DETROIT -- The UAW will join with the U.S. government, Chrysler and Fiat in urging the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to give immediate approval to labor agreements ratified by UAW members, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said today.
President Obama today announced continued government support for Chrysler as it continues its restructuring process.
“UAW Vice President General Holiefield and I spoke with President Obama this morning, and he asked us to let our active and retired members at Chrysler know how much he appreciates the substantial sacrifices they have made to help save this company,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. “The president’s goal is clear: to assure the long term future of Chrysler.”
The next step in that process will be the filing of a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
The first order of business in the bankruptcy proceedings will be to seek court approval of the agreements recently reached between the UAW, the U.S. Treasury, Chrysler and Fiat. Motions seeking that approval will be filed immediately.
“We will urge the court to act swiftly,” said Gettelfinger. The agreements incorporate the modifications to the UAW collective bargaining agreement and retiree health agreement that were ratified by the UAW’s membership in voting that concluded yesterday.
Chrysler, the U.S. Treasury Department and Fiat all remain in full support of these UAW agreements and will join in urging the Bankruptcy Court to give them immediate approval. At the same time, the parties will be urging the Bankruptcy Court to give immediate approval to the terms of the Chrysler/Fiat alliance.
Under the UAW agreements, the pension plan covering UAW-represented employees and retirees will continue in effect without change. The agreements also include the previously announced changes to the retiree medical program, including 55 percent ownership of the restructured company by the retiree benefits trust fund.
“The UAW agreements have been ratified by our membership and approved by the United States Treasury, Chrysler and Fiat,” said Gettelfinger. “We believe it is in the best interests of all concerned for the Bankruptcy Court to give those agreements swift and complete approval. We look forward to presenting those agreements to the court.”
“The UAW membership at Chrysler, both active and retired, has once again demonstrated its strength and steadfastness in the face of great uncertainty,” said UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who directs the union’s Chrysler Department. “While we work to complete the process of court approval, the steps taken today are important milestones in restoring a great American car company to financial health, keeping manufacturing jobs here in the United States, and preserving a secure retirement for tens of thousands of American workers.”