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View Diary: Senate GOP: Let Us Destroy UAW, Or We'll Destroy the Economy (375 comments)

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  •  Sensible Middle, Baby. Unions Must Go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, moosely2006

    57 = 0 in the Senate.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:06:59 PM PST

      •  The only problem with that is being heard (11+ / 0-)

        since the Rethug corporatists also control the media outlets.

        Priority #1 in the new administration should be re-regulating the media so that competing voices are heard.

        The media monopoly is death to freedom.

        Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

        by moosely2006 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:16:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the "virtual filibuster" is at the heart of (9+ / 0-)

        potential Democratic capitulation on this.

        It's time to end the virtual filibuster. All that's required is that Harry Reid enforce existing Senate rules.

        I've linked to today's diary on this because this is a truly urgent issue. Whether we allow the Republican ideologues to sink the economy is truly within the grasp of the Democratic Senate leadership.

        (Disclosure: the diary I've linked to is mine. I'm shamelessly pimping it because it provides a detailed discussion of the critical urgency of setting a new precedent, and once and for all ending this horrendous recent use of the virtual fillibuster by the Republican filibuster "pirates" to block majority rule.)

        "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

        by flitedocnm on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:35:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is Harry Reid's last chance (6+ / 0-)

        to show he has some balls.  He needs to tell the Republicans, go ahead and filibuster.  Get out the telephone book and start reading.  And then the Democrats need to go on national TV and tell the American public that they made a lot of concessions to try to protect 3 million worker's jobs and now the Republicans are going to allow those people to lose their jobs in an effort to destroy the union.  Then let the public start calling their Republican Senators and tell them what they think.

        If Reid, once again, caves without actually making the Republicans filibuster, I swear I am going to personally go to Washington and strangle him.

        •  Please call Harry Reid's office and (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duckman GR, Mrs M, Dirtandiron, chrome327

          tell him exactly that.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:38:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Buy your tickets (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Reid has no balls, no spine, no sense.

          I am so pissed off right nowv after hearing that stupid god damned fucking idiot talking in the Senate about the failure of the bill, oh, throws his hands up in the air, whimpers, whines, does nothing.

          Look Senator, your job is to pass the bill.  If you can't do that, you need to make sure that the failure belongs to the god damnable republican scumbags.

          But Harry Reid can't do that, because he is a god damned fucking coward.  Stupid gutless, worthless coward.  I spit on him, he's worse than a republican dirtbag like Ensign, because HE SHOULD KNOW BETTER, god damn it.

      •  Damned fricking straight (6+ / 0-)

        and we'd better be getting that word out now, loudly. LTEs, bumper stickers, you name it.

        And, by the way, this won't just be the demise of our auto industry, it will be the demise of the auto industry in the US. Where the hell do they think the Toyota, BMW, and Subaru plants are going to get their parts?

        This is so fucking short sighted it makes me want to puke. On them. Republicans. Repeatedly. Even induced.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - WSCoffin

        by stitchmd on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:20:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Auto Industry (0+ / 0-)

        Not sure if you are more concerned with getting political cache out of this or if you give a crap about the industry. The fact is that the union costs of the big 3 are nearly double the foreign automakers costs. This is not a charity, it is a company. No profit, no job. It's that simple. Socializing corporations will not solve it, the soviets tried and failed. So either the unions get paid what they are worth or they lose their jobs. It's not a point of argument, just simple economics. People will eventually see that bailouts do not work. They should be allowed to fail, go bankrupt and rebuild. You cannot avoid the pain by borrowing more money from china to pay union pensions, unemployment and healthcare.

        •  No, we're concerned with reality, not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ideological union bashing.  If your fucking party wasn't blocking centralized, sensible healthcare, the cost per vehicle would drop $2000 per vehicle (just like they have everywhere else that manufactures cars.)  Open your fucking eyes, read, and quit this crap blaming labor.

          -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke IMPEACH THE BASTARDS!!!

          by caseynm on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:28:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, that must be why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that stupid fucking idiot Harry Reid is bailing out with nothing but a fucking god damned whimper.

