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May 21, 2009

KUCINICH ACCUSES OF CHRYSLER OF LYING ABOUT CLOSINGS

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Congressman Dennis Kucinich says he wants to know why lawmakers were misled when they were told on April 30 that Chrysler's just-announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy would not result in permanent plant closings or job losses.

Congress members including Kucinich, a Cleveland Democrat, and Steve LaTourette, a Bainbridge Township Republican, were surprised to learn the next day that Chrysler in fact planned to permanently close five plants, including the 1,250-worker Twinsburg Stamping Plant.

In a letter today to CEO Robert Nardelli, Kucinich wrote to request "all external communications, including transcripts of conference calls, that conveyed information relating to the future status of Chrysler company plants in Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Ohio between December 2008 and the present."

His letter mentions "a conference call on April 30, 2009" in which "members of Congress were assured that there would be no permanent Chrysler plant closings or job losses under the terms of Chrysler's pending bankruptcy. When the terms of the bankruptcy were released on May 1, 2009, plants in Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Ohio were targeted for closure.". . .

Chrysler has since apologized, and it and the White House say that the company had privately had the plant closings under consideration months before the bankruptcy announcement. Chrysler has said it did not publicly disclose that fact because it would have been presumptuous, considering that it and the United Autoworkers Union were in negotiations for new contracts that might have played a role. . .

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