Message from President Colby regarding the auto industry crisis:
Regardless of what we think of the executives of the Big Three, our nation cannot afford to let the auto industry disappear, which is what may very well happen if the Big Three do not get a bridge loan to carry them through December.
I'm furious that the short-sighted greed of these jet-set executives have brought the auto industry to the brink of insolvency. We in the UAW have done everything we could to keep this industry afloat, including give-backs that many UAW members thought was giving too much. But what is at stake now is not only the Big Three, but the entire auto industry, from suppliers to dealerships, all told, some 3 million jobs. The auto industry is also the largest customer of the steel and glass and artificial rubber industries.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger is convinced that, in this climate, a Chapter
11 Bankruptcy (reorganization) will quickly lead to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (liquidation). This would mean the disappearance of 10% of the USA's GNP.
For all our sakes, please reach out to your members with the talking points attached [please contact email@example.com for talking points] and ask them to send a strong, clear message to our Congressional delegations calling for the $25 billion bridge loan in return for an equity holding through the issuance of preferred shares, the same solution given to Chrysler years ago, all of which were later sold at a huge profit once Chrysler turned around. As you may know, the Big Three have already been given a line of credit for retooling the industry so they can be competitive in the world market. But even though that line of credit is still unfunded, the industry has committed itself to a turn-around to produce fuel-efficient cars. Novertheless, the new fuel-efficient cars will never make it to the showrooms if the companies go under this coming month in this credit climate, which is denying credit to the both the companies and the would-be buyers.
Please pitch in with calls to Congress while we still have a chance to save this country from tipping us over into what would easily be the worst Depression in history, where everyone, and particularly working families, suffers.
President, Champlain Valley Labor Council, AFL-CIO President, National Writers Union/UAW Local 198