11 December 2008

Detroit Three rescue plan collapses

This is all manner of not good:
A $14 billion emergency bailout for U.S. automakers collapsed in the Senate Thursday night after the United Auto Workers refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts.

...The implosion followed an unprecedented marathon set of talks at the Capitol among labor, the auto industry and lawmakers who bargained into the night in efforts to salvage the auto bailout at a time of soaring job losses and widespread economic turmoil.

"In the midst of already deep and troubling economic times, we are about to add to that by walking away," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the Banking Committee chairman who led negotiations on the package.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the GOP point man in the talks, said the two sides had been tantalizingly close to a deal, but the UAW's refusal to agree wage concessions by a specific date in 2009 kept them apart.

The autoworkers' contract doesn't expire until 2011.

"We were about three words away from a deal," said Corker. "We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion."
In case you were wondering just how much the Republican party hates unions, I give you Exhibit A. We're going to have an absolute bloodbath on our hands when the markets open, tomorrow.

It's reprehensible that the Senate GOP is so hell-bent on bending the UAW over that they're willing to risk the collapse of the domestic auto industry. For months, all we heard was Joe Sixpack this and Joe Sixpack that. Guess if ol' Joe has a union card in his wallet, he doesn't matter quite so much.

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