Workers Union, General Motors agree to end nationwide strike

Workers Union, General Motors agree to end nationwide strike

Detroit, Sept 26 (AP) The United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp agreed today to a tentative contract that puts the responsibility for retirees’ health care into the union’s hands and ends a two-day strike, the first US-wide strike against an automaker in 31 years.

The two sides confirmed that the deal creates a company-funded, union-run trust to administer retiree health care. The two sides gave no other details, but a person briefed on the contract told that it also would give workers bonuses and lump-sum payments. The person requested anonymity because the contract talks are private.

The union said the deal was reached shortly after 3 am (1230 IST).

The contract must be reviewed by local UAW presidents and will then be subject to a vote of GM’s 73,000 rank and-file members. The agreement is expected to set a pattern for contracts at Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC.

The deal means UAW will tell workers to head back to their jobs at around 80 GM facilities across the nation. The union went on strike on Monday when talks broke down.

It was the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976, when Ford Motor Co plants were shut down.

The deal includes GM’s top priority in the negotiations shifting most of its $51 billion unfunded retiree health care obligation to a UAW-run trust. GM would pay about 70% of the obligation into the trust, called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or EBA, the person briefed on the talks said.