Update: GM has confirmed that an additional 18,657 employees will be cut from its workforce through the use of buyouts and retirement incentives, and about half of these will be from its Michigan facilities. While GM isn’t expected to replace all of the workers who leave, some openings will be filled with new employees hired in accordance with the national agreement signed with the UAW late last year. The company also expects to replace some workers under a clause in the contract that allows GM to pay new hires into non-core jobs a lower wage and benefits package.

Original: Just hours after reports that GM was working on a new restructuring plan, management have announced that about 19,000 hourly employees have taken the latest round of buyouts so far this year. The remaining employees will fill the openings left by the reduced workforce and new employees will be hired in accordance with the national agreement signed with the UAW late last year.

The acceptance rate for the cost-cutting program was lower than a similar offer GM made in 2006 for its union workers but management is happy with the take up, reports Automotive News.

"Despite significant challenges in the U.S. market, we continue to reshape our business for long-term success," Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "This attrition program gives us an opportunity to restructure our U.S. work force through the entry-level wage and benefit structure for new hourly employees."

The latest announcement coincides with news that UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown, Ohio, has reached an agreement a new agreement with GM. The Lordstown plant is responsible for the Pontiac G5 (pictured) but is not included in GM's list of the 19 plants still stopped or slowed after the three-month-long UAW strike against American Axle.