Friday, December 12, 2008

The UAW Wants This Bailout Money, Real Bad

Like I have said from the beginning, this talk of a bailout of the big three automakers is in significant part a bailout of the United Auto Workers (That's why the Democrats are behind it). The big three in bankruptcy would not stop producing cars, they would simply become more efficient, which would include lowering wages for auto workers, resulting in much less power for the UAW.

That's why this bailout versus bankruptcy is so important to the UAW. Here's their latest statement issued today:

The UAW is deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have blocked the bipartisan legislation that was agreed to by President Bush and congressional Democrats.

In an effort to work out a compromise, the UAW was prepared to agree that any restructuring plan should ensure that the wages and benefits of workers at the domestic automakers should be competitive with those paid by the foreign transplants. But we also recognized that this would take time to work out and implement, using attrition programs to allow the companies to hire new workers at the lower wage and benefit rates. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans insisted that this had to be accomplished by an arbitrary deadline. This arbitrary requirement was not imposed on any other stakeholder groups. Thus, the UAW believed this was a blatant attempt to make workers shoulder the lion's share of the costs of any restructuring plan.

The UAW has recognized from the beginning that all stakeholders will be required to make sacrifices to ensure the viability of the domestic auto companies. We were prepared to do our part. But we could not accept the GOP demands to treat workers differently from all other stakeholders, and to subject them to different requirements than other groups.

Now that the legislation has been blocked by Senate Republicans, the UAW calls on Secretary Paulson to use his authority to provide TARP funds to provide emergency assistance to the domestic auto companies. The ball is squarely in his court. He has the power to prevent the imminent collapse of the companies, and the disastrous consequences that will follow for millions of retirees and workers and for the economy of our entire nation.
The UAW wants the bailout money. They want it now and on their terms. The most recent Senate bill failed after talks broke down over the refusal of the United Auto Workers union to meet Republican demands for aggressive wage reductions.

1 comment:

  1. Ever wonder what a UAW contract looks like? It is over 2200 pages and weighs 22 pounds. It no wonder the big three can not compete in the global market. Honda and Toyota don't have to deal with that kind of crap. It would take a team of lawyers just to understand this document. 2215 pages of inefficiency brought to you by the UAW