Update: GM family still cranking out cars
The extended Green family of Lansing, Michigan, has worked for GM for a combined total of more than 300 years.
September 6th, 2011
02:22 PM ET

Update: GM family still cranking out cars

Thanks to you, the Green clan is still cranking out cars in Lansing, Michigan.

CNN introduced you in November 2008 to 10 members of the family who had provided a collective 300 years of service to General Motors and the United Auto Workers union. GM's future was hanging in the balance as the federal government weighed whether to save the automaker with an infusion of billions of taxpayer dollars.

"We're not asking to be bailed out, we're asking for a loan," Mike Green, the president of UAW Local 652, said at the time. "We're not asking for a handout, we're asking for a hand up."

The $50 billion loan was approved, a new version of GM emerged, the taxpayers recouped their money, and the extended Green family kept working.

"I think the government made one of the best investments it ever made," Green, now 50, told CNN this week. "I'd like to thank the American public for having faith in an American company."

Green has been re-elected as president of UAW Local 652, his sister Cindy DeLau continues to work on assembly line ergonomic improvements, and his son Rollin, 26, is "hanging in" at GM's Delta Plant, just west of Lansing, despite having been laid off a couple of times in the last three years.

Painful concessions by the UAW were part of the survival plan, Mike Green noted.

"Because of the sacrifices of the membership, we made it through," he said.

Not only did GM survive, but it's bringing 600 to 700 more jobs to Lansing next year when production starts for a new Cadillac product.

"It's been good for Lansing," Green said. "We appreciate that GM is bringing work here. That's what we do here. You bring it, we'll build it."

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Filed under: Auto Industry • General Motors • Labor • Michigan
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. erich

    And a bailout is what you got, not a handout.
    Current estimates put it at about 16 billion dollars lost on the GM rescue, not including the 17 billion handed to GMAC (now Ally Bank). It would have been better to give that 30+ billion to the workers and walk away.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Allen Maui

    I just want to point out those who may have never worked outside a union. I have worked for both. I take home more not being in the union that I did as a paying member. Reason being I get to compete for my job. I am a good employee. I can go in and ask for a raise. I could not do that with the Union. I had to accept whatever pay was contracted. I also do not lose about 3 dollars an hour to the union (dues, retirement benefits, training fees, etc). My benefits are exactly the same (health care, dental, vision, etc) I also have a 401k, not a pension, so that money is mine. As a good employee I do not have to worry about someone having seniority over me and getting preference solely on that metric.
    I truthfully do not understand why any smart, hard working person would want to be a union member. it makes no sense what so ever.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      You obviously worked in a decent place to work. Most factories are not decent places to work. Management in an auto plant wants you there 140 hours a week when cars sell and they want you to sit home when cars don't sell. They want you do work at dangerous jobs with no training. They want you exposed to chemicals and repetetive motion injuries. They want to cut your pay while the company is still making huge profits. Someone sitting at a desk probably doesn't need a union, people who work in dangerous environments under demanding conditions need union protections.

      September 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I bet the men and women who started the unions are proud they gave you what you have. 40 hour work week, breaks, if you are to be taken in the office and taken to task you can have representation. The right to work states we the first to begin to break the unions, you are at the mercy of the likes of the Koch Bros who just want to win, and knock the workers down to their mercy.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull Halsey

      @Scottish Momma you are a complete fool. Unions have lost their usefullness.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marcus

    How soon people forget that long before GM the government gave hundreds of billions to banks and Wall Street firms that were responsible for the economic disaster we are still living in. Those firms have not changed their practices. The $50 billion loan to GM that is now 100% paid back saved around 3 million jobs per the experts. It is one of the best investments the U.S. government has ever made.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bull Halsey

    Unions create slaves.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Factcheck

    Another sloppy job of reporting by CNN and all you took it hook line an sinker. GM DID NOT pay it all back. They only paid back the initial loan (approximaltely $15 Billion). The last $40-50 Billion they used to by stock in GM and gave 65% of that ownership to the UAW. Believe me, we will NOT EVER see that money paid back.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    The unions have wrecked business in this country – look back at the steel mills. I also agree that we should not have bailed out GM or Chrysler. When you make a terrible product, you go out of business. Spend the money to retrain workers to rebuild our aging infastructure.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Outsorcing and bringing steel from China bent the steel mills. Koch Bros probably bring in steel just like they bring in China Dryboard.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Allen Maui

    I wouldn't ague that investment bankers should have gotten a handout. None of them should. Bad decisions are bad decisions. I would not have lost any sleep if Citi Bank or Bank of America had gone bankrupt. No more than if the same had been done to GM and Chrsyler.

    Only a really uninformed person would argue that it was paid back. Gm borrowed more money from the taxpayer to "payback" this loan. I mean really, a company in the red paid back 180 billion dollars in less than 2 years. Are you daft? If they could do that why did they need a loan? Sheesh

    September 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NW1000

    This truly is a success story. We should all be proud to pay the costs of their retirement when we purchase a car. It is the American union way.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      We pay your social security.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Devilen


    September 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
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