The auto industry is suffering. The U.S. auto industry, all three main manufacturers, are all on the verge of bankruptcy. Sales have dropped 15% in 2008, and another 15-20% is expected in 2009. There is no doubt that the problems have been building for decades, with fat-cat auto executives selling Hummers and Quad cab pickups to the lazy and rather ignorant Joe Sixpack customer. Whatever the cause, the whole industry stands on the edge of the abyss: in a couple of years, there could be no “made in America” cars whatsoever.
A part of the conditions for the U.S. government bailout was that automakers have to reach agreements with their unions to cut wages and reduce staffing levels. Yet the unions say “we won’t take cuts!”
I particularly like this quote from a Reuters article:
“The concessions that Bush wants us to make are just a slap in our faces,” said Tammy Jones, a furnace worker at Chrysler’s Hamtramck axle plant in Detroit. “People fought and died for our rights and we must fight to keep them.”
I’m pretty sure that wars were fought so to protect the world from fascism and death camps, not to guarantee U.S. auto workers $35 an hour and an hour of breaks each day. Maybe I’m ignorant, but it seems to me that doing something to make sure there are actually some jobs available in the U.S. auto industry might be wiser than protesting that your “rights” are being violated if you have to accept revised work terms.