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Potemkin
12-11-2008, 11:36 PM
http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/2008/12/11/D950TJS00_congress_autos/index.html

Auto bailout talks collapse over union wages
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and KEN THOMAS Associated Press Writer

Dec 11th, 2008 | WASHINGTON -- 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.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "terribly disappointed" about the demise of an emerging bipartisan deal to rescue Detroit's Big Three.

He spoke shortly after Republicans left a closed-door meeting where they balked at giving the automakers federal aid unless their powerful union agreed to slash wages next year to bring them into line with those of Japanese carmakers.

Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, a strong bailout supporter, said the UAW was willing to make the cuts -- but not until 2011.

Reid was working to set a swift test vote on the measure Thursday night, but it was just a formality. The bill was virtually certain to fail to reach the 60-vote threshold it would need to clear to advance.

Reid called the bill's collapse "a loss for the country," adding "I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It's not going to be a pleasant sight."

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.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "terribly disappointed" about the demise of an emerging bipartisan deal to rescue Detroit's Big Three.

He spoke shortly after Republicans left a closed-door meeting where they balked at giving the automakers federal aid unless their powerful union agreed to slash wages next year to bring them into line with those of Japanese carmakers.

Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, a strong bailout supporter, said the UAW was willing to make the cuts -- but not until 2011.

Ought Six
12-11-2008, 11:54 PM
Good! I want to see the UAW shoot itself in the head. When the bankruptcies come around, there will be no goodwill left for them. It is probably too much to hope for to see the Big Three go non-union, but we can dream!

leistb
12-12-2008, 12:23 AM
Asian markets have gone TU in the last half hour. DOW futures down 329 as of 23:20 EST.

jason
12-12-2008, 01:19 AM
The point is, unless the three companies are at the very least COMPETITIVE with the competition, there is no reason to throw money at them to delay the inevitable.

Ross
12-12-2008, 06:02 AM
It is a mystery to me why union approval is needed anyway .
Lower their wages and they can like it or lump it .
Are legally enforceable contracts involved ?

Does your Federal Government have enough power to declare strikes
within these businesses illegal ? If not can they change the law appropriately ?

In Australia certain industries have been declared critical to
the national interests ( or some similar set of words ) and illegal
union strikes within those industries can result in very heavy
handed action by the Government.

Fiddlerdave
12-12-2008, 06:12 AM
Oh yes, of course we have to throw trillions at the bankers "too big to fail" to waste, loot and steal, but to save a few million working jobs for a year or so to slow the fall of the economy which would actually bolster the economy by keeping a bit of the middle class afloat for a time, we find "fiscal good sense" suddenly irresistable.

However overpaid these people were, the loss of that many jobs suddenly in the next few months may bring a larger shock than some of the banking institutions we saved would have done had they failed.

There is a point to pacing an economic decline. 15 billion was peanuts. Hundreds of thousands of additional foreclosures and jobless claims will help make this spring a even more interesting example of "interesting times".

Renegade
12-12-2008, 08:00 AM
Auto bailout fails

Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:27am EST
By John Crawley and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A proposed bailout of U.S. automakers failed in the Senate on Thursday night, raising the specter of an industry collapse that sent Asian markets reeling and sparked fears it could deepen the recession.

"It's over with," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said of congressional efforts this year just before the Democratic proposal to extend up to $14 billion to the stricken industry fell short in voting on a procedural motion.

Pressure immediately shifted to the White House, with calls for President George W. Bush to consider intervening with emergency financing.

General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC sought billions in aid to see them through March and have warned of potential collapse if they did not receive a bailout.

"I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It's not going to be a pleasant sight," Reid said.

Markets across the Asia-Pacific region fell more than 3 percent on the development, with Japan's Nikkei average and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both down more than 5 percent. European and U.S. stocks were expected to fall about 5 percent.

Shares of Toyota Motor Corp were off 10 percent and Honda Motor Co fell 12.5 percent on worries about massive disruptions in the U.S. economy if one or more of its automakers collapse.

