updated 7/6/2006 3:10:34 PM ET 2006-07-06T19:10:34

The number of employees working at General Motor Corp.'s Allen County plant will remain at about 3,000 even though 552 employees have agreed to retire early, a union official said.

Jim Zent, president of the United Auto Workers Local 2209, said Wednesday that the workers will be replaced by transfers from other GM plants that are closing and that employment at the Allen County plant will remain steady. Nearly 2,700 hourly people and about 300 salaried employees work at the plant, he said.

In March, GM announced that it would offer buyouts or early-retirement incentives to all 113,000 of its hourly employees. UAW members nationwide had the option to stay with the company, retire early or take up to $140,000 to sever nearly all ties with the company.

Managers at each plant know who will be leaving and what positions need to be filled, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said. Plants will hire temporary workers or organize training for transferring employees to try to smooth the transition, he said.

The Allen County plant, which plans to roll out new trucks in November, often has 10 to 40 people retire each month, so it has strong training programs to bring transferring workers up to speed, Zent said.

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