No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You have a fast car

Here's something we haven't seen since the eighties. You may not be paying attention to this, or you might be distracted by all the hand waving, but the American Auto Industry is about to do some union busting on the scale we haven't seen since President Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers.

There's some fucktard analyst out there that keeps talking about how the UAW agreement is "over an inch thick" and how this is dragging down the industry, and that "no business can expect to comply with all that and be profitable." And he's using this argument to (not so) subtly argue for either the Congress or a bankruptcy judge to throw out the union contract. This is union busting plain and simple and these people need to be called on the carpet for it. And the people supporting are the exact same people who complained so loudly that bankruptcy judges shouldn't be able to rewrite mortgage contracts because that would be "interfering in private contracts."

If this agreement is "too complex for a business to operate under" than every executive at the American Auto Industry should be fired. They agreed to it. They accepted it. If it's unworkable they are at fault for agreeing to it. So every single one of them must go.

Cost of employment is too much? Huhn. Toyota USA and Honda USA pay the same wages (or slightly higher) and they don't have that problem. But then those companies pay their executives less (and watch for the arguments about how we need to pay that high and give bonuses to attract the best and brightest who'll agree to contracts that they find unworkable).

To be fair, there are some contractual benefits the other companies don't have to work under, and some I find egregious, but those are things that can be negotiated. The big difference between the Big 3 and the others concerns health care and retirement. I'll point out here that again, our private payer based health care system is the major drain on the economy. It was the major sticking point in last year's UAW negotiations, the unions made concessions on other parts of the contract but stuck to their guns over health care. As it was the unions accepted the new burden of paying for health care for their retirees. Also, the UAW has a good retirement plan that has been underfunded by the car companies. The other car companies have 401k plans.

So there it is. Because the insurance industry has such a strong lobby, and some conservatives can't see that their ideology is crippling the country, our economy is being drug down.

As a side, you'll also hear about how "the consumers didn't want more efficient cars." That's a red herring. My argument, "Okay, so why didn't you take your big profits from the SUVs and do the R&D to make them more efficient?" The reason why they didn't? That would have affected their profits and bonus pay.


yusufyusuf said...

Nice blog...!

The Secret Face ©

Steve Buchheit said...

Yusuf, thanks, but your comment looks like spam and google spoofing. You might want to be careful about that. I don't mind links that relate to my post, but I'm not seeing how yours does.