The United Auto Workers has agreed to suspend the Jobs Bank program and allow Detroit’s Big 3 automakers to delay making payments to a retiree health care trust in 2010 to help the automakers through their cash crisis, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said Wednesday, December 3.
Gettelfinger spoke after summoning the presidents and chairmen from Detroit’s Big 3 locals for an emergency meeting in Detroit on Wednesday.
The union is willing to make modifications to the 2007 contracts reached with General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler, said Jeff Everett, a local Chrysler president who attended the meeting. He said concessions on wages and benefits for active workers weren’t discussed.
“Times are tough, and we are going to do what we have to do,” said Everett, president of UAW Local 1166 in Kokomo, Indiana.
Under the Jobs Bank program, laid-off factory workers can receive as much as 95 percent of their regular pay.
Gettelfinger and the automakers’ CEOs are scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday and the House Financial Services Committee on Friday. The automakers are seeking as much as $34 billion in loans and lines of credit.