Labour union ratifies deal with General Motors

May 30th, 2009 - 5:26 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 30 (DPA) Members of the US carmaker General Motors top labour union ratified a new agreement Friday that could make it easier for the company to survive the court process related to bankruptcy.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said 74 percent of its members voted in favour of an agreement, reached last week, which modifies its labour contract and retiree health-care plan.

The labour agreement could save GM about $1.3 billion per year, according to Bloomberg financial news agency, while the union health-care trust will get a 17.5-percent stake in a reorganized GM when it re-emerges out of insolvency.

“This settlement agreement will give GM a chance to survive the worldwide collapse of industry sales and return as a viable company once the economy recovers,” UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said.

GM is expected to declare bankruptcy on Monday, when a government-imposed deadline for the carmaker to settle its debt and prove its viability expires. The Detroit-based firm has been involved in furious last-minute talks to get its creditors on board with a ready-made plan for a speedy exit from insolvency.

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