Is UAW’s Gettlefinger a “has been”?

Is UAW’s Gettlefinger a “has been”?

2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit, MI – Those are his words, not mine. Listen as someone tells him to get in with the crowd and he says, “Git Whitacre in there, I’m a has been”

We saw Senator Nancy Pelosi, the de-throned former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Mother, U. S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 13th district Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and others.

Senator Debbie Stabenow stopped to talk to us. Stabenow loved the cash for clunkers and would love to have another round. Listen carefully, because I asked her if she would consider a cash for clunkers program for pre-1983 cars.

Then I asked her how the UAW would get more members. In order for the UAW to survive they need more members. Would suppliers and other manufacturers consider it a conflict of interest to have the second largest investor in General Motors and Chrysler be their union managers?

UAW/VEBA (these are the most accurate numbers I could find):

The UAW supervises the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Associations (VEBA) trust. The VEBA money and stock ownership is made up of:

Ford Motor Company owes $13.2 billion over ten years. On December 31, 2009 the paid $1.3 billion in cash, plus stock.

General Motors owes $2.5 billion in a promissory note and $9 billion in preferred stock. On December 31, 2009 they paid $585 million.

Chrysler owes $4.6 billion plus VEBA owns 17.5% of Chrysler. On July 15, 2010 the will pay $315 million (this may have been paid in 2009, I do not know). UAW/VEBA ownership is 55%.

UAW retirees:

General Motors: 493,000 as of 8/09

Ford: 175,000 as of 12/08

Chrysler: 93,434 as of 7/09

About the Author:

L ou Ann Hammond has a work history in the energy and transportation field. Starting with Chevron Corp. in finance and accounting from 1978 to 1986. Hammond was exposed to the accounting, selling, management, and transportation of petroleum and all the alternative energies Chevron explored for during the turbulent 1970s. Hammond is the founder and owner of the first privately owned automobile website Carlist is the longest running used car database, since 1986, even prior to the Internet. Hammond's most recent website,, covers a broader range of subjects than solely the automotive or the energy industry. Driving the Nation encompasses both automotive and energy issues to show the audience how dependent we are on both. Hammond's varied background in the petroleum and automotive industry gives her an analyst insight into the myriad levels of automobile and energy topics.