The United Auto Workers (UAW) contracts are facing unprecedented public scrutiny. It could have something to with the fact that it’s now OUR money the automakers are pissing away—sorry, “lavishing upon” union members. Or it could be that the normally passive—sorry, “pro middle class” MSM’s smells blood in the union boss’ water. In any event, here’s one for working class heroes: free legal advice. The Freep: “Established in 1978, the UAW Legal Services Plan provides ‘personal legal services,’ to about 725k workers, spouses and retirees from several companies, according to the program’s Web site. It is the largest pre-paid legal services program in the country. Before I give the jumpers the inside dope (in a non Michael Phelps kinda way), you wanna guess how much 290 attorneys cost the Big 2.8 et al.? Seriously, you gotta guess. ‘Cause the Freep doesn’t even estimate the cost. Blood boiling? Ready for the jump then . . .
Three out of four autoworkers have used the legal services for a variety of purposes. In 2008, the letter said, that included:
Bankruptcy assistance: 9,392 UAW members, including 2,938 Ford members.
Divorce assistance: 6,899 members, including 1,924 Ford members.
Foreclosure assistance: 2,973, including 821 Ford members.
Real estate: 27,000, including 6,265 Ford members.
Now you could argue that the automakers agreed to this, let’s say, $50M boondoggle. So it’s not the union’s “fault” the shyster service exists. OK, sure, BUT—the UAW is “fighting to keep free legal services for its members.” That’s not what I’d call “shared sacrifice.” In fact, I’d say it’s a scam. Disagree? Sue me.