Sunday, December 14, 2008

UAW Doomed Their Own Bailout

The United Auto Workers doomed their own bailout. With a bailout package already through the house all that was needed was senate passage. Bush already worked with the democrats and came up with the deal. The bailout would have been signed by Bush and the automakers would have had their $14 billion bailout. In order to pass all that was requested from the senate was a simple timeline. A timeline for the UAW to renegotiate labor contracts that would make the auto industry competitive. Instead the UAW refused to lay out a timeline and then commenced to blaming Republicans.

The Republicans did not stall the legislation. In fact at least 10 Republicans voted for the bailout. This means that the Democrats didn't feel this was enough Republican support to provide political cover. The unions then lambasted the Republicans blaming then republicans for union failures. Had the unions provided a simple timeline for renegotiating labor contracts this bill would have passed. Unfortunately for the union, the union decided they would not establish a timeline to save their workers.

In fact the Union decided it was better to abandon the workers they collectively bargain for in an effort to receive funds without preconditions. The Unions fail to understand that they are a big part of the reason the auto makers are not competitive. Sure the union won these concessions in the past. Yet now when the labor environment is worsening the unions fails to establish a timeline in order to save their industry. Instead they went to the government trough and expected a no strings attached handout.

The union is hoping not to have to renegotiate. They would rather Congress pass the card check bill so they can strong arm Honda and Toyota workers to unionize. Instead of realizing that their rates are strangling the auto industry, the union wants the foreign automakers to match their ludicrous compensation rates. I predict if the UAW unionizes the Toyota and Honda plants the these automakers will just move to another country (can you say Mexico) and Detroit would still be bankrupt. There should not be any Auto maker bailout until the union renegotiates. It is far better for the workers to have employment rather than the alternative which in unemployment for unskilled labor. This is not an enviable position for the union workers. Perhaps instead of blaming Republicans the UAW might look in the mirror and see the error of their thinking. The UAW doomed their own bailout and it ain't pretty.

No comments: