Autoworkers Say Obama's 'Tough Love' More Tough Than Love

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- The president of a UAW Local in Michigan says "It's the age-old Wall Street vs. Main Street smackdown again."

Brian Fredline, reacting to President Barack Obama's tough stance toward General Motors and Chrysler, says there's a double standard in the government's treatment of failing financial giants compared to that of struggling automakers.

Many workers -- not generally known for their affection toward executives -- even sympathized with Rick Wagoner, who was forced to step down as chief executive of General Motors Corp. He was called a "sacrificial lamb," "scapegoat" and "fall guy."

The government did reserve the right to remove senior management at AIG as part of its agreement to give the insurer $85 billion in emergency aid.

Also, banks don't have the union and legacy costs that the automakers do, which make their products more costly versus foreign rivals.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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