We've been talking to a few PR folks from the General today — trying to make heads or tails of the impact of the UAW's decision to hit the picket lines against GM. And each one of them told me they didn't believe the UAW had actually gone on strike and that it was some kind of a mistake or something. The cacophony of noise coming out of the RenCen that this wasn't really a strike was so high a number of local and national newscasts had tickers running across the bottom of the screen stating that a 12:15 PM press conference by Ron Gettelfinger was to tell people there wasn't a strike. (Heck, check this out — even GMInsideNews bought into it.)To each of them we explained "we were just there in Lansing — there's nobody on the assembly lines there — you know that, right?" Well, UAW chieftain Ron Gettelfinger was unambiguous and clear at the press conference — to, you know, dispel any of these faulty PR staffer notions that they aren't out on the lines:
"The UAW is on strike...we have no intention of removing UAW workers from the picket line..."More of what else "Rowdy Rowdy" Ron Gettelfinger had to say after the jump.
"Since Labor Day...GM gave us every reason to believe movement on the issues would occur. Since then...GM has moved on one issue — a cap on profit sharing. There was no movement we felt in the sub-group breakouts on every other issue."
"The UAW will go back to the bargaining table today...and we have the expectation they [GM] will move rather expeditiously..."
"...UAW wants to wrap up this strike and these negotiations as quickly as possible..."
"...job security is certainly an issue...but let me be clear here, the strike is not about the VEBA...but, while we're on the subject of the VEBA, since you bring it up, I'd like to remind people — and this is something we haven't been talking up — GM walked away from the VEBA in '05...and if it had been agreed to, it would have saved them $2 billion."