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UAW's King: IPO is 'birth of new GM'


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UAW's King: IPO is 'birth of new GM'

David Shepardson / The Detroit News

New York- United Auto Workers President Bob King called General Motors Co.'s initial public offering a historic step.

"It's the birth of the new General Motors," King said in a Detroit News interview overlooking the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. "It's a dramatically different company."

He said his members have been through a lot in recent years and made significant concessions — and thousands of hourly workers have taken early retirements or buyouts.

"A successful IPO really means long-term security for our membership," King said. "For our retirees it will bring an infusion of really important funds. This means long-term security — for pensions, jobs and health care."

The UAW health care trust fund holds 17.5 percent of GM and is selling about 102 million shares.

King said the rise in the stock price before the public offering "was a tremendous vote of confidence" in GM.

He said the government may now exit its investment in GM faster than some thought.

"President Obama believed in GM and invested in an American company with American workers," King said. "There wouldn't be a General Motors today without President Obama's leadership."

President George W. Bush rescued GM with a $13.4 billion bailout, and Obama agreed to add another $36 billion as the company went through bankruptcy restructuring in June 2009.

King, wearing a suit and tie instead of his traditional UAW jacket, said it was his first trip to the New York Stock Exchange.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101118/AUTO01/11180440/UAW-s-King--IPO-is--birth-of-new-GM-#ixzz15e98qq7F

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