UAW Overwhelmingly Backs GM Concessions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 29, 2009 12:56 PM CDT
The sign in front of United Auto Workers local 1105 in Parma, Ohio, urges consumers to buy General Motors vehicles.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
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(Newser) – United Auto Workers members have ratified a package of concessions designed to reduce General Motors' labor costs. Union president Ron Gettelfinger said today 74% of GM's production and skilled-trade workers voted in favor. The vote comes before the company's expected Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing Monday. Bankruptcy experts say having an agreement in place before the filing will help move the process through court more quickly.

After the vote, Gettelfinger said, "I think it's a disgrace we had to do anything," CNNMoney reports. "We tried to inflict the least amount of pain possible on our retirees." The firm's VP of labor relations said employees' and retirees' "shared sacrifices will enable GM to become a stronger, more viable company."