Building unions OK giving to Detroit retiree costs

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Mediators in Detroit's federal bankruptcy case say building trade unions agree to contribute to a fund to cover retirees' benefits.

Republican state House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall made union contributions to the pensions a condition for state aid, designed to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection from sale to cover the costs.

U.S. District Court mediators issued a statement Monday saying the Michigan Building and Constructions Trades council "will be participating in the so-called 'grand bargain'" by contributing an undisclosed amount to retiree health costs. says Bolger calls the union move a "huge step forward."

A House committee vote is scheduled Tuesday on giving $195 million to an $816 million package to help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy. Foundations, philanthropists and the museum also are contributing.

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