Email List Sign Up

UAW defends its share of GM stock, blasts newspaper

Thursday, May 28, 2009

UAW defends its share of GM stock, blasts newspaper

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — The United Auto Workers union sent a letter to Congress today, blasting a number of inaccurate stories about the amount of General Motors Corp. stock a union health care trust fund will receive.

The UAW also defended the split between bondholders, the government and the union — noting the sacrifices that auto workers and retirees have already made. The UAW has agreed to take 68 cents on the dollar for what its retirees were owed — or $32 billion for $47 billion in projected liabilities.

"The retirees gave a lifetime of service to GM in return for the promise that they would receive health care coverage during their retirement years," wrote Alan Reuther, the UAW’s legislative director, in a letter to Congress today obtained by The Detroit News.

"They will be forced to live with reduced access to health care and/or a lower standard of living."

The deal calls for new co-pays for lower income retirees, dropping coverage of some prescription drugs and other cost savings.

Some news outlets — including the Washington Post editorial page — reported that the trust fund would receive 39 percent of GM’s equity.

GM disclosed this week that the UAW’s health care trust fund will get a 17.5 percent stake and warrants allowing it to obtain another 2.5 percent.

"We would respectfully suggest that the Washington Post should have determined what the facts were, instead of issuing an inaccurate editorial based on rumors," Reuther wrote. "It is simply not tenable for the Washington Post to complain that the equity division somehow ‘ignores basic principles and economic realities.’ "

Last month, GM said the UAW trust fund and the Treasury would split 89 percent of GM’s stock — and that the Treasury would hold at least a majority. But it never disclosed the precise split.

The UAW will receive preferred stock that will pay $585 million per year in dividends and a note for $2.5 billion. The trust will initially be funded with $10 billion in cash — half of what the trust was owed.

The Washington Post editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, wasn’t in the office today and the paper didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.

Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier