6 - Friday, September 16, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Chrysler, GM and UAW
carry on negotiations
Palestinians hold candles during a demonstration in support oftheir bid for statehood, outside the Church ofnthe Nativity, in
the West Bank town of Bethlehem, yesterday.
Palestinians continue to
pursue United Nations bid
of United States,
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP)
- In a direct challenge to the
United States, the Palestinians
said yesterday they will ask the
Security Council next week to
accept them as a full member of
the United Nations, even though
Washington has promised to
veto the measure.
The Palestinian assertion
came as a senior U.S. diplomatic
team was in the region trying
to avert an embarrassing show-
down and relaunch peace talks.
By pushing forward, the Pales-
tinians risk putting President
Barack Obama in the uneasy
position of having to veto a
measure supported by the vast
majority of the international
Foreign Minister Riad Malki
told foreign journalists the Pal-
estinians were not looking for a
fight. But he said the American
stance puts the U.S. ina "confron-
tational position" with the rest of
the world, and suggested Ameri-
can credibility could be at stake.
"I don't know what it means
to the standing of the U.S. in the
United Nations and among the
countries of the world," he said.
Even so, the Palestinians left
the door open for compromise.
Malki said the Palestinians
were still ready to listen to sug-
gestions from American envoys.
And in New York, his U.N.
ambassador, Riyad Mansour,
said a final decision on whether
to pursue recognition in the
Security Council, or seek a less-
er, symbolic status in the General
Assembly had not yet been made.
"The final decision will be
taken in the next few days as to
which path we will follow," Man-
Asked about his boss's com-
ments in Ramallah, he replied:
"There are many words from
many places, but what I'm telling
you is that we are deliberating
all these details and it is not yet
finalized." Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas was to give a
speech Friday in Ramallah and
there was speculation he might
address the issue then.
In Washington, White House
spokesman Jay Carney empha-
sized that negotiation with Israel
was the only viable path to Pales-
"The Palestinians will not
and cannot achieve statehood
through a declaration at the
United Nations. It is a distrac-
tion, and in fact, it's counter-
productive," he said, adding
that "the only way to resolve the
issues between the Palestinians
and the Israelis, and to ultimate-
ly create a Palestinian state, is
through direct negotiations."
The Palestinians seek an inde-
pendent state in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip, with east Jeru-
salem as their capital. Israel cap-
tured the territories in the 1967
Israeli Prime Minister Ben-
jamin Netanyahu rejects a com-
plete pullout from the West Bank
and says Israel must retain east
Jerusalem, which it considers
an inseparable part of its capi-
tal. Israel withdrew from Gaza
The Palestinians say they are
turning to the U.N. in frustra-
tion after years of failed peace
talks. While a U.N. vote will
not change the situation on the
ground, the Palestinians believe
it will improve their position in
future talks. In particular, they
say Israel must accept the 1967
borders as the basis of a future
By doing so, Malki argued
Israel could help end its growing
international isolation. Israel's
relations with key regional allies
Egypt, Turkey and Jordan have
all grown rocky in recent months.
"I think the best way out for
Israel today is to come forward
and to recognize the state of Pal-
estine on the '67 borders," Malki
Obama himself has endorsed
the 1967 lines as the basis for a
settlement. But he, like Israel,
says a peace agreement can be
reached only through negotia-
Deadline passes in his letter that he was leav-
ingthe U.S. and wouldn't return
without agreement until next week, so it's unlikely
a deal will be finalized before
between union, then.
Negotiations with all three
automakers companies, which began earlier
this summer, will determine
DETROIT (AP) - Negotia- wages and benefits for workers.
tions between General Motors, They will also set the bar for
Chrysler and the United Auto wages at auto parts companies,
Workers union carried on yes- U.S. factories run by foreign
terday even though bargainers automakers, and other manu-
missed a deadline for agreeing facturers, which employ hun-
on a new contract. dreds of thousands of people.
The union, which represents The talks are the first since GM
111,000 workers at Detroit's car- and Chrysler needed govern-
makers, agreed to keep working ment aid to make it through
under the old GM and Chrys- bankruptcy protection in 2009.
ler contracts, which expired The union wants bigger
Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. While profit-sharing checks instead of
missing a deadline could have pay raises, higher pay for entry-
brought a strike in past years, level workers and guarantees of
GM and Chrysler workers have new jobs. Ford and GM want to
limited ability to strike under cut labor costs, while Chrysler
the terms of their government wants to hold its costs steady.
bailout agreements. Health care costs are also an
Talks also continued with issue.
