DETROIT (Reuters) - About 1,700 Ford Motor Co's (>> Ford Motor Company) workers accepted early retirement offers and most of them will leave the No. 2 U.S. automaker by June 1.
The buyouts were offered as part of the Ford's contract talks with the United Auto Workers last fall. Ford employs 41,000 UAW-represented workers.
Ford offered $50,000 to eligible production workers who retired by March 31, 2012. The company also offered a $100,000 bonus for skilled trade workers who retired by that date.
Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said Ford expects the "majority" of employees who agreed to the buyout to leave by June 1. Others who opted to take the buyout earlier this year have already started to leave.
By reducing the number of older workers on their payroll, Ford, General Motors Co (>> General Motors Company) and Chrysler Group LLC (>> Fiat SpA) is creating room to hire new workers at lower wages.
(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Richard Chang)