[Marxism] Autoworkers Forced to Take Concessions in Industry Bailout

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Sat Dec 20 21:29:31 MST 2008

By Tiffany Ten Eyck
Labor Notes
December 20, 2008,  

clip  --
President George W. Bush announced on Dec. 19 a $17.4
billion bridge  loan for General Motors and Chrysler, a
day after he hinted that the  companies could be forced
into "orderly" bankruptcy.

Autoworkers, who  advocated for short-term aid to the
auto industry's crisis, bristled at the  conditions
attached to the loan. The Bush administration's
requirements  mirror demands from anti-union Republicans
who torpedoed congressional action  last week. They
would decimate United Auto Workers contracts and  place
retiree health care funds into company stock.

The plan hinges on  a demand that UAW autoworker wages
and work rules become "competitive" with  wages and work
rules in foreign-owned, nonunion transplant factories
in  the South.

Lost in the discussion, autoworkers said, is  any
recognition that wages and benefits are less than 10
percent of the  cost of a vehicle and can't pull the Big
Three back to  profitability.

"We've already taken concessions to help the  industry
become viable," said Brett Talbot-Ward, a UAW Local
1700 member,  who works at Chrysler's Sterling Heights
[Mich.] assembly plant. "Why are  they asking for more
from us, when there are all sorts of other costs in  the
vehicle-production process, much less the CEO pay, that
haven't even  factored into the debate?"
full --   _http://labornotes.org/node/1996_ (http://labornotes.org/node/1996) 

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