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Updated from Saturday, Nov. 22

General Motors

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will seek to negotiate a cut in debt levels and new union work rules to help boost its chances of winning federal loans, according to a published report.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, also may ask to delay a $7 billion payment to a union retiree health fund, drop more brands and rework an accord with GMAC to prove it can survive and repay the government,


reports, citing people familiar with the plan.

CEO Rick Wagoner is under a Dec. 2 deadline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to show how he'll reshape operations as a condition of a $25 billion industry rescue. Congress may vote on the package on Dec. 8.

Directors of the automaker are scheduled to meet by phone Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then gather Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to review the plan, according to


. GM expects to produce a 10- to 12-page public report for a Dec. 5 congressional hearing and an 80-page semi-private report with background material.

GM also has to persuade debt holders to go along with paring GM's debt and the United Auto Workers to amend its 2007 labor contract. The debt and union accords likely won't be done by Dec. 2,



A separate report says GM board members are willing to consider bankruptcy protection as a solution for the troubled automaker.

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Such a stance puts the board at odds with Wagoner, according to the report, published over the weekend by

the Wall Street Journal

. The report cited people familiar with the thinking of the board's outside directors.

Wagoner, who has been asking lawmakers for a bailout for the company, has said that GM's top executives don't believe bankruptcy protection is a viable solution, the report noted. The board agrees that getting government funding is the company's first choice, but it's not willing to rule out a bankruptcy filing, the report added.

A company spokesman said GM's board does not believe bankruptcy is a viable option but said the board has discussed it because it has a legal duty to do so, the

Associated Press

has reported.

Like its Detroit rivals,


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, GM is reeling from a dramatic slump in auto sales. GM has warned that it could run out of cash by the end of the year.

GM shares gained 18 cents Friday to close at $3.06.

This article was written by a staff member of