The buyouts, which according to a report today by Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher, offers $500 for each year of service, were not publicized and were only made public through a posting on the guild’s website.
According to the site:
In an effort to reduce its worldwide labor costs by 10 percent, The Associated Press is offering employees based in the United States and ex-pats 55 and older an enhanced retirement benefit that will increase employee pensions by 14 to 16 percent.
Ex-pats are overseas employees who were hired in the United States and transferred overseas.
The company said it will offer the benefit elsewhere, if legally permissible. Some countries have labor regulations that may prohibit the company from making the offer.
Employees have to be actively employed or have retired between Jan. 1 and May 1, 2009 to be eligible. In addition to being 55, at least 10 years of service is required. Age and years of service must total at least 75.
AP said there are 263 employees in the Guild unit who are eligible to apply, according to the Guild. There are about 100 in the administrative group. The number of eligible employees in the ex-pats group is unknown. In the Guild Unit, 49 employees are 65 or older, 94 are 60 to 64 years of age and 120 are 55 to 59.