U.S. crude prices fell by more than $2 to $45.90 a barrel, while the yen hit a 13-year high against the U.S. dollar.

Because of their shared suppliers and vendors, industry observers fear the failure of one Detroit manufacturer could drag down the other two as well as other businesses.

Lawmakers have been among the industry's biggest critics. But Democrats and some Republicans -- and the White House in the end -- scrambled to put together a legislative lifeline because no one wanted to be blamed for a deepening U.S. recession if any of the companies went bankrupt.

Job losses hit a 34-year high in November and the unemployment rate reached a 15-year high.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler employ nearly 250,000 people directly, and 100,000 more jobs at parts suppliers could hang on their survival. The companies say one in 10 U.S. jobs are tied to the auto sector, which adds up to several million.

BANKRUPTCY CONCERN

GM and Chrysler both said that in the face of their cash crises, they had hired outside advisers to help them explore possible bankruptcy, which they found had too many drawbacks.

"It's going to be very difficult for them not to file for bankruptcy," Erich Merkle, consultant at Crowe Chizek in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said of the two if they did not get help.

"GM has probably got until January and I would suspect the next step would be that GM will provide a date and say that at this date we will file," Merkle said.

The White House called congressional inaction a breakdown and said it would evaluate its options.

"It has now fallen to the president to take action," said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who has spearheaded efforts for a month to get help for Detroit.

Bush should "move now," said Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, adding, "The dominoes are already falling" throughout the United States."

Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Bush to immediately explore short-term financial help, including tapping a $700 billion fund created in October for the Treasury Department to assist the financial services industry.

The Bush administration has so far resisted Democratic appeals to take that step.

A Treasury spokeswoman said after the bailout bid collapse on Thursday that its position remained that the funds were only intended to help the financial sector.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said it was possible Congress could take a "second crack" at a rescue in January when Democrats will have larger majorities in both houses. President-elect Barack Obama favors help for automakers.

'THREE WORDS AWAY FROM A DEAL'

The development followed intense discussions on a possible 11th-hour compromise that participants said fell apart over proposed wage concessions by the United Auto Workers union.

"We were three words away from a deal," said Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who proposed the alternative and led the talks.

Dodd said the main issue of disagreement was the date to require the Detroit autoworkers' pay parity with workers at foreign-owned U.S. auto plants.

The UAW could not immediately be reached for comment.

GM and Chrysler, which is owned by private equity group Cerberus Capital Management, sought billions in immediate aid to see them through March.

The industry's fortunes have plummeted in recent months as the credit crunch choked off corporate and consumer lending. Most car buyers finance their purchases. U.S. auto sales fell 36.7 percent in November and most analysts expect the downturn in sales to deepen in 2009 under the financial crisis.

GM said in a statement it would "assess all of its options to continue our restructuring" and to "obtain the means to weather the current economic crisis."

Chrysler said it would continue "to pursue a workable solution to help ensure" the company's future viability.

Ford, in a better cash position, had asked for a hefty line of credit. It had no immediate comment.

The three have been cutting thousands of salaried and hourly workers and closing plants in North America due to those market share losses, driven in part by slack demand for big gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles that had driven profits.

An industry that pioneered large-scale assembly line production and was the backbone of industrial America for most of the past century was unable to persuade enough senators to support the rescue effort. Republicans are concerned the companies were not restructuring fast enough and the bailout would become a bottomless pit for taxpayers.

SUPPORT COMES UP SHORT

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed its version of a Democratic-sponsored bailout that was virtually identical to the measure that fell in the Senate. Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate, which voted 52-35 in favor, short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure.

"These companies could be saved. I've said I think they are bloated, their management is bloated. These companies either already failed or are fading and that is a shame," said Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, who has opposed any bailout.

Though nearly three dozen senators rejected the rescue, some of the most vocal opponents were senators with foreign auto plants in their states, including Alabama and Tennessee.

