Should the auto union die?
I don’t typically like to follow politics, and it’s rare for me to get fired up over political issues.
But when politics enter the world of cars, all bets are off. Especially when common sense is obscured by political influences.
Granted, politics has had its grimy hands wrapped around the auto industry for years; it’s just that no one really noticed or cared, because the public had money, and they were more than happy to give it to car dealers in exchange for new Chevy trucks.
That’s not the case anymore. In these troubled times we’re realizing the far-reaching stranglehold politics has on our beloved car industry.
I admit the United Auto Workers union has done amazing things for its members. I don’t know of any other union that has used its political power to secure free lifetime healthcare, provide a virtual guarantee against layoffs, and offer a hefty pension that can theoretically be collected for longer than someone actually worked.
As good as such arrangements are for workers, they’re absolutely insane business practices. Surely any CEO knows this, but the union has had the Big 3 paralyzed by fear. If GM tried to break agreements, they’d be saddled with a strike that could cost billions. If anyone from within the union had the guts to propose changes, they’d lose any hope they have at re-election.
Common sense flew out the window in exchange for power and money. I just wonder: If GM and Chrysler were able to lay people off to cut costs, would they be facing these dire consequences right now?
Please know that my beef isn’t with the people building American cars. It’s with the union behind them – a union that should not exist. I find it so ironic that to begin the process of freeing automakers from politics, they need massive political help from the U.S. government.
Readers can attack me all they want and accuse me of being ignorant about the auto industry. I’m not. I just want to love my U.S. automakers again.
In response to fellow blogger jgoods’ post yesterday, yes, we will always have an auto industry. Let’s just hope it becomes free of the politics of cars, and full of a renewed passion for them.
How does all this political news influence what you think about GM and Chrysler? Do you think the United Auto Workers’ union should exist?