General Motors hourly workers represented by the UAW overwhelming approved contract concessions this week in advance of GMs probable Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
The GM rank-and-file voted 74% in favor of the contract, the UAW announced today. GM has about 54,000 UAW-represented workers.
Theres been a lot of people who have been in a very anxious mode, if you will, for due cause, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a news conference today. But we are satisfied that weve done the right thing here to give us a lifeline into the future.
The agreement, which takes effect at 4 p.m. EDT today, permits GM to use equity instead of cash to fund most of a $20 billion hourly retiree health trust, or VEBA.
Cal Rapson, UAW vice president, said the annual savings to GM is about $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
We very much appreciate the support of our employees and retirees, Diana Tremblay, GMs vice president of labor relations, said in a statement. Their shared sacrifices will enable GM to become a stronger, more viable company that will continue to deliver world-class cars and trucks.
David Barkholz is a reporter at Automotive News, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.