Years of market share losses to Japanese rivals such as Toyota and Honda have weakened the Detroit companies.

Polls show Americans split on bailing out Detroit, widely criticized for fighting tougher fuel efficiency standards and poor model designs that have left the companies gasping with a stable of products losing popularity with consumers.

The lack of a bailout also leaves vulnerable U.S. auto parts suppliers with deep exposure to the "Detroit Three" such as American Axle and Visteon Corp.

(Additional reporting by Ross Colvin, Matt Spetalnick, Kevin Drawbaugh, Kevin Krolicki, Julie Vorman, Tom Ferraro, Jeremy Pelofsky, David Bailey, Donna Smith; Editing by Eric Walsh)
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE4B50CL20081212?sp=true

DReynolds
12-12-2008, 09:59 AM
For better or worse, the bailout is dead. GM will almost certainly file for bankruptcy protection which will allow them to continue operating, but their stock will be worthless and their bondholders and lenders screwed.

leistb
12-12-2008, 10:58 AM
Treasury Ready to Prevent Failure of Automakers (Update1)
By John Brinsley and Roger Runningen



Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury said it is willing to provide financing to American automakers after the Senate yesterday failed to approve a rescue for the beleaguered companies.

“Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry,” Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Brookly+McLaughlin&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) said in an e-mailed statement.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Dana+Perino&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) said earlier today in a statement that the Bush administration is considering using some of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to keep the auto companies afloat.

Treasury has allocated all but about $15 billion of the first half of the TARP funds, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Henry%0APaulson&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) has until now repeatedly resisted calls to use the program to aid the automakers.

To contact the reporters on this story: John Brinsley (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=John+Brinsley&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in Washington at jbrinsley@bloomberg.net (jbrinsley@bloomberg.net); Roger Runningen (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Roger+Runningen&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net (rrunningen@bloomberg.net)

Last Updated: December 12, 2008 09:53 EST

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aFUetPcA2Lqo&refer=home

gsgs
12-12-2008, 11:04 AM
no surprise.
This was expected since 5 days. There is another reason for
falling Dow today

http://data.intrade.com/graphing/temp/chart1225446351338130016.png

DReynolds
12-12-2008, 11:09 AM
earlier today in a statement that the Bush administration is considering using some of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to keep the auto companies afloat.


Why even have an appropriations process if the executive branch can re-assign money to whatever it wants?

penguinzee
12-12-2008, 01:14 PM
Don't be too sure about BK for GM, at least the Chapter 11 kind, unless the Govt steps in to provide debtor-in-possession financing (putting them first in line to be re-paid if the company liquidates). There was a market for this kind of financing, concentrated amongst some vulture funds, but that started going away over the summer, and is as dead as the rest of the credit markets are right now. Furthermore, it could still conceivably kill GM anyways, if several key parts suppliers go down as a result of the BK-remember, suppliers are usually last in line to get repaid (along with workers) and payment rates at the automakers usually ran ~45 days (maybe longer lately). Considering how tight a lot of people are running their businesses these days (not to mention getting any kind of credit is almost impossible) this could push any number of companies over the edge...

gsgs, the other reason for the markets fall today has to do with Bernard Madof, a market-maker on NASDAQ, who's been accused of a Ponzi scheme of over $50 billion... and as Denninger is fond of saying, there's never just one cockroach...

Franc (penguinzee)

Ought Six
12-12-2008, 08:00 PM
Without Union Concessions, Bankruptcy Better Than A Bailout, Republicans Say (http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=40760)


By Susan Jones, Senior Editor
CNS News
Friday, December 12, 2008


Congressional Republicans blocked consideration of a $14-billion federal loan for the auto industry Thursday night.

Republicans leaders said they want the U.S. auto industry to survive and thrive, but they also insist that a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer loan is not the only option. There’s also federal bankruptcy protection.

According to the Associated Press, the deal stalled over the United Auto Workers’ refusal to agree to wage cuts before their current contract expires in 2011.

