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Swedish union plea to Obama: 'help save Saab'

Swedish union plea to Obama: 'help save Saab'

Published: 14 May 2012 14:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 May 2012 14:30 GMT+02:00

Swedish union IF Metall has written a letter to US president Barack Obama about bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab, hoping for a similar result to the General Motors bailout of 2009.

The letter urges the president to force former Saab owner General Motors to release the technology licenses for any potential buyer for Saab.

The hope is for a similar treatment from Obama as was the case with General Motors in 2009, when the company was saved from bankruptcy thanks to a $50 billion bailout government bailout of GM orchestrated by Obama's administration.

“Our hope is that you will feel that Saab Automobile is worth being saved. We, more than 4,500 car workers in Sweden, look forward to your answer,” the letter said, according to the TT news agency.

A spokesperson for the union indicated that a start to negotiations is the first goal of the letter.

“We’re doing everything to try and influence GM so the company can at least begin to negotiate,” said Tonnie Andersson, spokesperson for IF Metall, to Sveriges Radio (SR) P4 Väst.

The letter, in which the workers claim to be “frustrated” with the lack of negotiations over a possible purchase of Saab, urges the president to consider the company, the workers, and the Unites States’ previous cooperation with GM.

“The efforts you made a few years ago to save General Motors were exceptional. However, in the process, Saab became badly damaged. After five months we became forced to declare bankruptcy and time has nearly run out,” the letter said.

Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy in the Swedish courts in December 2011 following the failure of a Chinese consortium to complete a takeover in part due to GM's unwillingness to release Saab technology licences that are key for producing the Saab 9-4X and Saab 9-5.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:20 May 14, 2012 by Carbarrister
Let us review the facts that make this episode pitiful in the middle of a US election year:

The US Government owns 60 per cent of GM's stock.

GM's stock price is depressed so the US government is holding off selling the stock until after the election in November so the Government does not have to recognize a multi-billion dollar loss prior to the election.

GM is unwilling to license its technology to a Chinese buyer of Saab because they will end up competing against their own technology world wide.

As the owner of a controlling interest in GM, there is no possibility that the US Government is going to order GM to transfer technology to a Chinese company in an election year. The move would depress the GM stock price even further and open President to a charge that he is favoring Chinese workers at the expense of US workers.

It's not gonna happen!
17:40 May 14, 2012 by Mb 65
If Reinfeldt had given the millions he has just given the IMF, foreign aid and euro he could have saved Saab.
18:23 May 14, 2012 by blue2012
Someone tell the president of the union that they are wasting their time in writing the letter to Obama.
23:38 May 14, 2012 by samwise
They can purchase those gm technologies with their union money then give them to the commies. By the way, chicom regime doesn't allow workers to organize by themselves.
07:24 May 15, 2012 by SecondGen
@ samwise

Isn't Volvo already Chinese? What happened with their union workers?
22:14 May 15, 2012 by SockRayBlue
You have got to be kidding. All this fool does is talk a mean line but he can't do anything except talk. His arrogance is beyond belief and he think he will be reelected when the country knows he is a dictator in the making. Remember Mussolini the Italian teacher turned dictator that paraded in fro t of his audience? We get to watch the same strutting show in the US. The entire US is waiting for November half with their hands out and the other half waiting for the riots. Either way it is promising to be a great show for the world to watch.
10:40 May 23, 2012 by sureiam
Y Obama (US) doesnt he has enough in his plate already.........lol. Couldnt SAAB come up with a better deal than the US.......... 2 much
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