It appears now that the U.S. Senate’s rejection of the The Great Auto Bailout last night came down to the UAW’s refusal to accept wage concessions.
What a shame. One union brings down the whole deal. At least that’s what Republican senators are saying. Evidence again that unions are determined to “get theirs” no matter what.
At some point in this bailout debate I concluded reluctantly that our auto industry didn’t deserve a bailout to rescue them from their own poor decisions. The greedy UAW is a part of that problem (although only a 10% part, according to some sources).
I can appreciate that union workers, like everyone else, are ill-prepared to take a sudden cut in their incomes. But it certainly beats losing their income altogether.
At this point the Bush administration is considering the re-allocation of TARP funds, directing some of them to the automakers. It’s hard to argue against that move, considering Hank Paulson has been dishing that money out willy nilly and it has not been achieving the intended purpose.
While all this has been going on in Washington for what seems like forever, I’ve been weighing the following: my lifelong dislike of unions; the fact that my 15-year-old Japanese-branded Mazda was actually built in a Ford plant in Michigan; the unlikelihood that I’ll outgrow my preference for Japanese cars and the certainty that I wouldn’t buy from a company in bankruptcy; Paulson’s apparent incompetence in administering the TARP funds as intended; Congress’s inability to write and pass finance bills that include important details like rules and conditions on how the money is spent; my opposition to bailing out homeowners who can’t afford their mortgages and the subprime lenders who enabled them; how an economy that absolutely had to be rescued in the waning weeks of the election (or it would collapse within days) is still afloat despite all the debates and hand-wringing in Washington.
Maybe a few more months of hand-wringing and inaction is exactly what the doctor ordered.