The United Auto Workers union expects a crucial round of restructuring talks with General Motors Corp
In an e-mail message sent
to rank-and-file workers, the union also repeated its opposition to
GM's plans to close 16 U.S. manufacturing plants and cut about 21,000
jobs while also planning to increase vehicle imports from GM plants in
lower-wage economies such as Mexico, South Korea and China.
UAW is actively involved in these complex negotiations, which involve
the Obama auto task force, GM management, bondholders and secured
lenders, dealers, parts suppliers and other stakeholders, the union
said in the message. These negotiations will have a major impact on
wages, benefits and jobs for active and retired UAW members.
We are expecting the restructuring negotiations to intensify this coming week,
unusual email message to UAW-represented workers comes as UAW President
Ron Gettelfinger and GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson are both due in
Washington on Monday for talks with U.S. officials.
discussions have a growing urgency because GM faces a deadline to
restructure its debt, including healthcare-related obligations to the
UAW, by the end of the month ahead of a bankruptcy filing that the
automaker says is now probable.
GM has a $1 billion bond payment
due June 1 and must complete debt restructuring talks by then or file
for bankruptcy, executives have said.
GM has been kept in
operation since the start of the year with more than $15 billion in
federal loans and would be majority owned by the U.S. government under
the terms of the reorganization it has proposed to the Obama
In its email message to members sent late Sunday,
UAW leadership urged auto workers and retirees to write to President
Barack Obama and ask him to dictate job-saving changes to GM's
The union campaigned for Obama during last
year's election, and the White House-appointed autos task force being
steered by former investment banker Steve Rattner has shown special
consideration for the union's position in the reorganization of GM's
smaller rival, Chrysler LLC.