GM Borrows, UAW Pays
GM CEO Rick Wagoner says that the $13.4 billion in U.S. government loans it has received should get the company through the end of March, but it may be back asking for additional help after that.
Under the terms of the Bush-approved bailout, the automaker can only receive additional funds if it has shown that it can get tough concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers (UAW).
The union made major concessions in 2007, however the Bush loan deal requires GM to get the union to agree to renegotiate a promised $21 billion company contribution to a retiree trust fund that will be the UAW, and also to force the union to agree to accept wage and work conditions equal to those at non-union plants.
The union has raised loud objections to the terms of the loan, and a bill being pushed by Democrats in the House would strip the loan of these forced concessions.