        God, I just hate him, just hate him.  Instead of making every opportunity to give the morons like Ensign and McConnell total ownership of the failure of GM and Chrysler, no, he's going to whine and whimper and make sure to do everything he can to give ownership of a couple million more unemployed Americans to the Democrats instead of the gop.

        Thanks HArry, you gutless, worthless, pissant coward.

        Damn him, just damn him.  Why do we have to put up with him as the Senate Leader, anyway, why?

        Challenge that fucker, someone, please, he's killing us, just killing us.


      •  Diarist is well-intentioned, but misguided. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hank Rearden

        It really doesn't matter now whether the Big 3 get the bailout. The UAW (at least in its current incarnation) is doomed either way. And I'd say that most UAW members know it.

        In fact, they've known it even before the current financial crisis began. That's why so many of them took the buyouts that GM and Ford offered them over the last few years. It was actually kind of funny watching GM and Ford scramble to come up with the money for the buyouts. They had figured a much smaller percentage of auto workers would take the one-time lump-sum payments to leave the company. They were unprepared for the huge number who decided to take it. They severely underestimated the pessimism among UAW members, who basically don't see any future for auto workers in the US.

        Think about this: in 1979 the UAW had 1.5 million members. How many do they have now? About half a million. That is simply a staggering loss. The UAW is in a very weakened position right now. And the current UAW leadership is...well, let's just say they aren't up to the task. They are as far removed from the militancy of the UAW's early days as night is from day.

        This bailout will benefit no one except the corporate executives who run the Big 3. They have made it clear that part of their "restructuring" is to lay off workers and close plants in the US. They will continue to open new plants in low-wage countries. I've written a couple other comments about this. The UAW is pretty much defenseless against this race to the bottom.

        Michael Moore's idea of nationalizing the auto industry is the only hope the UAW has. But it has no chance of happening in the current political setup, or under the upcoming Obama administration. Both of the major parties have no stomach for that. So maybe the current political setup needs to be changed. :)

    •  F*ck that! (34+ / 0-)

      Republicans NEVER had 60 votes when they were ramming through tax cuts for millionaires and billionaire, the Patriot Act, etc.  HARRY REID NEEDS TO GROW A FUCKING PAIR AND TELL THEM MOTHERFUCKERS TO PLAY BALL OR ELSE HE WILL GO NUCLEAR ON THEIR TIRED, WRINKLED, ELECTORALLY DEFEATED ASSES!!!!!

      •  You can't grow those. (8+ / 0-)

        Either you have them, or you do not. He needs to go. They should have put Hillary in there.

        Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1929.

        by Bensdad on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:22:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hate it when you hold back. (4+ / 0-)

        C'mon, tell us how you REALLY feel.

        REPUBLICANS: The Older White Meat.

        by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:22:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ramming through ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moosely2006, Dirtandiron

        LOL -- go and look at how many of our critters voted for that thing. Ramming through ... indeed!

        "We will learn an enormous amount in a very short time, quite a bit in the medium term and absolutely nothing in the long term." Grantham on 2008 Crisis

        by Bronxist on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:23:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats favored those measures (0+ / 0-)

        so the republicans didn't need 60 votes.

        •  And the Republicans Who Are Left (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duckman GR, Ken in MN, jds1978, chrome327

          Are largely in the south, with every motivation to vote against the Big Three auto companies because their bread is buttered by the foreign auto companies, and any opportunity to castrate important, active labor unions is a good day for Republicans.

          The Earth's 23.44 degree axial tilt in relation to its orbital plane is the REASON FOR THE SEASON.

          by karateexplosions on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:45:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Too bad it will end up... (4+ / 0-)

            ...killing the implants as well.  Once the Big 3 fail the parts suppliers will soon follow.  Then the Japanese and Germans will close their US factories and it's lights out...

          •  The Republicans are *helping* the Big 3. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nurse Jeckell

            They are doing exactly what the CEOs of the Big 3 were hoping for: getting the current contracts with the UAW scrapped without the companies having to file for bankruptcy. People here are being played like a violin by the Big 3. This is all a charade. I'll explain.

