Detroit (AP) United Auto Workers President Ron Gettlefinger says the Bush Administration's statements that it's ready to rescue failing U.S. automakers come as “great news.”
At the same time, he's accusing senate republicans of trying to “pierce the heart” of organized labor. GOP Senators were demanding steep wage cuts as part of a $14 billion emergency aid bill for the auto industry last night. When negotiations with the UAW over the concessions failed, so did the legislation.
This morning, the White House said it will consider tapping the $700 billion financial bailout fund to keep the industry from collapsing. Gettlefinger says while he's not sure what that might mean as far as conditions, it's vital the automakers get the money as quickly as possible to keep parts suppliers and creditors from demanding cash on delivery.
Gettelfinger also says he thinks the White House recognizes the UAW has been “very responsible.” He would not rule out the possibility that autoworkers might have to take wage cuts.