Chrysler exec visits Toledo, touts electric Jeep
With the Jeep Wrangler assembly line behind him and nearly 300 hourly workers in front, Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda led a rally in Toledo yesterday to drum up support for the U.S. auto industry's request for $34 billion in federal money.
CHRYSLER'S LASORDA SPEAKS
Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, which represents workers at Toledo Jeep, said at the rally that the union had targeted about 10 congressmen in Ohio for an e-mail and letter-writing campaign.
At union meetings, workers have been enthusiastic about participating, Mr. Baumhower added.
"Sometimes we get 30 people, sometimes 300 attend, but we have gotten good response," Mr. Baumhower said. "Our guys understand that this is a crisis."
The banking industry asked Congress for help and quickly got $700 billion, Miss Kaptur said. "And they didn't even have to provide any evidence" of their plight, she said.
Mr. LaSorda said lawmakers need to understand that Chrysler, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Corp. don't want a handout.
"Let's be clear, we're asking for a loan, and we're going to pay it back," he said.
Automakers have said they need the total of $34 billion to fund daily operations and new product development.
Without the aid, the industry's survival is in doubt and the communities it supports are in serious trouble, auto executives have said.