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December 12, 2008

UAW...Those Damn Republicans Wouldn't Give Us The Money

Yeah, yeah, blah, blah.

"This was just simply subterfuge on the part of the minority in the Republican Party who wanted to tear down any agreement that we came up with," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a press conference, declaring "the auto industry around the world is in peril."

Intense negotiations broke down over the union's refusal to meet GOP demands for wage cuts. Corker, the architect of the Republican counterproposal to the House-approved bill, told FOX News that negotiators were "just three words away from a deal."

But Gettelfinger said Republicans were holding the union to a "double standard" and trying to applying an undue burden on their workers.

He questioned whether Republicans had an ulterior motive, but said the union was nevertheless willing to negotiate.

"Quite frankly, we wondered if we were just being set up," Gettelfinger said. "And I say that because there's no question the UAW has demonstrated leadership throughout this process, and there were some in the Senate who we felt resented that. "

...In terms of hourly wages, the pay scales are similar. For instance, General Motors says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78, while Toyota says it pays about $30 per hour.

The difference is in the benefits, however. GM's hourly labor costs (including pensions and health care) total $69 for active workers. Toyota's total about $48 per hour at older U.S. plants.

They wanted the money and they didn't want to do anything that would address the structural imbalance between American automakers and their foreign competitors who produce cars here while making a profit.

Also, he's wrong (well more likely lying/spinning) in blaming the Republicans for the vote last night. Enough Republicans crossed the line to vote with the Democrats, it's just too many Democrats voted against the UAW. Funny how that doesn't get mentioned.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department, "will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure" of an automaker.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:16 PM

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