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Auto Workers to hold emergency meeting on bailout

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Auto Workers to hold emergency meeting on bailout

UAW leaders to hold emergency meeting to discuss concessions to help auto companies

December 02, 2008: 07:51 AM EST

NEW YORK (Associated Press)
- Local United Auto Workers leaders from across the country 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.

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 CEOs will go before Congress on Tuesday, the same day major automakers are 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.

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, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., 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 contributed to this report from New York. Top of page
 

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