David Kirkpatrick

February 16, 2009

GM and the UAW

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:26 pm

I’ve been hard on General Motor’s hands-out, crocodile tears method of hoping to stay afloat, but now the ball is firmly in the court of the auto unions. If the UAW balks and refuses to play ball in these negotiations GM has the absolute right to blame the last straw on the unions.

From the link:

With its access to a government lifeline in the balance, General Motors was locked in intense negotiations on Monday with the United Automobile Workers over ways to cut its bills for retiree health care.

Both G.M. and its rival, Chrysler, are racing to file restructuring plans with the Treasury Department by Tuesday’s deadline. The companies must show progress in cutting long-term costs as a condition for keeping loans they have received from the federal government.

For G.M., the restructuring will be the largest in its 100-year history, the next step in justifying its $13.4-billion loan package from the federal government.

The plan will outline in great detail, as much as 900 pages, how G.M. will cut its work force, downsize its North American factories and reduce its brand lineup to four from eight.

But G.M.’s plan to shrink will not mean much without an agreement with the U.A.W.

On Monday, G.M. pressed union leaders in a meeting in Detroit for a deal on financing what was the centerpiece of the 2007 U.A.W. contract — a perpetual, G.M.-financed trust to cover health care for hundreds of thousands of retired hourly workers and their spouses.

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