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UAW and GM Briefly Suspend Talks on Monday

Posted: 09/17/2007 - 2:14 PM ET

Talks between the United Auto Workers union and General Motors were briefly suspended early Monday after a marathon 16 hours, but are set to resume later today.

The contract between the union and the company is being extended hourly as negotiations continue and some 73,000 GM workers did go to their factory jobs this morning.

Bargaining between the two entities has been ongoing for eight weeks and the union has extended its contracts with Ford and Chrysler.

A major sticking point in the talks is a health care plan that would place a manged trust in the hands of the union, thus shifting liability for retiree care away from GM.

The company currently owes approximately $50 billion in such benefits but wants to pay only 60 to 70 percent of the amount into the trust.

All of the Detroit Three are interested in the Voluntary Employee Benefits Association as combined, Ford, Chrysler, and GM owe some $95 billion in health care liabilities.

The outcome of the talks between GM and the UAW will serve as a blueprint for new contracts concluded with Ford and Chrysler.

Inside sources reported to the news site that the heads of the three corporations joined in a conference call on Saturday to discuss the key issue and remain in close touch with one another.

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