Friday, May 29, 2009
GM is thanking its employees after the United Auto Workers union ratified a package of concessions it says will save the automaker more than $1 billion a year.
The UAW says 74% of its 54,000 GM employees voted in favor of the deal that freezes wages, cancels bonuses, eliminates noncompetitive work rules and ends the possibility of a strike until 2015.
It also gives a union-run retiree health care trust 17.5% ownership of a post-bankruptcy protection GM, with a warrant to buy another 2.5%.
The Detroit automaker says the shared sacrifices of its employees and retirees "will enable GM to become a stronger, more viable company."
GM has received more than $19 billion in loans from the U.S. government, which would get more than 70% ownership of the new company. It's expected to file for bankruptcy protection Monday. Experts say having the deal with employees in place would mean a smoother experience in bankruptcy court.