Former General Motors employees at a south Oklahoma City assembly plant that employed over 2,000 qualify for a US Department of Labour programme that helps those who lose their jobs or significant work hours, state officials were reported to have said.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said the former workers have been ruled eligible for the Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA) programme, according to The Associated Press (AP).

This allows workers access to services such as income support, relocation and job search allowances and health coverage tax credits, officials told the news agency.

Occupational training will be available for those who need retraining for suitable employment. The goal is to reconnect laid-off workers with suitable employment quickly, OESC officials told AP.

To be eligible under the Trade Act of 1974, workers had to be laid off or threatened with layoff; employer sales or production had to decrease and increased imports of products like or directly competitive with the firm’s products must have contributed to the layoffs or the threat of layoffs, OESC officials told the news agency.

Former GM employees also are eligible for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides workers 50 years and older, for whom retraining may not be suitable, with the option of accepting re-employment at a lower wage in return for a wage subsidy, the Associated Press noted, adding that the first day of eligibility was 31 October.