About 6,000 General Motors Co. blue-collar workers have taken the latest round of early retirement and buyout offers, but it fell short of the company’s goal, meaning more layoffs are likely.

GM has about 54,000 factory workers and wants to end the year with 40,500, a cut of about 13,500.

That means about 7,500 too few workers took the offers, setting the stage for more layoffs.

Sixty-five per cent of the workers took early retirement packages, while 35 per cent took buyouts, the company said. By the end of the year, GM’s hour­ly work force will be less than one-tenth of what it was at its peak of 468,000 in 1979.

In the past, laid-off workers went into the “jobs bank,” which allowed them to collect most of their pay indefinitely even if their plants had been closed. But the United Auto Workers earlier this year gave up the benefit in concession talks.

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