GM – UAW Talks Breaking Down. Or Not.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The New York Times (NYT) is reporting that contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and GM "appeared on the verge of collapse Sunday night." On the other hand, "the tenor of negotiations can change rapidly" and "despite the deadlock, a walkout at G.M. did not seem likely." In other words, the NYT doesn't know jack. That said, Michelle Maynard's speculation "inside sources" seem spot-on about one of the major sticking points: "Mr. Gettelfinger also was pushing for G.M. to put more cash in the health care trust, called a voluntary employee benefit association, or VEBA." We concur with the concept: the UAW wants the health care superfund funded with as much cash as possible, GM doesn't have cash (and getting more would be ruinously expensive) and the union isn't exactly wild about taking most of their payoff in GM stock (despite the expected surge in GM's stock price once the deal goes down) because they're not convinced GM can stave off Chapter 11; leaving their members without health care. They'll eventually settle on a mix, and GM will [re] guarantee a certain number of union jobs. Hey, if you're gonna speculate…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • VLAD VLAD on Sep 17, 2007

    For the predicted results see "the turtle and the scorpion".

  • Kevin Kevin on Sep 17, 2007

    GM's got a market cap less than 20 billion. They give the union too much money, it might use the healthcare fund to buy out GM!

  • Miked Miked on Sep 17, 2007

    mikey, I guess you're right, giving Gettelfinger and pals won't help anyone. But surely giving you guys, the guys actually doing the work, stock would be a good thing.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 17, 2007

    The UAW workers will NOT go without healthcare. Some government entity will bail them out with our money. Even if we have to have Hillary Care, it will NEVER, NEVER, EVER happen. Get over it.