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June 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Chrysler has appointed a representative of the United Auto Workers union to its board of directors, the automaker said Thursday.

The appointment of Eric Perkins comes at the request of a trust fund set up to cover the health care costs of retired unionized workers that holds a 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler.

Perkins is the director of the UAW's strategic research department and his appointment to the nine-member board was effective June 10, Chrysler said.

The automaker has also appointed Ruth Simmons, the retiring president of Rhode Island's prestigious Brown University, to the board as former Michigan governor James Blanchard is stepping down at the end of his term.

Blanchard was the union's pick for the board of the new Chrysler after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

"I'm pleased to welcome Ruth and Eric to the Chrysler Group board of directors," Sergio Marchionne, chairman and chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat, said in a statement.

"Our new board members bring impressive leadership experience, and their diverse perspectives and counsel will be of great service as we work toward achieving the financial targets outlined in our business plan."

Italy's Fiat now owns 58 percent of Chrysler's stock after helping guide the third largest US automaker out of bankruptcy.

The appointment of Perkins comes nearly three months after UAW president Bob King was given a seat on the board of GM's European subsidiary Opel in Germany.

King was appointed to the Opel board of supervisors by the German metalworkers union, IG Metal. IG Metal has also approved the appointment of UAW officers to the supervisory board of the now defunct DaimlerChrysler AG.

AFP


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