UAW Gets Seat on Chrysler Board

Eric Perkins is the director of the UAW's strategic research department.

The appointment of Eric Perkins, a representative of the United Auto Workers union, to the board of directors of Chrysler comes at the request of a trust fund set up to cover the health care costs of retired unionized workers that holds a 41.5% stake in Chrysler.

Perkins is the director of the UAW's strategic research department and his appointment to the nine-member board was effective June 10, Chrysler said.

The automaker has also appointed Ruth Simmons, the retiring president of Rhode Island's prestigious Brown University, to the board as former Michigan governor James Blanchard is stepping down at the end of his term.

Blanchard was the union's pick for the board of the new Chrysler after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

"I'm pleased to welcome Ruth and Eric to the Chrysler Group board of directors," said Sergio Marchionne, chairman and chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat. Fiat now owns 58% of Chrysler's stock after helping guide the third largest U.S. automaker out of bankruptcy.

"Our new board members bring impressive leadership experience, and their diverse perspectives and counsel will be of great service as we work toward achieving the financial targets outlined in our business plan."

The appointment of Perkins comes nearly three months after UAW president Bob King was given a seat on the board of GM's European subsidiary Opel in Germany.

King was appointed to the Opel board of supervisors by the German metalworkers union, IG Metal. IG Metal has also approved the appointment of UAW officers to the supervisory board of the now defunct DaimlerChrysler AG.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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