Despite labour costs, GM averts financial woes of its past

DETROIT — The new four-year deal between General Motors and 49,000 United Auto Workers will drive up the company’s expenses with pay raises, bonuses and other increases.

But analysts say GM is far better able to handle the expenses now than it was a decade ago, when the high cost of labour helped send it into bankruptcy protection.

Workers still have to vote on the agreement. But they’ll get pay raises, lump-sum payments and an $11,000 signing bonus. GM did score some victories, largely by avoiding many costly items the union wanted.

Analysts say GM is a far leaner company than it was during the Great Recession with far fewer employees.

Tom Krisher, The Associated Press