The auto bailout bill, which easily passed the House on Wednesday, failed to advance in the Senate Thursday night. Fifty-two senators voted to consider the bill, but 35 of them (31 Republicans and 4 Democrats) voted against consideration. Supporters needed 60 votes for the bill to advance.

Democratic leaders pounced: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he “dreads” looking at the stock market on Friday: “It’s not going to be a pleasant sight,” he warned. “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight,” Reid said.

Earlier, the AFL-CIO accused Senate Republicans of trying to kill the bill “to satisfy their anti-union blood lust.”

But Senate Republicans insist it’s wrong to ask American taxpayers to “subsidize failure.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Americans are worried about the government intervening on behalf of some industries and not helping others – “especially when there is no guarantee that the interventions will work.”

The bailout legislation wasn’t nearly tough enough, McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor: “A primary weakness relates to the so-called ‘Car Czar,’ who has nearly unlimited power to allocate taxpayer dollars but limited ability to force the kinds of tough concessions that long-term viability would require,” McConnell said.

Republicans wanted the United Auto Workers union to make more concessions on labor costs.

But McConnell said the plan’s greatest flaw is “that it promises taxpayer money today for reforms that may or may not come tomorrow. And we would not be serving the American taxpayer well if we spent their hard-earned money without knowing with certainty that their investment would result in stronger, leaner auto companies that would not need additional taxpayer help just a few months or weeks down the road.”

“We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to subsidize failure,” McConnell added.

McConnell also drew a distinction between the financial industry bailout and the auto bailout: While the financial rescue plan approved by Congress in October was intended to rescue the entire economy, the auto bailout is intended to save a single industry, he said.

“A failure to appreciate this distinction has caused a number of other industries and even a number of municipalities across the country to prepare their own proposals for a government rescue as all Americans weather the tough economy. It has also created the impression in some minds that the federal government is picking favorites, and that favored businesses get help while others don’t.”

McConnell said the simplest reason to oppose the bill is also the best reason: “A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take everything we have,” he said.

Republicans insist that a government bailout is not the only option for the car companies. There’s also bankruptcy and restructuring, a path favored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

“Government should not be in the auto industry,” DeMint told the National Review Online. “We’ve set up laws to deal with companies that are financially strapped, and we’ve got bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, which would allow them to restructure their debt and their union contracts under the authority of a bankruptcy judge, who could help them make the hard decisions that would create a sustainable business.”

DeMint pointed to the airline industry as an example of an industry that has “gone through the bankruptcy process and come out the other side.” He told NRO the American people would have more confidence in buying a General Motors product if they knew the company was reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, rather than “being propped up by the federal government.”

According to the Associated Press, U.S. automakers are now counting on the White House to give them some of the $700 billion approved by Congress to bail out the financial industry. Following the Senate vote, the White House said it was studying its options.

General Motors and Chrysler have warned they could run out of cash before Christmas.

But President Bush opposes using the congressionally authorized financial industry bailout funds for emergency loans to the automakers.

GM said in a statement it was "deeply disappointed" that the bailout bill has faltered. "We will assess all of our options to continue our restructuring and to obtain the means to weather the current economic crisis," the company said in a statement.

Chrysler also aid it was also disappointed and would "continue to pursue a workable solution to help ensure the future viability of the company."

Ought Six
12-12-2008, 08:10 PM
Angry UAW Members Lash Out at Southern Senators (http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=40782)


By Tom Krisher & Kimberly S. Johnson
The Associated Press, via CNS News
Friday, December 12, 2008


Detroit -- Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and Southern senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers.

The vitriol had been near the surface for weeks as senators from states that house the transplant automakers' factories criticized the Detroit Three for management miscues and bloated UAW labor costs that lawmakers said make them uncompetitive.

But the UAW stopped biting its tongue after Republicans sank a House-passed bill Thursday night that would have loaned $14 billion to cash-poor General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to keep them out of bankruptcy protection. The Bush administration later stepped in and said it was ready to make money available to the automakers, likely from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout program.

