Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter?

Comments: Leave | View
On: Wed, May 12, 2010 at 9:31AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter?

Did somebody cry wolf for the Big Three automakers in the US? Because it seems like only yesterday that we were seeing company execs, wearing fancy, triple-stitched inseam suits with pinstripes and all, crying before the US Congress—which held an emergency meeting on their behalf. Irony prevailed for a moment too. That is because these bigwigs arrived in their private chartered jets—many of them couriered in on lavish jumbo jets that feature cocktail bars, entertainment centers, and private catering. And all just to humbly beg—and not on their knees—but while sipping off organic water as hordes of lawyers surrounded them, literally imploring Congress to do one thing: Give them money so they could survive.

Indeed, one can easily realize that the survival of the Big Three is essential to the revival of a plummeting and slowly, but surely reviving, US auto economy. But the banter that has gone back and forth between the automakers going bust (and the US government and taxpayers alike) bailing them out to the tune of billions of dollars also can relate to another thing: The auto worker unions being unwilling to compromise! Or does it?

Union Leaders Unwilling to Buckle at First
Heck, it only took a few years for the union workers to finally make a solid compromise. The union workers are well protected by the Big Three, or were. In fact, unlike many other unions, many auto workers are guaranteed health insurance for life, a floating fund that has to be matched by the companies as well as the workers paying their dues, something that definitely contributed to the bust of the Big Three. Well, that, and the fact that they were making too many cars in a market where people were barely able to feed their families, much less get approval for a new auto loan, while many were losing their homes due to toxic subprime mortgages.

The Bailout is Actually Working
According to a recent report by the AP (Associated Press) the bailout is, in fact, working to resolve these issues. The paper recently published an article stating, “Ford borrowed billions to stay afloat, while GM and Chrysler were forced to take billions in government aid and go through bankruptcy protection last year. Ford already is profitable, while Chrysler reported a first-quarter operating profit and GM is expected to show a profit when it reports earnings next week.”

In conclusion
Unions were part of the blunder, combined with a myriad of other things taking place simultaneously; like the banking fallout, and the fall of the US dollar, as well as the rise in fuel prices globally. But they have shown willingness to compromise and do their part to save the Big Three from ultimate disaster.

As far as Union contributions and sacrifices are concerned, UAW (United Auto Workers Union) Vice President Bob King sums it up rather nicely in a May interview with the AP by stating, “Unionized workers each gave up $7,000 to $30,000 per year in concessions to General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler Group LLC as the companies ran into financial problems last year and in 2008. The union,” he said, “made tremendous sacrifices that helped all three automakers through a crisis, working with company management to make the automakers competitive.”


Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave A Commment

Allowed HTML tags: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <b> <em> <i>
Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! rel="nofollow" is in use