CEO, Rainbow/PUSH, Detroit Automotive Symposium
It’s not that the 3,000 employees whose jobs were saved should perform
cartwheels and throw a ticker-tape parade for Rainbow/PUSH. However,
those 3,000 employees, who work for eight minority suppliers, should be
profusely thankful that the Rev. Jesse Jackson helped to save their
livelihoods, the result of intense and meticulous negotiations. Their
job security is one of the more visible and positive examples of why
the Detroit Automotive Symposium exists.
“Just this past year, eight of our suppliers — who employ over 3,000
people that were on their way out — were able to stay in business. We
were able to negotiate with GM and save each of those businesses and
employees with jobs,” Jackson stated at the eighth annual conference in
Detroit. “With equal access to capital and technology, we have shown
that we are able. It has never been a talent deficit. [It] was, and is,
an opportunity deficit. So if we fight together, we will prevail.”
Detroit Automotive Symposium convenes annually at the Detroit Yacht
Club for an exchange of ideas between car manufacturers, minority
dealers, suppliers, employees and industry experts. Attendees say its
existence has been particularly meaningful in light of the storm clouds
of uncertainty hovering over the auto industry. Jackson said African
Americans can help stave off further economic and job market
deterioration by patronizing our own — much the way other ethnicities
have always done.
“We can go out of our way to buy cars from
each other and fight to supply for each other. And then we can use our
own lawyers and ad agencies. We can coordinate our efforts. And when we
cross-fertilize, we can build the foundation for an economic rebirth.
And when we do, we have the multiplier effect,” says Jackson. Learn
more about the Symposium by logging onto www.rainbowpush.org. – terry shropshire
Learn more about the Symposium by logging onto www.rainbowpush.org.