Nothing like biting the hand that saved their sorry asses. And why
UAW/CAW should not be on your shopping list.
After helping the automakers survive, the auto workers union wants to
recoup some of what it lost.
DETROIT -- Under ordinary circumstances, the bankruptcies of General
Motors and Chrysler ought to have killed the United Auto Workers union.
The 75-year-old union is one-fourth the size it was at its peak 30 years
ago, and with both companies near collapse in 2009, members voted to
give back years of hard-fought benefits.
Yet, with its political clout still intact, the UAW has emerged as the
big winner of the Great Detroit Meltdown of 2009. It preserved generous
pension and health care benefits for retirees, and--along with U.S.
taxpayers--its trust fund for retirees now owns big chunks of both GM
and Chrysler, whose fortunes are on the upswing. When the companies go
public again, perhaps before the end of the year, the UAW trust will
undoubtedly look to cash out as quickly as possible.
Now, as members prepare to elect a successor to President Ronald
Gettelfinger, the UAW is looking to restore those concessions and
rebuild its membership.
The challenge will likely fall to Robert King, 63, the union's chief
bargainer at Ford Motor Co. ( F - news - people ), who was nominated by
the union's leadership committee to replace Gettelfinger when delegates
convene next month in Detroit.
"Ron preserved the core of the union, the core of Detroit, through
brilliant negotiating and brilliant politics in Washington," said Sean
McAlinden, chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann
Arbor, Mich. "Despite the hatred of the rest of the country, he pulled
it off. He saved the core. Now, he's handing it over to Bob to see if he
can grow it again."
Liberalism - a disease of envy, greed, entitlement and KAOS.