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UAW head says two new automaker CEOs are 'down to earth'

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UAW head says two new automaker CEOs are 'down to earth'

05:30 AM

By Carlos Osorio, AP

Detroit's two newest CEOs -- Ed Whitacre at General Motors and Sergio Marchionne at Chrysler -- get the thumbs up so far from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

Gettelfinger, who can be kind of crusty at times, said he's a fan of Whitacre and Marchionne.

"They're down to earth, not a showboat," he told the International Motor Press Association Thursday. "This industry has had too many showboats."

Gettelfinger did not have nice things to say about one former CEO:

Dieter Zetsche, the former head of Chrysler who is now leading Mercedes. "He left it in bad shape," he said, according to Automotive News.

And CEOs in general are overpaid, Gettelfinger said. Pay in 1980 was 40 times the average worker salary, he said, and now it's 344 times.

"People say (UAW members) think we're entitled," Gettelfinger said. "The only thing we're entitled to is to work 58 minutes out of the hour, and at the end of the day we're working just as hard as at the beginning. Is anybody [among CEOs] working that hard? I'd like to see it."



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