While I am no real fan of unions or the sometimes exorbitant wages and benefits they get paid, the fact is the union bosses absurd salaries, unfunded pensions and benefits of yesteryear and the multi-million dollar golf courses are the real problem. Making the worker suffer so the leadership-who do essentially nothing for them-can live the good life is unacceptable. Ironically, many of these folks probably voted Democratic much, if not all, of their lives.
The incident once again exposes the immense class divide between workers and union officials, who are working actively with the auto companies to drive down wages and eliminate benefits.
A vote on the changes was originally scheduled for Monday, but was cancelled by the UAW after Sunday’s informational meeting made it clear that opposition was nearly unanimous. The new contract would, among other concessions, cut wages from an average of $29 an hour to $15.50.
General Motors, the UAW, and the state government have been working to sell the plant to JD Norman Industries, which was demanding the nearly 50 percent wage cuts as a condition for the sale. GM and the UAW are now denouncing workers for opposing the destruction of their living standards.
Workers at Local 23 voted 384-22 in May to reject reopening a previous contract, which had guaranteed that wages would remain intact in the event of a sale. GM first announced its intention to sell the plant in 2007, threatening to close it if it did not find a buyer.
This was a major part of the problem when GM was not allowed to go through regular bankruptcy like any other business out there. Had they done that, GM would have been able to restructure, possibly selling this division off without the union and those folks could have decided to either work for the new company or go somewhere else. Now they have bailed out the union AND GM and they feel they are owed something.
UPDATE: A few VERY important details have been brought to my attention. First off, the meeting held on Sunday was illegal-for a group that gets so much thrill out of their rules and regulations you would think following them would be top priority, but it would seem this is not the case. According to union rules, they are to give 7 days notice for these meetings to be called-they gave three. In addition, the union membership had voted in MAY to not open their contract to this negotiation, yet the leadership went behind their backs and negotiated this deal anyway. Finally, these same people who demand that the membership take a (more acurrate) 70% pay-cut just voted themselves an 8% raise. How divine. I'm pleased to see the leadership taking an interest in what the regular guy is giving up. It's just like how the President can relate to how hard it is for the rest of us to pay our bills.