While Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was briefing reporters on his plans for turning around the ailing automaker last week, members of the Teamsters union were protesting at the Italian embassy in Washington D.C.
Shouting “Hey, hey, ho, ho, bailout bandits got to go” and other slogans, more than 200 people protested what the union says is Chrysler’s attempt to destroy professional carhaul jobs.
Teamsters Carhaul Division Director Fred Zuckerman delivered a report to embassy staff, who told him it would be forwarded to the Italian ambassador to the United States.
“Damaged When Delivered? How Bailed-Out Auto Giants are Ripping Off American Consumers,” is said by the militant union to look at the risks to vehicles and consumers when car companies use “cut-rate and inexperienced carhaul drivers” to transport new automobiles.
“We are today at the Italian Embassy because we are standing up to the Bailout Bandits,” Zuckerman said.
“Fiat Chrysler got $14 billion in American taxpayer money and we’re here to say we won’t allow them to use that money to restructure an industry in a way that destroys American jobs, increases the danger of driving on our highways, and hurts the American Consumer,” Zuckerman charged.
The delegation also delivered a letter from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the president of the Council of Ministers and the presidents of the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
In the letter, Hoffa claims that billions in taxpayer dollars on both sides of the Atlantic are not being used to establish a sustainable recovery at Fiat-Chrysler. Hoffa called on the Italian government to hold Fiat Chrysler and its chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, accountable for the company’s actions, which are “harming consumer interests, and destroying thousands of good paying jobs in the U.S. carhaul industry.”