Thursday, December 11, 2008

Killing the UAW

14 Billion dollars is roughly the amount of money spent by the United States in Iraq in five weeks. It is also the amount the big three automakers are requesting in an effort to forestall the collapse of the US manufacturing system. While the Republicans refuse to even discuss exercising fiscal discipline in the conduct of the Iraq war, when it comes to the elimination of the jobs of workers in this country, they are more willing to take a strong stand. Their resistance to the House plan that was passed yesterday is a transparent attempt by the Republicans to kill the UAW and by extension, the larger labor movement. Congress is ok with 700 million for the big bankers, but none for the unions.

While it is true that a bail-out of the auto industry makes little long-term sense without requiring significant change from the companies, the relatively small amount of money needed to tide them over until a more far-reaching plan can be implemented won’t bust the treasury any more than it’s already busted. Remember, we just doled out billions to financial institutions that created this crisis without a single string attached. Why aren’t American workers due the same consideration as Wall Street?

5 comments:

Murphy said...

Because nobody buys American cars in this country anymore. However, we all are invested one way or another in the stock market whether you like it or not. Even Swedish villagers whose pensions sadly rely on our markets. My god, Patriot, this is not an affront to organized labor. Reagan pushed the dagger in that back 20 years ago. Even forests burn naturally in order to crack the hard shelled seed that will one day bear fruit. I share your outrage, believe me. But he who is not busy being born is busy dying.

Mark said...

Really? "(Bailout) talks broke down over a Republican demand that the United Auto Workers accept wage cuts that would bring pay at the Big Three U.S. automakers down to what foreign manufactures pay at their non-unionized factories in this country within the next year. The UAW was reportedly willing to agree to the cuts, but wanted to hold off on them until its contract with the automakers expires in 2011. A procedural vote to invoke cloture on the measure and bring it up for a yes-or-no vote was held anyway, but supporters fell eight votes short of the required 60." (Salon.com)

The Republicans demanded the wage cuts immediately; wouldn't even wait until the contract was up. Smells like union killing to me.

As for the stock marker; we didn't bail out the stock market, we bailed out the manipulators of the stock market. It also didn't work.

Murphy said...

Ok, the government is hell bent on union busting. Who's next on the hit list? The Screen Actors Guild, the Screen Writers Guild, or the NFL Players Association?

Let it go on the record that I am not in favor of any kind of bailout for the so called Big Three, whether it be to save UAW jobs or Richard Wagoner's seat on the corporate jet. There comes a time in history when what once was working works no more. Ask a blacksmith what he did when the horseless carriage came along.

As for the Wall Street bailout, I remain personally skeptical of putting billions into the hands of the greedy cocksuckers who cooked up the mortgage backed securities scheme in the first place. Without oversight, no less!!!

Putting Detroit next to Wall Street, however, is comparing apples and oranges, unless of course you factor in that the so called Big Three are essentially finance companies. As such they have fallen victim to the derivatives market like any other financial institution.

Mark said...

Washington gave a bailout to the financial institutions, and did not ask a single question, then they lay the blame for the auto industry, which is a victim of this financial meltdown, on the backs of the people who are working on the line rather than the people at the top. So it goes in America.

This is really quite remarkable. Class warfare right in your face. When there were talks of the financial bailout, the media supported the governments completely ridiculous chicken little act and drummed up support for the transfer of taxpayer wealth to multi-billionaires. Now here we are just a few months later and the Senate won't pass a bailout for the automotive industry because their blue collar workers make too much money? How can we justify supporting the lifestyles of the rich and famous while common Joes get flushed down the toilet?

Murphy said...

Well I suppose if you had enough money, you could buy a seat in the Senate. I understand there's going to be a vacuum in a couple of states. Rome is burning, my friend.