DETROIT -- General Motors and the United Auto Workers union appear to be nearing a deal to cut the automaker's annual health-care costs, according to a newspaper report.
The Detroit News report cited people familiar with the talks.
The deal under discussion likely would shave at least $1 billion from GM's annual health-care bill, meaning the changes would impact active UAW members as well retirees nationwide by increasing co-pays for prescription drugs and perhaps instituting cost-sharing of monthly premiums, the newspaper said.
Phone calls to GM and UAW were not immediately returned.
The world's largest automaker, which lost $2.5 billion in North America during the first half of 2005, expects its health-care costs to total nearly $6 billion this year.
GM began talks with the UAW in April to slash some of the union benefits that it blames for hurting its ability to compete with Asian rivals.
The UAW has stressed that any benefit cuts would be made within the confines of the UAW's existing labor contract with GM.