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Granholm praises UAW's Bob King for forward-thinking push for partnership

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Granholm praises UAW's Bob King for forward-thinking push for partnership

BY TOM WALSH

FREE PRESS BUSINESS COLUMNIST

TRAVERSE CITY – Gov. Jennifer Granholm today praised UAW President Bob King’s speech earlier this week, in which he advocated a move away from 20th-Century adversarial relations between labor and management to a new 21st-Century era of partnership.

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“I think that’s a national story, that this is not your father’s UAW,” Granholm said in an interview with the Free Press preceding an appearance at an automotive conference where, where she was given an award by the Center for Automotive Research.

“I mean, it’s really the old mind-set being adversarial, the new mind-set being partnership, that we’re going to be competitive together in the global economy,” she said of King’s message in a 31-minute speech to the CAR conference on Monday.

“That’s exactly on the money,” she added.

King, who replaced former UAW President Ron Gettelfinger in June, said Monday that previous UAW efforts to preserve job security, such as the much-maligned jobs bank that paid laid-off workers indefinitely for not working, “did not achieve the results we were seeking.”

King said the only true route to job growth is producing the best possible products at the best price, and that unions can be a partner, rather than a hindrance, in making that happen.

In addressing the CAR conference this morning, Granholm, who has presided over eight years of crisis in the auto-dominated Michigan economy, said the industry is “starting to emerge from a very, very difficult period of time. This is the first year since 2000 that the auto industry is adding jobs.”

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100804/BUSINESS01/100804025/1210/Granholm-praises-UAWs-King

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