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Union: GM Won' Import Cars from China

Posted: May 29, 2009 12:19 p.m.

General Motors' plan to import tens of thousands of Chinese-built cars to the U.S. over the next several years may be on hold.

The AP reports, "General Motors Corp. agreed not to import Chinese-made subcompact cars to the U.S. as part of its concession deal with the United Auto Workers, union President Ron Gettelfinger said Thursday. Instead, the company will build up to 160,000 of the cars per year at an existing U.S. factory and sell them in the U.S."

The UAW agreed to concessions in order to smooth GM's path to an orderly bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal explains, "The bankruptcy plan for GM outlined in a securities filing Thursday would give the U.S. government a 72.5% stake and keep the auto maker closely held for as many as 18 months." The union will initially control 17.5 percent of the company, with warrants enabling it to increase its share to 20 percent.

In return, the AP explains, the union has agreed to a concession package that "freezes wages, cuts bonuses, reduces break time, and takes company stock to fund half of a $20 billion trust that will take on retiree health care expenses starting next year."

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