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GM Expects to Modify UAW `Jobs Bank' Program

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Guest Josh

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said that next year it expects to modify the ``jobs bank'' agreement that pays United Auto Workers members when the company doesn't have work for them.

The automaker isn't saying what the modification might be, GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said. UAW spokesman Paul Krell declined to comment. Detroit-based GM in a U.S. regulatory filing today disclosed its expectations for the jobs bank program during 2007 contract talks with the union.

General Motors is cutting jobs and closing plants in North America after a 2005 loss that it widened yesterday to $10.6 billion from $8.55 billion. GM also is seeking an agreement to encourage an unspecified number of its 105,000 U.S. hourly workers to retire early or leave the company to trim costs.

``GM is sending signals about its priorities,'' said Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at the University of California at Berkeley. ``The 2007 negotiations are going to be tough.''

The proposed modification of the jobs bank program is part of GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner's plan to eliminate 30,000 U.S. hourly jobs by 2008 and close 12 North American locations, including nine manufacturing plants.

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Full Story: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=100...=top_world_news

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So whos contract is up first GM, Ford, or Chrysler? That will set the tone for the other 3. I hope the manufacturers get what they need but realizes that LOTS of people will be affected by this and that they can come through this OK as well.

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It really doesn't matter who's first. GM must gain big concessions or it's "lights out." They need to be released from the shackles of the unions now to allow them the flexibility to turn the massive downward momentum they are currently experiencing.

So whos contract is up first GM, Ford, or Chrysler?  That will set the tone for the other 3.  I hope the manufacturers get what they need but realizes that LOTS of people will be affected by this and that they can come through this OK as well.

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Philosophically: Why would anyone Take Early retirement, when the Pension is underfunded by anywhere fron 30 to 60 Billion Dollars?

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All these cuts, saving a few hundred million here and another few hundred million there... I guess it all adds up, but it seems terribly ineffective when weighed against GM's multi-billion dollar quarterly loses. It just seems like too little, too late.

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