I am not the sharpest tack in the box, but then again dealing with the world of politics may not require such a credential. I am reading about the Chrysler debacle and find myself amazed.
For decades both management and the unions of the auto companies have mismanaged their respective responsibilities. Management failed to adapt to foreign competition and failed to negotiate reasonable agreements with the union while the union insisted on non-competitive work practices and unaffordable employee benefit programs (having been an employee benefits professional for over 45 years that is something I do know about).
In 1978, I wrote an article about health care in American and in it I quoted someone from GM lamenting the $800 added to the cost of each car because of health care benefits. Whoopee, thirty years later we learn that as part of the bankruptcy deal brokered by the federal government Chrysler’s retirees will lose their vision and dental benefits…vision and dental you say how many retirees in American have health care let alone dental and vision benefits? Active workers will forego a Christmas bonus, a what, two paid holidays and a cost of living adjustment. Cost of living, hey, aren’t we worried about deflation these days?
The good news is that while being at least 50% responsible for the demise of Chrysler and possibly the other auto companies the UAW (technically their retiree healthcare trust) now owns 55% of the post-bankruptcy organization. OMG it’s just like keeping a person in “their” home when the mortgage payment is equal to their total gross monthly income. I don’t get it, is this liberal politics in action? Could it be this is part of a secret wealth transfer plan? Does management need to form a union for job security?
Can we hope that the UAW once it has something really at stake (as opposed to helping the old Chrysler stay viable) will negotiate a more realistic deal with itself?
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture? A mismanaged company, an irresponsible union, a government bailout to avoid bankruptcy that didn’t, a president taking lenders to task for not waiving their rights under the law and the greedy union ends up owning the company it helped sink. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.
The US Government will name four new Board members of Chrysler, Fiat will name three (Fiat, that’s the company that has a factory in Sicily where workers are paid to come to work but there is no work, hey, where have I heard that before), the UAW one and the Canadian government one? How would you like to be a member of that board of directors, eh? I can just see lunch at the first meeting, four will be on a per diem, three will have pasta, one will have a lunch bucket and the ninth will likely…heck other than maple syrup I don’t know what they eat in Canada.
If you voted for change, brother you got it. However, there is good news, if you think that the UAW has a sweet and costly deal, it is nothing compared with the public employee unions. The Mayor of New York gave up trying to get the union workers to pay 10% of the cost of health care benefits. Guess who is paying for those deals, checked your property tax bill lately?