equal to two weeks pay for every year of service, up to 25
years, plus eight additional weeks of pay, Goss said. In return,
the workers would agree to leave on a schedule set by the
Toyota's plant employees are not unionized, but receive
similar pay and benefits as those represented at General Motors
Co, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler Group LLC by the
United Auto Workers. Chrysler is controlled by Italy's
The retirement offer also will allow Toyota to reduce
manufacturing labor costs as veteran workers typically earn
about $26 an hour, compared with starting pay of around $16 an
The retirement incentive offer was originally reported by
the Wall Street Journal.