“There was enormous support as 3,500 people turned out to demonstrate in support of our battle to save Saab,” Håkan Danielsson, head of the local chapter of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer) told The Local shortly after the demonstration.
It didn’t take long for the crowd to erupt in cheers of “Save Saab! Save Saab!”, urged on by the words of the head of Unionen labour group’s local chapter, Annette Hellgren.
“Mr. Obama – please save Saab,” read one banner unfurled by the Saab workers frustrated by the seemingly unending drama surrounding the company’s future.
“GM – General Mistake”, read another.
The speaker’s podium was emblazoned with a sign reading, “Save Saab from GM, Gangster Motors”, further signaling dissatisfaction with GM among the plant’s employees for the auto giant’s seeming inability to provide a clear answer regarding whether Saab will be sold or shut down.
In a letter to GM head Ed Whitacre presented at the demonstration and signed by “The Proud Employees of Saab Automobile AB”, Saab workers urge the US automaker to sell Saab.
“Show us that you keep promises,” reads the brief letter.
“Save Saab – Sell Saab.”
The four main union chapters represented at Saab’s Trollhättan plant have also sent a letter entitled, “Why endanger American taxpayers’ money?”, to US-based media outlets.
“It is a waste of US tax payers money not to sell Saab!!!,” write the union representatives in an attempt to frame the sale of Saab by GM, which received billions of dollars in government aid to help it survive, as an issue of using public money responsibly.
It was snowy and cold when Saab workers arrived for work on Tuesday morning.
Lena Dahl, who has worked at the plant for 28 years made it clear her dissatisfaction with GM management had reached boiling point.
“If I had those guys eye to eye, I don’t know what I’d do,” she told the TT news agency.
It remains unclear whether or not the company will be sold or shuttered.
According to Saab factory spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs, the plant is trying to operate with both possibilities in mind.
“We’re working on two parallel tracks, and obviously hope that we don’t need to use the track which leads to liquidation,” she told the TT news agency.
“There are still ongoing discussion about the sale of Saab Automobile,” she added.