GM to Cut Labor Costs, Suspend Dividend - TheStreet

General Motors

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plans to pare its labor expenses, step up factory shutdowns and halt its dividend payment in order to boost its liquidity in the next two years.

The Detroit automaker, which like rival


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has seen declining sales as consumers fret about the economy, wants to add $15 billion to its liquidity through next year via a combination of lowering costs, selling assets and taking actions in the capital markets.

Among other things, GM expects to stop health-care coverage for domestic salaried retirees above age 65 beginning in 2009.

"We are responding aggressively to the challenges of today's U.S. auto market," Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in a statement. "We will continue to take the steps necessary to align our business structure with the lower vehicle sales volumes and shifts in sales mix. We remain committed to bringing to market great products that target changing consumer preferences for more fuel-efficient vehicles."

Shares of GM were rising 1.5% to $9.52 in early trading Tuesday.

This article was written by a staff member of