The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

GM and Unemployment


AP reports that according to government data released today, "the
number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits rose to
6.78 million -- the largest total on records dating back to 1967 and
the 17th straight record week."

Hammer is a retired GM employee of 32 years. He was president of United
Auto Workers local 909 and also worked in the GM department of the UAW.

He said today: "We have to look at multiple crises, including the
economy and global warming. James Hansen of NASA has warned that we are
near irreversible harm on global warming. Now, that's pretty alarming.
But we're not acting with the seriousness that would mean.

"We must engage in a conversion so that what we manufacture makes sense
environmentally, including public transportation, like trains, and
renewable energy, like wind turbines. We need to put people to work
creating things that will work to prevent environmental disaster.

"There was a similar civilian-to-military conversion in the auto plants
during World War II -- and the companies resisted that too while the
UAW pushed for it. And they were able to convert in eight months. We
need another conversion for another kind of war now. GM has been a
dinosaur and is not able to lead the conversion to produce the things
we need."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.