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Auto Workers to hold emergency meeting on bailout

Auto Workers to hold emergency meeting on bailout

Local United Auto Workers leaders from across the U.S. will hold an emergency meeting in Detroit on Wednesday to discuss concessions the union could make to help auto companies get government loans.
UAW leaders called the meeting Monday night in an e-mail, obtained by The Associated Press, to local union presidents and bargaining chairmen.
Among the subjects to be discussed at the meeting will be the possibility of restructuring the union-administered health care fund so that the automakers can delay payments to the multibillion-dollar fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The union leaders will also discuss potentially eliminating the jobs bank, in which laid-off workers keep receiving most of their pay. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details of the talks haven't been finalized.
Presidents from union locals for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC will attend the meeting, according to the e-mail. A separate meeting for GM union officials will follow.
Members of the committee that negotiated contracts last year with GM, Chrysler and Ford also will attend.
Chief executives from all three companies and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger are traveling to Washington this week to present business plans to Congress as they seek to get $25 billion in federal loans to help them survive.
The automakers will present their plans on Tuesday, the same day the industry is scheduled to report November U.S. sales. Analysts are expecting yet another month of dismal volumes due to the economic recession and the credit crisis.
GM, Ford and Chrysler would refinance their companies' debt, cut executive pay, seek concessions from workers and find other ways of reviving their staggering companies.
Gettelfinger said Tuesday the plans the automakers are submitting to Congress don't yet include union-approved cutbacks, but he said "we recognize that there may be additional sacrifices required."
"We have ongoing discussions with the companies about different issues. We're working all the time to help save the companies money," he said on WJR-AM's "Paul W. Smith Show" in Detroit.
U.S. automakers are struggling to stay afloat heading into next year under the weight of an economic meltdown, the worst auto sales in decades and a tight credit market. GM, Ford and Chrysler went through nearly $18 billion in cash reserves during the last quarter, and GM and Chrysler have said they could collapse in weeks.
Last month, chief executives from the Detroit Three failed to convince Congress they were worthy of the $25 billion in loans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ordered them to outline major changes, including the elimination of lavish executive pay packages and assurances that taxpayers would be reimbursed for the loans.
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AP Auto Writer Dan Strumpf in New York and Associated Press Writer David Runk in Detroit contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-20 09:30 GMT+08:00