UAW, GM Settle Strike With Landmark Health Care Deal

The UAW and GM have agreed to a new national labor agreement, the centerpiece of which is a landmark agreement on creation of an independent retiree health care trust run by the UAW. And not to say we told you so — but we've pretty much been correct every step of this way — first in calling there'd be a strike and now in calling the timeframe. We're like idiot savants or something. Full press release from GM after the jump.

GM and UAW Reach Tentative Agreement On New National Labor Contract

Company To Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing Presence With Significant Future Investments
Parties Also Agree To Create Independent Retiree Health Care Trust

DETROIT, Mich. - General Motors and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering approximately 74,000 represented employees. The agreement is subject to UAW member ratification.

The tentative agreement includes a memorandum of understanding to establish an independent retiree health care trust, as well as other changes to the national agreement. Following ratification, implementation of the memorandum of understanding is subject to approval by the courts, and satisfactory review of accounting treatment with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"There's no question this was one of the most complex and difficult bargaining sessions in the history of the GM/UAW relationship," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "I'd like to thank UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, UAW Vice President Cal Rapson and their bargaining team for their leadership and hard work in negotiating the agreement."

The national agreement paves the way for GM to significantly improve its manufacturing competitiveness, providing the basis for maintaining and strengthening its core manufacturing base in the United States.

"This agreement helps us close the fundamental competitive gaps that exist in our business," Wagoner said. "The projected competitive improvements in this agreement will allow us to maintain a strong manufacturing presence in the United States along with significant future investments."

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.