Bailout Watch 321: UAW Boss: "GM, Chrysler May Not Need More Bailout Bucks"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 321 uaw boss gm chrysler may not need more bailout bucks

At first glance, this makes no sense: the head of the United Auto Workers (UAW) telling the world that GM and Chrysler are done feasting at the bailout buffet. “If we can get by without more money, that’s what we want to do,” Big Ron Gettelfinger told Automotive News [AN, sub] in an interview at Solidarity House. And if I could convince my Lexus dealer to give me a new IS-F with a handstand, that’s what I’d want to do. Clearly, Ron Gettelfinger is promising someone a rose garden– while he’s painted the ailing automakers into a corner. Ish. First, this is what car salesman call an “if then” close. Second, Ron told AN that “how well the money holds out will depend on sales volume this year.” Gettelfinger is hopeful that “sales will not dip more than 1 million units below 2008’s depressed 13.1 million.” So, IF U.S. new car sales DON’T dip below 12.1m per year, THEN GM and Chrysler recover without any more federal funding? Nonsense. Make no mistake: Ron’s statement is part of a calculated plan to avoid making any concessions during the federally-mandated negotiations to reduce his members’ pay and benefits. In other words, the UAW doesn’t need to make concessions because everything’s going to be alright. It is, in fact, Ron’s opening gambit. And it’s not bad. But shame on AN for swallowing the union boss’s bait; hook, line and sinker. I mean, what is this…

“The $13.4 billion earmarked for GM may be sufficient, said a source close to the company. When asked directly if GM plans to ask for money beyond the $13.4 billion, the source answered, ‘no.’

‘We’ve got enough’ money from the loan, the source said, ‘in terms of what our downside scenario is.

‘The downside was 10.5 million, which is where most people are. What happens if that downside gets worse? That’s anybody’s guess.'”

I swear AN’s making that shit up. And if they’re not, someone else is. And if someone else is, AN should know enough not to hoist themselves with someone else’s petard. To paraphrase California’s governor, they’ll be back.

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  • Luther Luther on Jan 06, 2009

    The UAW is a government created (Via the Fascist 1934 Wagner Act...UAW created in 1935) and protected (Via gun-backed laws and jails) criminal mob...It is the government's mini-me. Gettelfinger is a lying thieving mobster no different than Clinton/Bush/Obama...He IS the government's "car czar"...Note how Gettelfinger speaks as if he owns 2.801...The UAW controls 2.801 using threats of government violence but the shareholders (rightful owners) actually own 2.801. 2.801 is bankrupt...With goonish parasites like Gettelfinger, what would you expect? What competent Executive would ever work in a unionized industry? Wagoner is the best you will get.

  • on Jan 07, 2009

    Kinda ironic that the UAW is a spawn of FDR's New Deal. This is just a delaying tactic till Obama is President. And really so much worry about a few tens of billions that will be hardely noticed in the trillion dollar stimulus package. The Obama New Deal like FDR's New Deal is sure to favour unions.

  • LYNN DELANEY Mine is a 2001 Pure White Miata. I bought it at Concord Mazda. I love it but Imay be about to get rid of it I guess. It's been in my garage for quite awhile. Why? 1. I don't have a lot of money (I'm a retired teacher) And I've had issues with it that require financing. For example when you insert the key and turn it nothing happens. Why? I got it at Concord Mazda and somehow. it came to my condo shared garage to die and has remained such to this day. If you want to experience it you put the key in the keyhole and turn it but silence ensues and you wonder why but you know it's because the key was "programmed and it worked when you brought it home but not since.I'm told it requires a new battery but I've not had the financial energy to deal with it. I love my Miata but will I keep it? I'm unsure. Next step? Install a new battery...When it came home from Concord Mazda it was perfect for a quick minute. I tested it. I drove it around my block in Oakland, California just one time. That was the end of it. Since them I'm told it needs a new battery. It's a 2001. Shall I go ahead and splurge?
  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.