            First of all, GM and Ford have plants in the south.

            GM has assembly plants and SPO (Service Parts and Operations) in:
            Doraville, GA
            Bowling Green, KY
            Shreveport, LA
            Jackson, MS
            Charlotte, NC
            Spring Hill, TN

            Ford has assembly plants in:
            Atlanta, GA
            Louisville, KY
            Norfolk, VA

            Those are all union operations. The thing is, for the Big 3 this is a win-win: if they don't get the bailout then they can try to scrap their union contracts through bankruptcy. If they do get the bailout, their friends in Congress (including in the Republican Party - yes, the Big 3 grease the Republicans' palms all the time) will do it so that the UAW is forced into a corner: either agree to even more sweeping concessions than in the last contracts (where, for the first time ever, the UAW agreed to a two-tiered system that will pay new hires $14/hr) or get blamed for "destroying the economy". What choice will the UAW have?

            This couldn't have worked out better for the corrupt and incompetent scumbags running the Big 3. They must be loving every second of this phony theater being played out in Washington right now, as well as chuckling over how many people they've duped into supporting them (including here).

      •  Balls Need a Spine to Support the Body. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flitedocnm, Go Kid Hugo

        More senators are owned by corporate America than Reps. The cost to reach the Senate is so high that would be senators really have to sell their souls to the rich & power to gain office. Look at Biden's vote for a bankrupcy bill that screwed Americans big time. Reid won't make the Repugs step to the mike because he is corporate owned. There are very few actual progressives in the Senate. It shows everyday. Reid is not a progressive. He kneels at the altar of money & power. See this in fast motion with the Illinois governor's "political crime spree".

      •  F*ck that! (0+ / 0-)

        Why should Republicans sign a bill that will only delay the failure of these companies because of union excesses? Harry Reid wants cover on this so he can say it is bi-partisan. The bailout is a disaster. They should allow these companies to fail or they should chop that union contract in half. Companies are not charities. Once you learn that then everything else in this world makes sense.

        •  Union bashing asshole troll (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DAVE DIAL, blueyedace2, John Poet

          Go back your fascist friends at red state.

          -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke IMPEACH THE BASTARDS!!!

          by caseynm on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:33:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  union bashing wha wha (0+ / 0-)

            The only fascists are those trying to take away the secret ballot from union workers. The same scum who will bash in their "fellow brother's" heads if they don't vote straight communist or for economic failure. The only fascists are those trying to stop free speech through the fairness doctrine. Believe it or not there are millions of democrats who are against this bailout and it doesn't make them fascists you loser.

            •  Actually, no. You apparently can't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueyedace2, martydd

              understand anything except through republican talking points. Card check is what GETS them to a free and secret union vote without ownership having 6 weeks to threaten everyone's job and scaring the crap out the workers.

              Learn how to read about stuff instead of listening to Hannity, Limbaugh and parroting their lies.

              If you read any honest evaluation of the Big Three problem, labor costs are a (comparatively) minor issue.

              -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke IMPEACH THE BASTARDS!!!

              by caseynm on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 07:49:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually no..... (0+ / 0-)

                The good thing is that I don't need the talking points. Gravity will prove my point. The top heavy industries with laid off workers being paid to do nothing are going down whether you like it or not. The smartest thing labor could do would be to distance themselves from these ridiculous contracts. It will happen on obama's watch. Labor could have taken equity to save the companies but not even they believe in the business plan. Nothing the dems can do to prevent the engine of the world stopping. We have to hit bottom before we can start to rise.  Don't worry Bush will give in and send the temporary lifeline to these button pushers oiling the robots.

            •  Oh, and I didn't say those against the bailout (0+ / 0-)

              are fascists, you ignoramus. I said you and your republican friends are.

              Most Dems who are against it oppose it because evey emendation that your worker-hating republican Senators made to the deal screwed the workers and trashes the environment--as usual.

              Why do you hate america and its people?

