UAW President Gettelfinger defends lower wages

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UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, who plans to retire next month, defended the 2007 concession allowing Chrysler, Ford and General Motors to pay new workers about half as much as their veteran line mates, saying, “We did what we had to do to get to tomorrow.”

In one of his last public appearances before stepping down at next month’s UAW convention in Detroit, Gettelfinger spoke Thursday to the Automotive Press Association at the Detroit Athletic Club. He is expected to be succeeded by Bob King, vice president of the union’s Ford department.

The union agreed in 2007 to let new workers start at about $14 an hour, and pay a larger share of their health insurance premiums.

Full story: Gettelfinger defends lower starting wage- Detroit Free Press