A year from now, General Motors will bargain over jobs and benefits with the United Auto Workers. But instead of asking blue-collar workers to be the first to tighten their belts, GM is cutting health care benefits for 190,000 white-collar workers and retirees. GM told staffers on Aug. 24 that they will have to pay insurance premiums for the first time and pony up bigger co-payments and deductibles. The efforts to trim the company's $3.4 billion health care tab is part of a broad plan to slash costs after GM lost $4.45 billion last year.
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