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Nardelli to workers: Lobby D.C. on rescue

Chrysler's Robert Nardelli testifies before the House Financial Services Committee about the state of the US automobile manufacturing industry on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 5, 2008. Chrysler, GM and Ford are asking Congress for billions of dollars to help the industry weather the current economic crises. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)
Chrysler's Robert Nardelli testifies before the House Financial Services Committee about the state of the US automobile manufacturing industry on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 5, 2008. Chrysler, GM and Ford are asking Congress for billions of dollars to help the industry weather the current economic crises. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

DETROIT, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Chrysler LLC Chairman Robert Nardelli Friday urged employees to contact the White House to urge approval of a rescue package for the U.S. auto industry.

In a statement issued to employees, Nardelli said Chrysler is in talks with the transition team of President-elect Barack Obama, "and key members of the incoming administration are aware of the importance of addressing the short-term and long-term viability of our industry and our company," The Detroit News reported.

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Nardelli's message came one day after the U.S. Senate failed to agree on a rescue plan for unionized automakers. He said he was pleased that the White House has said it would consider using a financial industry bailout fund to help U.S. automakers avid collapse.

Nardelli said even if Chrysler receives a rescue loan it still must reduce costs. He called on Chrysler employees to help by eliminating "every unnecessary cost in every aspect of our business."

He said management "will continue to make our case in Washington that an immediate, short-term bridge loan is critical for Chrysler to survive the current financial crisis and is just as important to the health of the overall American economy."

Chrysler has said it will have just enough cash by Dec. 31 to operate, meet payroll and pay suppliers, the newspaper noted, but anticipated revenues are insufficient to meet further obligations.

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