The United Auto Workers Union has now given new meaning to the old saying; "Bend over, and we'll do the driving."
The UAW has made a good faith pledge to the auto industry, regarding moves to shave employee benefits in exchange for the possibility of preserving jobs through a massive $34 billion government bail out. Unfortunately, those people who may be affected by the proposed UAW concessions shall most likely include auto industry workers who are sick or indefinitely laid off from work.
According to a report from Bloomberg, money-saving union agreements which will delay contributions to medical funds and suspend a program that pays laid-off workers, have been offered as sacrifice to the bail-out gods of congress. Bloomberg quotes Harley Shaiken, a labor relations professor at the University of California at Berkeley as stating: "This should be interpreted as a meaningful and a painful sacrifice.'' However, no one seems to truly take notice of exactly who is doing the sacrificing here.
First, let's remember that the stinking bailout money doesn't originate from congress. That money, amounting to about $2,400 per American household, is being forwarded on the names of each and every one of those sacrificing UAW workers. In essence, they will now be paying on both ends. It's their money which their employer is seeking from congress, and now their union says that those employees might have to bite down a little harder yet.
I haven't heard anything about UAW leaders making their own pay concessions. I haven't encountered one hint about union dues being reduced for workers. I haven't witnessed one little mention about any union curtailing its payments to political action interests. Just exactly who is sacrificing whom here?
There is no question that the UAW played its own part in creating this auto industry mess. All the while, they were getting quite fat and sassy through the process. If you want some constructive sacrifices made, which could improve the American auto industry's outlook, I say we might make a good start by unceremoniously dispatching some well-paid and shiny suited UAW fat cats.
But of course, that's just my opinion.
UAW hands auto workers a double whammy