U.A.W. in Center of Dispute Over Bailout Failure - NYTimes.com
Late Thursday, the Senate did not take up an assistance measure passed by the House, after hours of negotiations between Senate Republicans with the auto companies and the U.A.W. The sticking point apparently was the union’s refusal to agree to lower wage and benefit rates as soon as next year.It can be (albeit simplistically) be translated into:
Representatives for the union, which had already accepted a series of cuts in its current contract, sought instead to push any more concessions back to 2011, when the U.A.W.’s contract with Detroit auto companies expires.
In a statement Thursday night, the union said it 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 programs like buyouts and early retirement offers to bring in new workers at lower rates.
"Yeah yeah yeah. We know our non-market salaries are high enough that it's driving the company down. Yeah, the union will accept pay cuts. But we want bought out/paid off before any of us actually have to work for market wages. Oh, and by the way, millions of other people's jobs be damned."Interesting that the Republicans killed it, and now that it's Bush who may come swooping in from left field. Especially funny/sad is that the executive action to save things will probably give the U.A.W. what they want. That's likely to overwhelm the domestic automakers yet again even if a current bailout can save them.