All Hail The UAW

The auto industry bailout has collapsed in the Senate. From CNN’s headline article this morning on the matter:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the sticking point was the United Auto Workers union’s refusal to put employees at U.S. auto manufacturers at “parity pay” with U.S. employees at nonunion plants operated by foreign automakers in the United States.

For more on the wage disparity, check out the chart I posted in the latter part of my last UAW love-fest missive. I hope Gettelfinger enjoys triggering this a-bomb.

One potential ray of sunlight in these dark, dark clouds is that I believe the US auto makers need to end up in bankruptcy – a wall that this car seems to be accelerating blindly towards.  Bankruptcy laws were designed to help address exactly these sorts of intractable messes.

Not that I think bankruptcy of two or three of the big-three would be a joyous thing. Hardly. It’d suck rocks. And then some. Tens of thousands of people would lose their jobs immediately, and ultimately hundreds of thousands would be horribly impacted – perhaps even millions when you factor in the full supply chain and ancillary businesses. It’ll be a bloodbath that will impact virtually each and every world citizen.

I’m reminded of Michael Corleone and Clemenza’s exchange during target practice in the basement:

Michael: How bad do you think it’s gonna be?

Clemenza: Pretty goddam bad. … These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood.

Or, perhaps more accurately, the Joker’s railing against Gotham:

This town needs an enema.

If only this too were fiction.

It’s clear that business-as-usual in the US auto industry is OVER. An era is gone and passed. The parties have been too short-sighted, juvenile, and just flat-out irresponsible to fix things themselves. FA1L. Time for some new blood to step in and try to fix things. We can only pray the trustee teams that get put in control of the companies flush the boards and executives while they’re flushing Gettelfinger and the UAW.

Sad but apparently-necessary times ahead.

One comment

  1. Will Herman

    So, I agree with you *mostly* with regards to bankruptcy, but her’s the rub. I don’t think any car company that declares bankruptcy will ever recover. Who is going to buy a car from a bankrupt car company that may not be around to service it a year from now. It’s just too big of an investment for people to take that risk. If you’re buying a Vette, you might take it. If you’re buying a Malibu, you probably won’t.

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