Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UAW - Give 'em a Break

Folks in Detroit have been giving one another lots of concessions ... but the biggest hit in the last ten years has been on the UAW - the gals and guys who actually build the cars we drive.

White collars have felt it, too - plenty of downsizing and cutbacks all over the place ...

But what I hear these days reflects a wretched bias against unions - that if only the unions would go away, we could have labor nirvana ... and business, of course, "will take care of its workers."

Bullshit, if I may say so.

We easily forget the hideous history between labor and management, and we forget that labor money is trickle down money - the working folks buy the homes, the TVs, the golf clubs and everything else that drives America's middle class economy.

But the moneyed buy $27,000 bathtubs (yup, saw it advertised the other day) or $25,ooo wrist watches - that doesn't trickle down very well.

Without the unions, there'd be no middle class.

When the Great Liar (Mr. Reagan) busted the Flight Controllers Union, he added another brutal, selfish, chapter to the American story and it's prejudice against the working class. Even a lot of the working class bought the story for a long time - everyone wanted to be rich, so many of the working class felt that if they gave up their union, Mama would take care of them.

But what we see with Wall Street and the latest from the auto execs, when they actually get out in public - they don't give a damn about the folks working for them. They care deeply about themselves, sustaining their preposterous lifestyles, and keeping up appearances for the sake of their investors.

I think we ought to bail 'em out and then buy 'em up! The working millions need our support, and it's time for Uncle Sam to set the pace!

Michael Moore has it right - we need a World War 2 approach - the government has to tell them what to build - not only hybrids and hyper efficient cars, but mass transit - to rebuuld the nation's infrastructure. We've done it before, and we can do it again.

2 comments:

Darren King said...

I'm fortunate enough to work from home, watch the hearings with my laptop on my lap. The 12/3 emergency meeting and Ron Gettelfinger's performance today is impressive - and probably among the best of the Detroit presenters to Congress. Mr. Gettelfinger also asked Congress to look at this from a bigger picture - holistic is my favorite word lately - RG argues the Detroit three aren't competing with Honda,Toyota - but Japan. Good point. It is clear to Congress the UAW has proactively taken concessions over the last several years and significant - labor constitutes only 10% of vehicle manufacturing costs.

Anonymous said...

Unions suck. They want more, and when they bget it, they want even more. Greed is their business plan. I say break them, run them out of town, let the jobs go to Mexico, and the UAW can find work doing all the work the Mexicans used to do. We managed when Regan broke the Air Traffic Controllers Union, and we'll manage manage with-out your $70 an hour ass killing the car industry. Good riddance UAW.