I mentioned this in an earlier post, when I noted that the main reason the GOP appears to have spiked the auto bailout is because Sen. Corker thinks UAW workers make too much money, but this comment makes me think that we need to bring it up again to drive the point home:
Also, isn’t it ODD to have US Senators negotiating wage and benefit levels with the employees of private companies? These Southern Senators were actually NEGOTIATING WAGE LEVELS with the UAW leadership in a back room while they were filibustering the bill. Is that outrageous? Unheard of? What. The. Fuck?
Still, autoworkers remain angry with the senators who tried to negotiate wage and benefit concessions from the union, then scuttled the House-passed bill that would have granted the loans and set up a “car czar” to oversee the nearly insolvent companies and get concessions from the union and creditors. Their top targets were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who led negotiations on a compromise; and Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who has been a vocal critic of the loans.
Just think about that for a minute. That kind of interference is on the level of Terry Schiavo interference. US Senators from “right to work” states with foreign auto plants trying to NEGOTIATE WAGE AND BENEFIT LEVELS with workers of private companies doing business IN OTHER STATES. That totally blows me away.
US Senators are openly colluding with foreign auto companies to drive down the wages of American workers. Something to think about the next time you hear “You’re either with us or against us.”
And as a side note, as someone who has never really cared much for unions, I am as shocked as anyone to see myself defending the UAW this vigorously. I guess I am just taken aback by how brazen the efforts are to blame this on the workers and to let the economy explode just to destroy unions. It is pretty mind-boggling, and that is even after a pretty amazingly awful eight years of suck.
*** Update ***
Also, well-known pink commie Ben Stein was really in rare form last night on Larry King:
BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST: Well I think what happened was that the Republicans were sick of the bailout and they were also sick of the idea that the autoworkers had voted Democrat so many times and turned Michigan into an entirely Democratic state and they’re also a little envious on behalf of the constituents of the way — the imaginary super wage benefit legacy cause.
But I think they made a terrible and unpatriotic mistake. We’re teetering on the brink of a depression. We can ship money to Iraqi warlords and giant cargo planes. We ship money all over the world. We can’t ship it to help our own people? We can ship it to Goldman Sachs and rescue people that get $100 million a year but we can’t rescue an autoworker and his family? That’s crazy.***
STEIN: But it is going to do a lot to deal with the onrushing depression business. That’s the problem. The problem isn’t the about business model of GM has failed. We know its failed. The business model of Goldman Sachs has failed. We’ve got a lot of failed business models.
What we are having is an onrushing depression. We have got to stop it now. We have got to have a government contra-cyclical action that stops it. If we fall off a cliff into depression, it will be so much worse than any of the bailout costs. You cannot imagine it. You do not want to let this go into Great Depression.***
STEIN: I absolutely agree, absolutely right. The government shoved tens of billions of dollars down the throats of banks who said, we don’t even want it. Now Detroit and the workers there who are decent Americans are begging for it. For gosh sake, let’s do the right thing.
You really need to read the entire thing. However wrong Ben Stein might be on any number of issues, he at least appears to working from a reality based environment on this. for the life of me, I don’t understand how people think if these companies all fail the only fall-out will be a few union workers won’t be living high on the hog. For christ’s sake, even Toyota is worried.
*** Update #2 ***
I rather like this:
“I don’t know what Sen. Vitter has against GM or the United Auto Workers or the entire domestic auto industry; whatever it is, whatever he thinks we’ve done, it’s time for him to forgive us, just like Sen. Vitter has asked the citizens of Louisiana to forgive him, ” said Johnson, president of Local 2166. Otherwise, Johnson said of Vitter, it would appear, “He’d rather pay a prostitute than pay auto workers.”
That ought to wrinkle Vitter’s diaper.