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GM, UAW discuss savings

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

GM, UAW discuss savings

Washington — General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers held another round of talks at the Treasury Department Tuesday aimed at reaching a comprehensive labor savings agreement, people familiar with the matter said.

The talks included members of the auto task force, GM’s president and CEO Fritz Henderson and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

No agreement is expected until later this week at the earliest. GM wants to reach a deal before Tuesday, when its bondholders must decide whether to exchange their $27.2 billion in debt for 10 percent of GM’s equity.

GM warned Tuesday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it may not complete the labor contract deal before its bondholder offer expires at 11:59 p.m. on May 26. One major requirement is for GM and the UAW to finalize a deal to swap with stock at least half of the more than $20 billion the UAW is owed for its Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, trust fund that takes over retiree health care next year.

GM must also finalize its deal to swap about $10 billion of what it owes the Treasury Department for at least 51 percent of its common stock.

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