Bailout Watch 139: UAW: "Give US the G.D. Money"
Gooooooooood morning U-A-W! In case you were wondering where the United Auto Workers stood during this, Detroit’s End of Days, we can now report [via Reuters] that the union is, finally, bellying-up to the billion-dollar (for a start) bailout buffet. “Alan Reuther, legislative director of the United Auto Workers, said in an interview that the group is proposing lawmakers approve up to $25 billion in new loans for General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Corp and Chrysler LLC. Reuther said the aid would cover pledged contributions to a retiree health care trust, the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association [VEBA], which was negotiated last year with the companies.” As odd as that sounds, the UAW bailout bypass makes a certain amount of sense– if a bailout it must be. If the automakers’ call on the public purse is designed to protect jobs, jobs, jobs, why not call their bluff? Or not. “If the companies get the assistance that makes it easier for them to do other things,” Reuther said. “I think the financial markets would look at that and say that helps lift a significant liability and that’s a good thing.” “Other things?” Such as… build cars people want to buy at a price that will make GM enough profit to pay off all its debts and liabilities? Good luck with that.
Look, when your fricken janitors start earning $80,000 a year then you know you have problems.
I can't help but find it laughable when some are concerned about $80k janitors when avg. fortune 500 executive comp, is over 14 million. BTW, check out Toyota's blue collar wage structure. It's not that much less.
Toyota's blue-collar wage structure isn't that much lower... but Toyota's liabilities are well controlled because there is no union to demand pensions or retirement health-care. Since the last negotiations that established the VEBA route, Detroit's wages have come closer to parity. I don't think spending the money on the VEBA would be nearly as bad as on a GM-Chrysler merger. At least someone benefits as opposed to no one benefiting.