General Motors and the United Auto Workers union on Friday said that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract covering about 5,800 workers at GM's Saturn facilities in Tennessee and Michigan, Reuters reported.

The report said the union and company did not provide any details of the tentative deal and noted that union members have continued to work under the old contract during negotiations.

"We worked out an agreement that we felt was fair to our team members and beneficial to the business," GM spokeswoman Sue Holmgren told Reuters.

The news agency noted that the Saturn facilities have a separate contract from the four-year deal that GM reached with the UAW covering more than 117,000 active workers in September.

Reuters said the pending deal was reached after nearly a month of negotiations while GM had hoped the talks would help Saturn's Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant, where it makes the Ion small car and the Vue compact SUV, become more productive.

The news agency said the current contract includes a ban on layoffs, which has hindered the plant when it has been forced to stop production of its Ion small cars due to slow sales.

Reuters said that, at one time, the plant employed about 10,000 but the number of Spring Hill workers has dropped to about 5,500. Some of those workers transferred back to GM after the plant stopped manufacturing engines and transmissions, while others retired or left the company, the report added.

Reuters noted that GM builds the Saturn L Series mid-sized car at its Wilmington, Delaware, plant, which is covered by the contract agreement reached with the UAW this autumn.