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Swedish union plea to Obama: 'help save Saab'

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Swedish union plea to Obama: 'help save Saab'
14:30 CEST+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.

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