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UAW Taps Blanchard for Chrysler Board

Old union ally helped save Chrysler in 1980s.

by on Jun.11, 2009

Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard will take a seat on the new Chrysler's board. Nearly 30 years ago, as a Congressman, he helped the automaker win its first federal bailout.

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard will take the VEBA seat on Chrysler Group's board. Nearly 30 years ago, as a U.S. Congressman, he helped the automaker win its first federal bailout.

The United Auto Workers has tapped an old ally to serve as its representative on the board of directors of the reorganized Chrysler Group LLC,  newly emerged from bankruptcy and now effectively under the thumb of the Italian automaker, Fiat.

The UAW announced the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, has named former Michigan Governor James Blanchard to serve as its representative on the “new” Chrysler’s board. The terms of the deal that sold Chrysler to Fiat allows the VEBA to appoint one director.

Blanchard will play a critical role.  Though the union emerges as Chrysler Holding’s largest shareholder, the plan overseen by the Obama Administration’s Auto Task Force gives the UAW only limited say in the new company’s day-to-day operations.

“In accordance with the agreements establishing Chrysler Holding, LLC, the VEBA trustees have the right to name a director of the corporation, with consent of the UAW.  Other company directors will be named by Fiat, the U.S. government, and the government of Canada,” the union noted in a statement. (more…)