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GM's Bankruptcy

Out of the ashes of GM, Frank Hammer suggests a vision for green transportation

WASHINGTON - As General Motors declares bankruptcy today, Frank Hammer, a
retired General Motors employee and former President and Chairman of
Local 909 in Warren, MIchigan, talks to TRNN about how a green
transportation system would resuscitate the automobile industry with
jobs while addressing the problem of climate change.

In the recent days, the Obama administration has intervened in the
pre-bankruptcy arrangements between GM and its two largest creditors,
its bondholders, and the United Auto Workers union (UAW).

As the
US government becomes a majority shareholder, they will appoint five US
government membes onto GM's board along with one Canadian member for
Canada's $10 billion contribution to the company.

Hammer says that the US government should not focus on saving a car
company anymore but one that focuses on green transportation. "The
American market, first of all, is going to take years to recover to the
levels where we were, which was 16 or 17 million car sales per year. I
believe that's gone," Hammer says. He also says because of the massive
job layoffs, there will be less Americans in the future who can afford
to buy new cars.

Only 40,000 workers will remain with GM - a 91% reduction in the
company's workforce in comparison to 1970s numbers when GM employed
450,000 UAW members.

Hammer believes that auto workers will be key to structuring GM to become a "green company, a holistic company.”

“It’s going to take the political will to make that happen,” Hammer
says of the new vision of GM. “And that will, in part, is going to have
to come from the workers who are going to have to demand this.”

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