LANSING (AP) – Gov. Jennifer Granholm told Delphi Chairman and CEO Robert “Steve” Miller during a half-hour, private meeting yesterday that her administration will work hard to keep Delphi jobs in Michigan.
“The governor made it clear to Mr. Miller during that meeting that she and we will go anywhere, at any time, do anything to keep Delphi jobs in Michigan,” Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said.
“All you have to do is look at Governor Granholm’s track record – with companies that have gone through crisis, whether it’s Kmart or Electrolux, to know we will do whatever we can to keep jobs in this state,” Boyd added, referring to the retail giant that went through bankruptcy and a Greenville refrigerator plant that will shut down later this year.
The meeting came five days after Granholm said in response to Delphi’s bankruptcy filing that she was “deeply disturbed” by the automotive parts supplier’s decision and what it would mean for the nearly 15,000 Delphi workers in Michigan.
“I am angry that this action occurs one day after headlines blared that Delphi employees were being asked to accept brutal, draconian pay cuts while upper management is being offered golden parachutes,” the governor said in a statement Saturday. “Globalization is ravaging Michigan’s manufacturing job base.”
Granholm has taken hits this week from Michigan Republicans, who say the governor isn’t doing enough to persuade Delphi to keep at least some of its Michigan workers in the state as it looks to reorganize.
Instead, Republicans are praising Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels – a Republican and President Bush’s former budget director – as a better example of leadership.
“The Indianapolis Star highlights the difference between Gov. Mitch Daniels aggressive and early approach (to working with Delphi) and Granholm’s `holding pattern’ of high unemployment, complete inaction, blame-shifts and temper tantrums,” the party said in a statement Thursday. “Maybe – Granholm could have spent time learning about leadership from Daniels.”
Boyd said the governor is working with Delphi leaders and getting the Michigan Economic Development Corp. involved to see what the state can do to keep Delphi plants here.
“The governor requested this meeting with Mr. Miller. The MEDC has requested a meeting with Delphi staff. We will be anxiously awaiting their restructuring plan. But we will be putting things in motion,” Boyd said.
Earlier this week, Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis criticized Granholm’s husband, Dan Mulhern, for telling The Saginaw News that low-skilled workers are part of Michigan’s economic problems.
“Jennifer Granholm chooses to criticize Michigan workers rather than offer solutions to protect their jobs,” Anuzis said in a statement. “With tens of thousands of Michigan jobs on the line, families are looking for solutions, not callous remarks and shameless blame shifts.”
Boyd said such remarks were just partisan potshots, noting that “Republicans have taken advantage of tough times in the lives of more 14,000 Michigan workers for cheap political gains.”
“Rather than sending out press releases promoting Mitch Daniels and criticizing Governor Granholm, the Republicans ought to be getting their Republican leaders in the Legislature to pass the governor’s economic plan,” she said.