Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) said in a statement explaining his “no” vote, “The UAW refused to make any real concessions and this lone obstacle brought the whole deal down and made it clear that we’d simply be throwing good money after bad.”
The UAW points out that it has already made some concessions. Last year, it renegotiated its contracts with the Big Three and agreed to cuts in wages and in pension and health-care benefits for new employees. “Major concessions were made,” said Gary N. Chaison, a labor professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “And the frustrating thing for labor is that those concessions have been forgotten [in the bailout debate].”
There’s only a few small problems with that. First, this isn’t last year, this is this year. And second, the concessions were for new employees, who don’t receive a whole lot of benefits compared to more senior employees, or retirees. The UAW wants to continue on like nothing has happened. This isn’t a bailout for the Big Three, it’s a bailout for the Unions. The Unions are bleeding the Big Three dry right now, due to the Big Three not selling cars in the economic downturn and the UAW expects it to be business as usual.
If the any or all of the Big Three go down, it will not be because of them, it will be because of the demands of the Union to do business as usual without making any current concessions. And because of this, the Unions won’t make concessions, then thus the Big Three don’t get their loan, because ultimately, the loan is for nothing more than paying health benefits for retirees!
Surely in Ford’s UAW contract, as seen below, the UAW can make SOME CURRENT concessions so that the Big Three can survive instead of bleeding them dry. Because if it weren’t for the UAW, then the Big Three probably wouldn’t need the loans. But instead the UAW chooses to do “business as usual” and thus that will be their downfall and find themselves without jobs. And what are they going to do? Sue the automakers? As if they have any money…….. If Unions are so good, then why is the auto industry, the industry with the largest Union workforce, in trouble?
Maybe it’s just time for the Unions to come back down to earth like the rest of the population of the United States, instead of demanding everything on a silver platter, while they make substandard vehicles.