GM, Ford Burn Rubber
The pact will set up a union-controlled health care trust fund, freeing GM from roughly $51 billion in health care liabilities for retirees in return for a large upfront cash payment. It sets up a two-tier wage structure, allowing GM to pay new-hires lower wages and benefits than existing works, and it also includes guarantees for the production of certain vehicles in the U.S., providing job security for workers.
In a report, Citigroup analyst Itay Michaeli raised his target price on GM shares to $46 and lowered his risk profile to "high" from "speculative," citing "GM's improving business and free cash flow profile."
Media reports indicate that Chrysler's agreement follows a similar framework as GM's, and more details are expected to emerge as the union promotes to deal to its members. A spokesman for Chrysler declined to discuss the details of its agreement, and a spokesman for the UAW could not be reached.
Talks now are expected to shift to Ford (F), which is last in line at the bargaining table. Ford spokeswoman Marcy Evans says the company has not yet begun negotiations with the UAW.For its part, Ford has long been considered Detroit's laggard in the U.S. auto industry's efforts to revive itself. It was well behind GM in adopting a sweeping restructuring plan aimed at reducing its footprint in North America to match its shrinking market share. And while GM has shown an uptick in U.S. sales in recent months, Ford's have continued to decline.
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