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UAW REACTS TO GM ANNOUNCEMENT

 UAW REACTS TO GM ANNOUNCEMENT
 DETROIT, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- "The proper answer to the


insatiable demands of the Ebenezer Scrooge types who run Wall Street is not a snappy 'Yes, Sir!' salute," said UAW President Owen Bieber and UAW Vice President Stephen P. Yokich, who heads the union's General Motors Department, in commenting on today's GM announcement.
 "A better response to the current crisis," the UAW leaders said, "would be to revise anti-U.S. GM corporate policies that favor production in Mexico and other countries at the expense of U.S. workers and support the giveaway of the U.S. domestic market to predatory Japanese producers willing to stop at nothing to gain U.S. market share."
 "Both in the long and the short term, strategies which close plants, reduce employment and curtail capital spending are self-defeating in that they further undermine the already weakened middle-class base of America's consumer-driven economy," Bieber and Yokich added.
 "Unfortunately, by capitulating to Wall Street's short-sighted and greedy marching orders, General Motors has chosen just such a self- defeating path," they said.
 "That may be welcome news in New York and Tokyo, but it's bad news for GM employees and more bad news for the American economy," they continued.
 "The irony is," the UAW leaders added, "that it's 12 years of Reagan-Bush obedience to Wall Street needs and Wall Street values that have thrown the U.S. economy into structural decline and the longest recession since the Great Depression in the first place."
 "Not only will this announcement ruin the holidays for a lot of people -- it can only have the counterproductive effect of further dragging down confidence in the state of the U.S. economy," Bieber and Yokich commented.
 Vowing to vigorously enforce the current UAW-GM agreement which prohibits plant closings and assures the job and income security of UAW- represented GM workers, Bieber and Yokich said, "If there is any consolation in this announcement, it's that UAW members are protected by a contract which starts from the premise that left on its own, GM management can't be trusted to live up to lofty promises about loyalty to its workforce.
 "No one disputes that our members have made critical contributions to dramatic gains in productivity and the quality of GM products," they said.
 "Yet once again the reward for employees is anxiety and dislocation at best or unemployment at worst and that's no way to run a company or support the U.S. economy," Bieber and Yokich continued.
 Noting that GM's announcement comes in the context of widespread layoff announcements by other employers, Bieber and Yokich said, "We think it's fair to ask George Bush what he has to offer these workers this holiday season, especially those not protected by a UAW contract."
 "More importantly," they continued, "in view of the fact that 41 percent of the U.S. auto market is now controlled by foreign producers, it's also high time that the media and the American people started seriously asking Ronald Reagan and George Bush what they think they have done to the American economy."
 "This announcement will not only strengthen our resolve to fully enforce the contract, it will further energize us to win the White House for a president who understands the needs of America and has a plan to meet them," they concluded.
 -0- 12/18/91
 /CONTACT: Frank Joyce of the UAW, 313-926-5291/
 (GM) CO: United Auto Workers; General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


KK -- DE030 -- 3537 12/18/91 15:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1991
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