Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big 3 automakers return. UAW "considers" reopening contracts

From the Detroit News:

The Bloated 3 return to Congress with hats and business plans in hand seeking more than the $25 billion in tax dollars they were awarded this fall. In the spirit of generosity and cooperation, the UAW offers to "consider reopening contracts." Unconfirmed reports claim the existence of a double secret union meeting in which they will consider what they call "givebacks" or "concessions." How gracious. According to the Detroit News:
A person familiar with one automaker's plan said a variety of topics are being
explored. Key issues include reopening the contract, eliminating the
controversial jobs bank that still pays workers even when they are laid off, and
how much and how quickly the automakers will contribute to a trust fund to be
run by the UAW that will take over responsibility for retiree health care
beginning in 2010. The health care trust was a key part of the landmark
contracts negotiated last year.

Unless you're aboard a pirate-commandeered cruise ship, you've heard the latest pro-auto bailout argument: "This is just a loan. It will all be paid back. Remember when Chrysler did it?" Well, here's this tidbit, again from the Detroit News:

All three companies' plans will disclose how much cash they have on hand and how much they need in the short term to survive. Chrysler said it had burned
through $5 billion in the first nine months of the year, and was down to $6.1 billion as of Sept. 30. GM lost more than $20 billion in the first nine months
of the year and burned through $6.9 billion in the third quarter. Ford ran
through $7.7 billion in the third quarter.

With that kind of financial track record, would you be granted a loan from your neighborhood bank branch?

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