You might expect the UAW to bristle at the mention of Wall Street financiers. But UAW President Ron Gettelfinger had kind words last week for Stephen Feinberg, the chairman of Cerberus Capital Management.
Speaking at a press conference, Gettelfinger said he and General Holiefield, head of the union's Chrysler unit, bumped into a bummed-out Feinberg last month in Washington during negotiations over the fate of Chrysler.
"Feinberg apologized. He said, 'Look, I let the people down,' " Gettelfinger said. "He was very sympathetic to the situation, regretful that he failed, and he acknowledged that he failed."
Gettelfinger said he and Holiefield thanked Feinberg for keeping Chrysler alive after former owner Daimler became disenchanted. Before Cerberus bought controlling interest, Gettelfinger said, the union thought Daimler would cut off Chrysler funding.
Said Gettelfinger: "I think General put it the best when he told him, 'I want to thank you because you bridged us an additional year or a year and a half that we didn't have.'"