The UAW Will Now Own Chrysler?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Business, Cars, Unions

This certainly turns the tables on the notion that unions are somehow “anti-business.”

From USA Today:

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — The United Auto Workers union will own 55% of a restructured Chrysler LLC and its retiree health care trust will get a seat on the board if union members vote to approve contract concessions this week.

Chrysler stock could even be traded publicly again, as there are mechanisms for the UAW to sell shares to fund the health care trust.

Factory-level union leaders voted unanimously Monday night to recommend approval of concessions that union President Ron Gettelfinger said would help keep the automaker out of bankruptcy.

A summary of the revised Chrysler-UAW contract says that Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA eventually will own 35% of a restructured Chrysler, with the remaining 10% stake divided between the U.S. government and secured lenders, mostly banks and hedge funds.

Up is down, black is white, dogs and cats living together…

Honestly, I think this could actually turn out rather well because the union obviously has increased interest in making sure the business stays afloat and is profitable.

We shall see…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 and is filed under Business, Cars, Unions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “The UAW Will Now Own Chrysler?”

  1. cynicalone Says:

    Please explain how this says anything about unions’ predilections toward business.

    Honestly, I think this could actually turn out rather well because the union obviously has increased interest in making sure the business stays afloat and is profitable.

    They had no interest before?
    I guess that explains a lot then.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    This is why I said “increased” interest. Of course they had an interest before, but now that they essentially own the company, the game is different. They’ll be thinking about long term strategic decisions, including what cars they make, etc.

    Personally, I’m wary, but maybe this will bring about a new form of corporate governance and accountability that will prove successful. We shall see.

  3. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Buwahahahah! Rich. Look to nature to see what happens when you push a beached whale back into the sea.

    Seriously, what, the UAW is going to suddenly say, “Holy crap, we can’t pay our members $60 an hour to drive a bolt into a piece of metal! What were we thinking all these years?” More likely they’ll ask for government subsidies in order to stay competitive with Ford, Tesla (or any emergent competitor), and international competitors, and reduce product quality. Which will then lead to an even further decline in market share (except for the very lowest economic strata).

    Although it is encouraging to see the blood of the working class fuel the machine for the great proletariat paradise. Or something.

  4. kranky kritter Says:

    I wonder how much of Polaroid was employee-owned in the final days?

    I actually like the idea of employee-owned companies. But Chrysler doesn’t survive unless it finds a way to manage or escape its pension liabilities. This is true no matter who owns them.

  5. shoopique Says:

    I believe sailors call the UAW’s position “being hoist on your own petard.”
    They now own what they forced into being. Some 250,000 UAW Chrysler retirees are now depending on 46,000 UAW Chrysler employees to keep their lifeline going.

    I wonder if the UAW stockholders will demand that the company build profitable cars (SUVs, trucks and luxury cars) or will they try and produce the profitless roller skates the government wants but Americans won’t buy?

    This should be fun.

  6. Jaycann Says:

    @shoopique

    “I wonder if the UAW stockholders will demand that the company build profitable cars (SUVs, trucks and luxury cars) or will they try and produce the profitless roller skates the government wants but Americans won’t buy?”

    How can you conclude the Americans won’t buy smaller, more fuel efficient cars? You looking to history for that? Well, history also says that the SUVs and trucks weren’t keeping the company afloat. If Chrysler chooses to make “profitless roller skates” as you indicate, then yes, the company will fail. If they choose to develop a new class of small, not necessarily cheap, fuel efficient cars, in the essence of BWM 1 series, Audi A3 series, Mini Cooper, Toyota Prius, then they can be successful. They can develop their own class if well thought out. Obviously what they had been doing didn’t work, it’s time for change.

  7. mprimorac Says:

    I will never buy a car from this company again…I’ve purchased several in the past…not anymore though. Looks like I’m buying Ford’s from now on.

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