UAW Sues GM Over Delphi Payments

The Detroit Free-Press reports that the United Auto Workers has filed a lawsuit against General Motors, claiming the auto maker owes the union $450 million in retiree health care for workers of its former parts division Delphi.

According to the lawsuit, GM is obligated to make the payments to the UAW’s Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association for Delphi workers because of a three-year contract and the terms of the bankruptcy settlements of both GM and Delphi.

The lawsuit claims that GM rejected UAW’s request for payment in November and has since “failed and refused to make the contractually required payment.”

GM declined comment on the lawsuit.

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UAW to Name New President Next Week

United Auto Workers officials are expected to nominate the head of the union’s Ford Motor Co. negotiating group to be their new President at a meeting next Wednesday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Bob King is supported by Ron Gettelfinger, who is planning on leaving the post.

“My sense is that the membership is hoping Bob will be a tougher negotiator,” said Brian Pannebecker, a 13-year veteran at Ford’s Sterling Heights plant that produces parts for F-series pickup trucks.

Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement

According to Reuters, Ford and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement that would include a “no-strike” clause and a wage freeze for new hires. Ford official say that the deal was necessary to make the contract similar to other U.S. automakers.

In exchange for the major concessions from union officials, the pact also includes some additional benefits, including a one-time bonus and some production commitments. The changes – which still need to be ratified later this week by National Ford Council delegates – will impact about 41,000 UAW workers employed by Ford and replace a four-year contract agreed upon in 2007.

Ford was looking for help from the union to remain competitive with rival car makers such as GM and Chrysler. Ford was the only of the “Big Three” U.S. auto companies not to file for government-supported bankruptcy protection, and did not benefit from the renegotiations the other two companies engaged in with the UAW in order to remain alive.