updated 10/15/2007 10:46:50 AM ET 2007-10-15T14:46:50

A new four-year contract between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers will transfer an estimated $46.7 billion worth of retiree health care liability from the company to the union, the company said Monday.

That leaves GM with about $17.6 billion in retiree health care for salaried employees and other obligations, the company said in charts posted on its investor relations Web site in advance of a conference call to explain the labor deal.

"The 2007 national negotiations were in many ways the most complex and comprehensive that we've been engaged in," Rick Wagoner, GM chief executive and chairman, said during the conference call.

The agreement includes a company-funded, union-run trust called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association and must be approved by federal courts. The trust would take over the health care obligations staring on Jan. 1, 2010 or on the date which any appeals or court challenges are exhausted, the charts stated.

The new contract also prevents the UAW from negotiating to increase GM's funding for the VEBA or make any other payments to provide retiree medical benefits, according to the charts.

The UAW on Wednesday ratified the historic agreement with GM and reached a similar agreement with Chrysler LLC the same day. Before the agreements were reached, the union went on strike against both companies.

Union leaders for Chrysler workers were in Detroit on Monday to get details of the tentative agreement with Chrysler, which must be ratified by members before it takes effect. Ford Motor Co. is next up in negotiations with the UAW.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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