May 14, 2007

Report: Cerberus Deal Prompts Worry Among Chrysler Workers

Financial Arrangements "All Well and Good,"
But Concern Over Three-Headed Demonic Hellhound

UAW: "Flaying Workers Alive" Would Violate
Prevailing Work Conditions

Execs: "It Can't Be Worse Than
Having Stuttgart in Charge."


Financial Rant

DETROIT -- While expressing relief over the news that Cerberus Capital Management LP has agreed to purchase 80.1 percent of DaimerChrysler AG's North American operations, some workers are concerned about unconfirmed reports that Cerberus himself, the cruel and outlandish demon from the Third Circle of Hell, will personally oversee "quality and productivity efforts" at Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep plants throughout the continent.

Workers were particularly concerned at news Cerberus, or one of his horrible satanic lieutenants, would "rip and shred the bones of any unfortunate" whose actions resulted in quality-control issues or worse, stopped an assembly line altogether.

"Well, I'm certainly glad to hear that Cerberus' purchase of the Chrysler assets will mean a much-needed cash infusion into Chrysler's coffers," said passenger-seat installer Ed Gryznewski, a 28-year employee at Chrysler's Warren Truck Assembly plant. "It's just the whole, you know, giant hell dog thing that worries me. I did not get into this business to deal with nightmarish demons from the world of the dead."

"I mean, come on. How are people supposed to concentrate knowing there's a massive, three-headed fangy beast snarling and growling at them just a few feet away?" Gryznewski added.

"I work hard for this company, and I don't appreciate the idea of being ground up in some hellhound's rapacious maw just because I was a few minutes late returning from lunch," said machine operator Pete Welby, a 12-year veteran of the same plant. "Discipline has to be commesurate with the infraction. It's not fair that people should get cruelly disemboweled and made to suffer in unimaginable pain for events that may be outside their control."

UAW leaders, and the company itself, have sought to reassure workers.

"I can assure you that the various hypothetical punishments some workers have described to me, such as being flayed alive, boiled in pitch, ripped to shreds or reduced to bloody chum in Cerberus' greasy beard, aren't in line with prevailing work conditions at our plants, nor are they authorized under our contract," said UAW senior vice president Marcus Horshack. "Implementing such punishments would result in the immediate filing of grievances and other job actions. They would be handled either through arbitration or supplication to the monstrous City of Dis, which has ultimate suzerainty over Cerberus' terrible acts of wanton cruelty."

"Unfounded rumors of Cerberus' cruelty aren't in keeping with the friendly, well-meaning leader we all have come to know and trust," said Eldon Marlin, a Cerberus executive vice president. "Cerberus plans to invest for the long-term in this company, and long-term investment doesn't go hand-in-hand with eating the staff."

Furthermore, Marlin added, Cerberus has not crushed or defiled any workers at General Motors Acceptance Corp., where the firm was the lead party in a consortium of investors which bought a majority stake in the company. Marlin also angrily rejected suggestions that the phrase "Lost another one to Ditech!" gained a whole new meaning among workers of that GMAC unit.

"At the most, he's bitten off somebody's hand for overexposing the company to the subprime lending market," Marlin said.

Despite the concern among rank-and-file workers, white-collar workers at Chrysler's operations aren't nearly as worried about having Cerberus as their new boss.

"Every time we tried to do something cool, we always got flack from Stuttgart," said Chrysler marketing executive Kevin Heathcliff, who dismissed suggestions his head would be impaled upon a rotting spear if Chrysler didn't improve its market share by the fourth quarter. "Oh, you can't do this, it will imperil the brand. Oh, you can't do that, we can't spare the engineers. Gawd. And don't even get me started about "Dr. Z." You know, because nothing says cool and with it like a giant walrus mustache."

Heathcliff then walked away, softly singing, "Du, du liegst mir im herzen."

There was no immediate word on how Chrysler's customers reacted to the deal.

"Dude! That thing got a Hemi?" shouted Lancaster, Calif. resident Biff Simpkins to a Chrysler-driving motorist in that desert city.

"Sweet!" added one of Simpkins' nearby friends.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 14, 2007 06:44 PM | TrackBack
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