Auto Workers' Russian Roulette

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[Black Star Editorial]

The United Auto Workers (UAW) may be out to lunch.

The automobile companies will crash and die if the union doesn’t quickly negotiate cuts in income. That must be a pre-condition to receive anywhere from $15 billion to $40 billion in the assistance the car companies want. Sacrifice will become the new mantra across the country.

Across the board, the top executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler must also take cuts. In the case of an executive such as GM’s Wagoner, he should return millions of dollars to the company. He has earned tens of millions of dollars over the past several years even as his company bled billions of dollars. In the case of Chrysler, its owner, Cerberus LLC, must also invest billions of dollars into the company’s bail out; it must match every cent that American taxpayers put in. Chrysler is a private company; if its owners want help, they should be willing to fork in their own money as well.

As a matter of fact, as millions of jobs disappear over the next few months and the stock markets continue the wild gyrations, pay cuts may become the norm if people want to keep their jobs.

Absent the above, there must be no bailout of the auto companies even after Barack Obama is sworn in. The car companies would all be forced into bankruptcy and from the ashes; the new structure of American automobile manufacturing may or may not emerge.

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