Big Three vs the Senators – who is right?

Below were what were said in Capitol Hill, Washington, in the U.S. by the three chief executive officers of General Motors Corps., Chrysler and Ford Motors and the American senators.

Here, the CEO of General Motors Corp; Rick Wagoner said – “Our industry … needs a bridge to span the financial chasm that has opened up before us.”  He blamed the industry’s predicament not on management failures but on the deepening global financial crisis.

And Robert Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler LLC, told the panel the bailout would be “the least costly alternative” when compared with damage from bankruptcy.

Under questioning from skeptical senators, both said they’d be willing to consider slashing their salaries to $1 to show a willingness to sacrifice for federal help. At the start of a more than four hour grilling before his committee, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., told the leaders of GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. that the industry was “seeking treatments for wounds that I believe to a large extent were self-inflicted.”

He cited “inefficient production” and “costly labor agreements” that put the U.S. automakers at a disadvantage to foreign companies.

Joining the Big Three CEOs, Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers union, said the emergency loans were important for the survival of the industry and union jobs. He said the UAW recognized that “in order for these companies to be competitive, we had to make tough calls” in labor concessions

“We don’t think that taxpayers should be asked to throw money at a company that can’t prove that it has a long-term path for success,” said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.

Who do you think made more sense, who are the ones who were absolving themselves of all blame?

The ‘once auto lords’ were saying everything about nothing and at the end Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers Union who was there to give support to the Big Three unwittingly made the admission that the giants are uncompetitive and part of the reasons is that they had high labor costs. (Quote – “in order for these companies to be competitive, we had to make tough calls” in labor concessions).

What the senators had thrown at them were accurate assessments of the situation they have created The White House made a telling point as it doesn’t look like they have any long term path for recovery.


3 thoughts on “Big Three vs the Senators – who is right?

  1. bonadiesbalks says:

    It was embarrassing. Corker, R-TN, asked some pressing yet very basic questions that the CEOs choked on. For all of the money they have collectively borrowed from the Fed, it seems they have never been second guessed until now. Or even held accountable.

  2. Justin says:

    Not to mention they all flew on private jets to go to Washington to beg for money. I’m all for CEOs being well compensated for what they do, they (in this case at least) have a multi-billion dollar company that they are responsible for running, and millions of share holders to answer to. However, if you’re going to beg for taxpayer money to bail your company out, it would at least be a good PR move to fly commercial.

  3. Wulfgar says:

    CEO’s shouldn’t be on the grill anyway, since they are all darn near guilty of knowing nothing about the way their companies run. They need some line workers and lower management. Then they’ll get answer. Answers that nobody will like, but at least they won’t be sitting their with millions of dollars in their pockets and blank looks on their faces. Wait!! Am I talking about the CEO’s or the elected officials……???

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