In addition to reducing GM's costs to fund retiree healthcare, the proposed UAW deal allows for new buyout offers to GM's hourly workers and significant reductions in vacation pay and other workplace benefits. In exchange, GM would take back operations of five plants owned by troubled parts supplier Delphi Corp. and would commit to producing small cars in at least one idled factory.
If that contract passes, as is widely expected, it could smooth what would otherwise be a complicated, drawn-out bankruptcy process.
Also on Wednesday, GM moved to consolidate its European operations, including Vauxhall and Opel, under its Adam Opel unit in Germany. That would simplify the ongoing sale of those divisions and could also protect them in a bankruptcy filing by GM.