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Username: Ladyinabag

Post Number: 89
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 2:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

According to an article in The Macomb Daily 3/16/07; "GM to seek health care cuts for workers, retirees" "Company provides benefits to 400,000 retirees, spouses."

"General Motors Corporation will try to reduce its staggering employee and retiree health care liabilities in upcoming contract talks with The United Auto Workers, according to a government regulatory filing Thursday.

GM said its obligation for post-retirement health care and other benefits was 68 billion at the end of last year and could grow on a global basis, the company said in its annual report filed with The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Detroit based company also said in its filing that its internal financial controls are ineffective and that it was working to fix them.

In the filing, GM said it spent $4.8 billion in health care in the U.S. last year, and that is expected to drop only slightly to $4.7 billion this year.

We must continue to make structural changes to reduce our U.S. health care cost burden, the source of our largest competitive cost disadvantage, the company said in its filing.

GM said that it needs to continue to reduce structural and material costs, and its production must become more efficient in order to return to profitability. But it said restrictions in labor agreements could limit cost savings.

Our current collective bargaining agreement with the UAW will expire in September, 2007, and we intend to pursue out cost-reduction goals vigorously in negotiating the new agreement, the company said, adding that a UAW strike or threat of a strike could affect its business and impair further cost reductions (so, you better not try anything, OR ELSE, hot shot). GM said it provides extensive pension and retiree health care benefits to more than 400,000 retirees and surviving spouses in the U.S.

In the filing, the company pointed out that The UAW agreed to retiree health-care cost sharing in 2005 that reduced its post-retirement health care obligations by $17 billion. and it capped salaried retiree health care spending levels effective in January.


On Wednesday, GM, the worlds largest automaker, reported a 2006 fourth-quarter net profit of $950 million, but the company still lost $2 billion for the year. It also lost $10.4 billion in 2005, and is in the midst of shedding thousands of jobs and closing plants to shrink its factory capacity to be more competitive with Asian automakers, mainly Toyota Motor Corp.

The earnings had been delayed due to accounting troubles that forced GM to restate its earnings back to 2002.

Also in the filing, GM said its internal financial reporting controls are ineffective, and it said it has received subpoenas from the SEC and a federal grand jury investigating its financial reporting.

The investigations include GM's financial reporting for its pension and other post-retirement employee benefits and its transactions with Delphi Corp., GM's former parts operation that was spun off as a separate company.

The filing said GM has continued to improve its internal controls, but if it can't fix them permanently, ""It may adversely impact our ability to report our financial condition and results of operations in the future accurately and in a timely manor, and may potentially and adversely impact our reputation with stockholders,"" the filing said (are you threatening me?).

Earlier this year, GM said it had hired outside financial advisers to help restructure its corporate controller's office." (all right then)


(Message edited by ladyinabag on March 16, 2007)

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