UAW Rattles Saber While Government Motors Flounders
The United Auto Workers, which benefited tremendously from the government takeover of GM despite being the principal cause of its insolvency, are rattling the sabers and demanding the return of all their lavish benefits in the next collective bargaining deal.
UAW Local 900 Plant Chairman, Bill Johnson, states, “If they don’t restore everything (union workers) gave up, the membership is going to knock it down. The bonuses that were just announced are just ridiculous.” While Johnson’s comments may be aimed at Ford, the UAW is signaling it will take a hard line stance in negotiations at GM as well. Union leaders are meeting this week to prepare for this summer’s negotiations on contracts that expire Sept. 14th.
It is debatable that the UAW sacrificed so much in the GM bankruptcy proceeding, particularly compared to GM bondholders who unwillingly subordinated their legal standing as creditors to the UAW, courtesy of the Obama Administration. One of the perceived sacrifices for the UAW was that laid off workers would not be paid while not working. That would seem reasonable to most, but recently laid off workers in Buffalo, NY are still receiving 75% of their pay. Also, GM continues to contribute billions of dollars to the UAW benefits fund. And while Johnson may believe that a $4,500 bonus for each GM factory worker is ridiculously low, many taxpayers feel that it is ridiculous that bailed out GM is giving bonuses out at all!
What’s a government run enterprise to do? Pissing off the UAW, which owns the Democratic Party, will bring down the wrath of Super-CEO Barack Obama, but caving to their demands will mean a quick circling of the drain. Oh, if only we had some sort of economic system that didn’t involve government in every aspect of business decisions. What a crazy dream that would be…