February 14, 2009 / 9:05 PM / 11 years ago

GM and UAW talks break off as Chrysler talks stall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Talks between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp aimed at cutting costs and debt at the struggling automaker have broken down over union concerns about retiree healthcare, a person briefed on the talks said on Saturday.

A parallel set of talks between Chrysler LLC and the UAW over similar concessions were continuing over the weekend but little progress had been made in the past week, a person briefed on those negotiations said.

At GM, the UAW negotiators walked away from negotiations because of differences over how to treat retiree healthcare. The UAW is owed some $20 billion by GM that has been pledged to a healthcare trust fund for retirees and faces demands from the company that it surrender a claim on half of that amount in exchange for stock in a recapitalized GM.

The breakdown of talks at GM and the stalled negotiations come with just three days remaining until both automakers must submit new restructuring plans to the U.S. government as a condition of their $17.4 billion bailout.

Editing by Peter Cooney

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