UAW leader: Deadline for auto makeover unrealistic

WASHINGTON - United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger suggested Monday that a mid-February deadline for General Motors and Chrysler to complete their restructuring plans may be 'almost unattainable' and no formal talks had commenced between the union and car makers.

Gettelfinger told reporters that he thought General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC would meet the Feb. 17 deadline 'unless there is an extension because, honestly, most people that would look at this from a realistic standpoint would say this timeline is almost unattainable.'

'I said myself that I hope this wasn't set up to intentionally fail because the people who were a part of this have no idea of the magnitude of what they were asking these companies to do,' Gettelfinger said at a pre-Inaugural reception. The Treasury Department provided $17.4 billion in loans to General Motors and Chrysler last month, but the companies need to file detailed restructuring plans by Feb. 17 that include concessions from the UAW and bondholders.