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UAW Will Make Concessions to Help U.S. Automakers

Leaders of the United Auto Workers (UAW) say their union is willing to renegotiate its contracts with General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler LLC. At a news conference during a meeting of union officials today, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said that the union will also modify the jobs bank, in which laid-off workers are paid up to 95 percent of their salaries while not working. "We're going to sit down and work out the mechanics," says Gettlefinger. "We're a little unclear on some of the issues." The Detroit Free Press reports that union members in attendance at the meeting expressed grudging support for potential changes to their contracts in order to convince Congress to provide the companies' requested bailout funding, rather than see the companies fail. "We'll do our part as always," says Mike Walsh, a union local leader, quoted in the Free Press. "We will bring it to our membership, and if the answer is yes, it is yes. And if the answer is no, it is no." The union says there will be meetings held throughout the week to fine-tune a package of possible concessions.


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