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Entries in UAW (2)

Tuesday
Feb282012

Obama Suggests Romney Shoveling 'Load of You-Know-What'

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- As Michigan Republicans head to the polls Tuesday morning, President Obama delivered an aggressive defense of the bailout of the auto industry and his presidency in general, harshly criticizing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney – though he never mentioned him by name.

“I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these folks completely try to rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet,” the president said to a raucous crowd at the United Auto Workers Convention. “The same folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, ‘you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.’”

In a November 2008 New York Times op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney wrote, “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”

In a boisterous, excited tone, President Obama continued, criticizing Republicans who said “the workers made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really?  I mean, even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you-know-what.”

Campaigning in Grand Rapids, Mich., earlier this month, Romney said the bailout was “crony capitalism,” arguing that President Obama had “gotten hundreds of millions of dollars from labor bosses for his campaign. And so he's paying them back in every way he knows how. One way of course was giving General Motors and Chrysler to the UAW.”

As part of the GM bailout arrangement, a UAW-owned trust was given a 17.5 percent ownership stake the car company (now roughly 10 percent as stock has been sold) in exchange for various concessions including the union taking responsibility for health care costs of retirees. The president Tuesday argued that with reduced hours and pay, some worker rights relinquished, and roughly 700,000 auto worker retirees seeing a reduction in health care benefits, workers indeed gave things up in the bailout.

The visit was an “official” presidential event, not campaign-related, but the president took the stage to chants of “Four More Years!” after which a labor official told the crowd, “This is not a political event.”

Still, the president continually referenced Romney. “The other option we had was to do nothing, and allow these companies to fail,” the president said. “In fact, some politicians said we should. Some even said we should ‘let Detroit go bankrupt’” -- another reference to Romney’s New York Times op-ed.

The crowd booed at that reference.

“You remember that?” the president said to the crowd that clearly did. “You know him?”

“Think about what that choice would have meant for this country,” the president said. “If we had turned our backs on you; if America had thrown in the towel; GM and Chrysler had gone under.”

Without directly asking the UAW workers to help his re-election campaign he said, “I’ll promise you this: as long as you’ve got an ounce of fight left in you, I’ll have a ton of fight left in me.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Ford to Add 7,000 U.S. Workers in Next Two Years

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Ford Motor Company announced Monday it will add 7,000 new hourly and salaried jobs between this year and next in the United States. 
 
This year alone, Ford is adding nearly 4,000 hourly jobs at several of its U.S. plants, including 1,800 at Louisville Assembly Plant, which is preparing to launch the next-generation Ford Escape late in the year. Ford also will add 750 salaried engineering jobs in product development and manufacturing. Next year, Ford expects to add at least 2,500 more new manufacturing positions.
 
“Ford is committed to American manufacturing, and we are on a path to add more than 7,000 American workers over the next two years as we continue to grow our product lineup,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Working with our partners, including the UAW, Ford is finding competitive ways to engineer and build even more high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles with technologies American consumers really want.”
 
Ford is recruiting salaried engineers specializing in batteries, system controls, software and energy storage to work on electric vehicles in Detroit and eight other cities including Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Raleigh and Durham, N.C.; and San Jose, Calif. This recruitment launches at the 2011 North American International Auto Show during industry preview days on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio