SRT president and CEO, Ralph Gilles, is doing his best today to make sure workers at Chrysler are getting to their local polling stations and casting votes. The executive started off the morning by stating on his Twitter feed that, "Chrysler gave its entire work force the day off to Vote Today! Let's go! #America."
Gilles later did his best to clarify the day off for Chrysler workers, tweeting that the United Auto Workers has negotiated having voting day off for its employees for the last 15 years – not only at Chrysler, but for General Motors and Ford employees, too. The voting day holiday was then "logically extended to salaried workers," said Gilles.
While Gilles statements seem politically neutral on the surface, recent flare-ups between he and Donald Trump, as well as some finger-pointing on the part of Chrysler/Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne towards Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, add a bit of heat to the matter. What's more, as UAW members have historically backed Democratic candidates, the move to encourage Chrysler workers to get to the polls could logically be construed as a tacit endorsement of President Barack Obama's bid to hold on to the White House.
In fact, the call to action by Gilles is probably unneeded as far as UAW members are concerned. Reports today indicate that the organization has gone so far as to bus its members (in Michigan at least) to polling places, to make the voting process that much easier.