The Detroit Free Press is reporting today that since Ford began offering buyouts and early retirement offers to its hourly employees last year, about 27,000 have accepted and left the company. Since the offer was made last October to hourly workers at all of Ford's plants in North America, about 8,000 before the ball dropped on 2007 and 19,000 so far this year. Fortunately for Ford, about half were not eligible for early retirement, which means the automaker takes on less long-term retiree health care liability. Some of the workers who clocked out early include employees of Visteon plants, as well.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]