Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp. reached a tentative contract agreement with the United Auto Workers, ending a two-day strike and winning a retiree health-care fund that offloads about $50 billion in future obligations.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger told reporters today he feels “very good” about the four-year accord and will seek ratification this weekend. Workers could return to the picket lines if they reject the contract, he said. GM rose 7.2 percent in Germany.
“This is great news for GM and its employees, and I think it will secure the position of General Motors retaining large- scale U.S. interests,” Howard Wheeldon, a senior strategist at BGC Partners LP in London, said in an interview. “It’s an object lesson of what has to happen in the U.S. auto industry.”
From the Detroit News:
Both sides touted the deal as one that addresses the competitive gap that exists with GM’s foreign-based competitors while protecting U.S. factory jobs. GM will make a massive payment to the union to take over retiree obligations in a move that would erase those costs from GM’s books while guaranteeing benefits to more than 400,000 retired autoworkers.
“It’s an agreement we’re proud to recommend to our membership,” UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a 4 a.m. press conference at UAW headquarters in downtown Detroit. “This contract will be better in some ways; it will be different in some ways. Our retirees will be exceptionally pleased with the contract.”
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