              -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke IMPEACH THE BASTARDS!!!

              by caseynm on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 07:54:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Unions must go?Over my dead body;see u in hell. (8+ / 0-)

      Better DEAD than red!

      by AfroPonix on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:28:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gooserrock, are you serious? I hope not! (0+ / 0-)
    •  Reid needs to force the GOP to say no (5+ / 0-)

      Keep the Senate in session until there is a vote and let the GOP show that they can do Grinch better than Jim Carrey. Don't let the GOP win with silly threats. If they want to spend Christmas telling us why the automakers should go out of business, I want to hear it. Let them show us how much they hate Americans.

      •  Reid needs to force the GOP..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The automakers are going out of business even if the bailout is signed. There is no way these union contracts will survive if these companies are going to continue in business. It has nothing to do with grinch's and other bogeymen in your head. The long term survival of these companies depends on shedding billions in debt and pension obligations. If they can't they should close. They will all go under if the congress is on the board of directors. That is a promise.

        •  So you tell us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59, Dirtandiron

          But Randriods have a very bad track record when it comes to economics. Why should I accept your unsupported assertions.

          By the way, the actual pay and benefits to employees is fairly similar between the unionized and non-union plants.

          •  so you tell us (0+ / 0-)

            Granted, Ayn Rand was a bit over the top but you can't say that it is working in Detroit. Between pension obligations, healthcare and severance pay the hourly cost of all three is in the 70's. The foreign car makers are all in the 40's so I'm not sure what you are referring to.  I don't have all the answers but you and I know that in the end bailouts can only delay the dying patient. Two things will happen, they will nationalize and you will have cars like the russians used to make that no one wants or they will go bankrupt, move to a right to work state or move overseas. It doesn't mean I am a fascist or that I hate America or workers. I would love to see the workers get a stake in the company rather than $70+ dollars in benefits an hour.  when you are a stakeholder you behave differently. If people can't disagree in a civil way and debate then what is the point of this site? Or does everyone prefer "group think" and find it better to just curse out the other side. The only way out of this mess is finding a balance between labor rights and a company's shareholder's reasonable expectation of a return on investment. Companies are not charities.

            •  You don't get to count deferred payments (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueyedace2, Bronx59

              The costs to the retirees are commitments from the past. They are not a cost of building cars today. That is the lie that the anti-UAW folks are selling. It stinks.

              •  you don't get (0+ / 0-)

                Actually you do get to count it because this is a business not government. The fact that the big 3 made those commitments is unfortunate but if they mismanage well then they go the way of the dodo. If this was a government agency then yes, you can promise anything and the chinese will have to finance it...until we get hyperinflation and then all bets are off. We are not there....yet.  Those are fixed costs for the company. If you take in 10 but pay out 15 for whatever reason then it is a cost of making the car. I don't know what accounting rules you are using. To say that I don't get to count deferred payments sounds like we are playing a board game. Those are real dollars that GM and other have to come up with each month. That cannot be denied as much as it is uncomfortable to accept.

                •  Deferred costs are not direct labor costs (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueyedace2, trashablanca, Bronx59

                  This is just an accounting method, nothing more. Those who claim that the costs include the deferred costs are either ignorant of basic accounting or just repeating the lies that the union-busters are telling.

                  The liability already exists. The workers are not the ones getting paid, that is why it is not a direct labor cost. Stop making excuses for those who want to destroy unions in this country. Your name tells us that you are one of those who wants to destroy the income of the working man in this country.

                  You have chosen to be Randroid. My experience is that Rand acolytes refuse to learn or understand. Good day.

                  •  deferred costs (0+ / 0-)

                    Those costs are real and remain on the balance sheet as a longterm liability. It does not come out in the hourly cost of workers, that is correct. But at the end of the day, payday that is, they are paying existing and retired workers.  That obligation to pay retired workers does not evaporate simply because they are not working or because they are listed as long term liabilities. Those contracts and obligations were negotiated by the unions of the current employees but all this is irrelevant. GM still has to pay these costs. Do we at least agree on that or am I missing something?

    •  I am with RM (0+ / 0-)

      When the banking employees take a pay/bene cut on their bailout then we can talk!

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