Groups unhappy with Mary Barra as U-M commencement speaker - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Groups unhappy with Mary Barra as U-M commencement speaker

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(WJBK) - The CEO at General Motors, Mary Barra, will be the commencement speaker at University of Michigan's commencement ceremony this Saturday, but she may not get the warmest welcome from some.

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), which represents 1,880 graduate workers, says Barra's corporate policies are not worthy of praise.

"We're very concerned about the recent recall. It would have only cost 57 cents for GM to fix these ignition switches, but they did not, and it had led to the death of at least 13 people," says Diana Sierra of GEO.

The group, along with a student organization, recently passed a resolution urging the university to cancel the invitation and the honorary doctorate degree Barra will receive.

The university has no plans to honor the resolution.

"We're honored to have her as our commencement speaker," says Rick Fitzgerald. "The commencement speaker is always chosen as someone who we think will inspire our graduates by their address, and also by their life and their accomplishments. And we think that certainly is the case with Mary Barra."

Barra is the first female CEO at a global automaker.

FOX 2's Robin Schwartz contacted public relations for GM but her calls were not returned.

Six-thousand undergraduates and 3,500 graduate students, plus countless proud parents and other family members, are expected to attend the ceremony.
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