Ford Motor Co., but little prog- Once agreements are
ress has been made. On Tues- reached, workers will vote on
day, the UAW extended its them.
contract with Ford indefinitely. The fact that bargainers at
General Motors Co. appeared GM are breaking for the night
close to a deal. Its talks with the and returning in the morning is
union ran all day before end- a sign that GM and the UAW are
ing at 9 p.m. EDT. Negotiations close to a deal, perhaps by the
were expected to resume today weekend, said Gary Chaison, a
at 9 a.m. EDT. The automaker professor of labor relations at
has taken the lead on the nego- Clark University in Worcester,
tiations and its agreement may Mass.
be used as a model for the other In past talks, both sides
two companies. Each company would have stayed up all night
negotiates separately. trying to pound out an agree-
"We are hopeful that an ment, Chaison said. But this
agreement can be reached time, bargainers appear more
soon," UAW leaders bargain- thoughtful and are taking time
ing with GM said ina statement to digest what they have done,
early Thursday. "While we have he said.
made significant progress, we Until Wednesday's deadline,
have not been able to secure a the negotiations seemed free
new agreement." of the acrimony marking past
Chrysler Group LLC's nego- talks. That's partly because GM
tiations were strained, however. and Chrysler workers agreed
Just before Wednesday's con- not to strike over wages under
tract expiration, CEO Sergio the 2009 bailout agreements.
Marchionne wrote an angry In the past, workers might have
letter to the UAW president say- gone on strike..
ing that he failed to show up to But the mood of the talks
finalize a deal. Chrysler would turned tense for Chrysler. Mar-
say only that both sides are still chionne complained Wednes-
talking. But Marchionne said day thathe had been snubbedby
UAW President Bob King. That
caused the two sides to miss
the deadline for the new agree-
ment, he wrote.
"I know we are the smallest
of the three automakers here in
Detroit, but that does not make
us less relevant," Marchionne
said in the letter, which was
obtained by The Associated
King would not comment on
the letter when reached by tele-
phone early yesterday.
King spent much of the day
Wednesday negotiating with
GM, but it was unclear why
he didn't appear at Chrysler's
Auburn Hills, Mich., headquar-
Marchionne said a few main-
ly economic issues separate the
two sides. He said he would
agree to a weeklong extension
of Chrysler's current contract.
"We did not accomplish what
leaders who have been tasked
with the turning of a new page
for this industry should have
done," he wrote.
Chaison said Marchionne
made the mistake of injecting
personalities into the talks at
a critical late stage. That could
delay a contract agreement.
Marchionne, he said, clearly is
miffed that GM is getting more
attention from the union than
"He also has to understand
that these are not typical nego-
tiations," Chaison said, noting
that the talks are being watched
by the White House, the public
and the labor movement. The
U.S. government still owns 26.5
percent of GM, the remainder of
a big stake it got in exchange for
bailing out the company.
It's likely, though, that any
setback in the negotiations at
Chrysler is temporary. The
UAW has an interest in reaching
a deal because a union-run trust
that pays retiree health care
bills owns more than 40 percent
of Chrysler. Chrysler has turned
a small profit in the fist half of
the year, excluding a one-time
accounting charge for refinanc-
ing government bailout debts.
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RELEASE DATE- Friday, September 16, 2011
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first woman to lead
(AP) - When Helle Thorning-
Schmidt took control of the
Social Democratic Party in
2005, some called her "Gucci
Helle," mocking her taste for
designer clothes and accesso-
Today, few people question
her credentials as leader of a
party sprung from Denmark's
labor movement in 1871.
The 44-year-old mother of
two, who is married to former
British Labor Leader Neal Kin-
nock's son, has shed an air of
inexperience and now projects
confidence and poise. She's fine-
tuned her debating skills and
handles media with wit and a
But it took a painful defeat to
In her first election as party
leader in 2007, a teary-eyed
Thorning-Schmidt watched the
Social Democrats slump to their
worst result in a century, with
25.5 percent of the votes.
"Danes need more time
before they hand over responsi-
bility to us," she said.
They needed four more years,
fraught by economic turmoil.
Ironically, the Social Demo-
crats dropped another parlia-
mentary seat in the election
yesterday, but a strong showing
by other parties in her center-
left alliance secured a majority.
"The Social Democrats are
ready to take their share of the
responsibility," the tall blonde
told her supporters. "We will do
our utmost, our utmost to live up
to your confidence."
It remains to be seen whether
Thorning-Schmidt will be a bet-
ter steward of Denmark's lack-
luster economy than outgoing
Prime Minister Lars Loekke
Rasmussen at a time when
Europe's debt crisis creates
become the first woman to lead
a Danish government, and she's
also the first female leader of the
Social Democrats. However, she
doesn't think those firsts will
have much significance in egali-
who can start saying'hmm, this
is a post I can aspire to,"' Thorn-
ing-Schmidt said in a recent TV
Looking back at her youth,
she said she always wanted to
be a decision-maker "like a hotel
manager or something like that"
but never imagined making it to
the top of Danish politics.
Thorning-Schmidt got a mas-
ter's degree in political science
from Copenhagen University in
1994. Two years later, she mar-
ried Stephen Kinnock, whom
she met in Belgium.
She lives with their two
daughters, Johanna, 14, and
Camilla, 11, in a rowhouse in
northern Copenhagen, while
Kinnock is based in Switzerland
as a director of the World Eco-