GM and the UAW found themselves in an unusual position on Monday - teaming up to defend their November 2005 deal to cut GM's healthcare costs. On the other side of the table - retired GM workers, who maintain that the deal unfairly dumps health care costs in their laps, despite GM's promise to provide them with full health benefits for life.
About 1,250 retirees have filed formal objections to the deal in federal court, putting the UAW in the unusual role of defending GM. The UAW cannot legally bargain on behalf of retired workers.

The UAW/GM deal would save the automaker about $1 billion a year in health care costs, while costing individual retirees about $370 per year.

The UAW has long advocated a comprehensive, single payer national health care plan.


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