UAW and GM Negotiations Near

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This week the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the big three auto companies meet to begin worker contract negotiations. Talks will impact over 100,000 G.M. employees and about 9,000 Lansing workers.

The last talks took place in 1999, where GM and the UAW agreed on a four-year contract.

UAW officials say the major sticking points in negotiations are health care costs and pension funds.

GM would not comment on the issues to be negotiated.

Brian Lund, auto analyst for the financial firm Morningstar said he expects the GM/UAW contract to stay basically the same.

Lund said he expects workers to keep all their health benefits and pension funds, but says that a compromise may be made by allowing GM to close some plants around the world and end some jobs.

The negotiation deadline is midnight Sept. 14.