Big surprise, the United Auto Workers union does not intend to be majority owner of the New New Chrysler for very long. Outgoing UAW president Ron Gettelfinger confirmed in a press conference yesterday that the union's Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) will likely sell part or all of its 55% stake in the newly formed automaker once its stock appreciates, that is, if its stock appreciates.

And why would the UAW want to keep its shares? Despite owning a majority of the company, the UAW's shares are nonvoting and they may only get one seat on the company's board, if that. The sole purpose of the VEBA is to fund retiree healthcare, not run an automaker, so ditching its shares at some point to replenish the fund's coffers sounds like the right thing to do. The funny thing is that before the VEBA was even set up, both General Motors and Ford wanted to fund their contributions partly with company stock instead of cash. Looks like they may get their wish if Chrysler's situation is anything to go by.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]