Still, autoworkers remain angry with the senators who tried to negotiate wage and benefit concessions from the union, then scuttled the House-passed bill that would have granted the loans and set up a "car czar" to oversee the nearly insolvent companies and get concessions from the union and creditors. Their top targets were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who led negotiations on a compromise; and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who has been a vocal critic of the loans.

Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama all house auto assembly plants from foreign automakers, and union officials contend the senators want to drive UAW wages down so there would be no reason for workers at the foreign plants to join the union.

"They thought perhaps they could have a twofer here maybe: Pierce the heart of organized labor while representing the foreign brands," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a Friday morning news conference in Detroit.

Republicans in several Western states - where unions are often shunned - joined the Southerners in opposition.

But lawmakers and their spokesmen said the criticism is off base. Jonathan Graffeo, Shelby's spokesman on the Senate Banking Committee, said the senator has consistently opposed taxpayer-funded bailouts.

"He opposed the Chrysler bailout in 1979 when there were no foreign auto manufacturers in Alabama, and he opposed the recent $700 billion bailout of the banking industry," Graffeo said.

"Bailouts generally don't work, and this is a huge proposed bailout, and I fear it's just the down payment on more to come next year," Shelby said on the Senate floor Thursday night. "These companies are either already failed or failing, and that's a shame. These aren't the General Motors, Ford and Chrysler I knew."

Corker said the alternative he tried to develop would have provided federal money in exchange for restructuring the companies' debt and making the UAW more competitive in wages with workers at U.S. plants of Japanese competitors.

"Our members wanted to know that the UAW was willing to be competitive," Corker said.

"I basically pleaded with them to give me some language by some date certain that they were competitive with these other companies," Corker said. "That's where it broke down."

Hourly wages for UAW workers at GM factories already are about equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp. at its older U.S. factories, according to the companies. GM says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78 per hour, while Toyota - generally viewed as the main competitor of the Detroit Three - says it pays about $30 per hour. But the unionized factories have far higher benefit costs.

The union, GM and Chrysler have contended that the companies have restructured and the UAW has granted concessions that would make them competitive in 2010, but the economy went south this year and forced them into trouble. A third Detroit automaker, Ford Motor Co., asked for loans in case of emergency but says it has enough cash to make it through 2009.

Union officials also accused the senators of retaliating for the UAW's overwhelming support of Democratic candidates in federal races. The union gave $1.9 million to Democrats but only $11,500 to Republicans in the 2008 election cycle.

Many Democrats support the Employee Free Choice Act, which would take away employers' rights to demand a secret ballot on whether workers will join a union. Instead, workers could form unions by getting a majority of employees to sign a card in support of it.

"There's a lot at stake. If Republicans think now they can tarnish labor, it's going to be difficult to pass the Employee Free Choice Act," said Gary Chaison, professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "The unions are going to say that a strong labor movement is good for America. One of the things Republicans are trying to show now is that a strong labor movement isn't good for America."

Other union officials joined Gettelfinger to form a chorus of anger and frustration with the senators.

"What this is is the Southern conservative senators trying to destroy the United Auto Workers, trying to destroy unions," said Mike O'Rourke, president of a UAW local at a GM factory in Spring Hill, Tenn., Corker's home state. "It's a sad day in America when the senators turn their back on Main Street."

In an effort to help the auto companies get federal aid, the UAW last week offered to delay company payments into a union-run trust fund that will take over retiree health care costs starting in 2010. It also agreed to end the controversial "jobs bank" program in which laid-off workers get most of their pay and benefits after unemployment pay runs out.

Most Southern U.S. auto plants run by Toyota, Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., BMW AG, Daimler AG and other manufacturers are nonunion. The UAW has tried numerous times without success to organize workers at the foreign-owned factories.

Toyota spokesman Mike Goss would not comment on the UAW allegations.

As the Detroit Three have declined and ceded market share to the foreign nameplates, the UAW's membership has plummeted 69 percent, from a peak 1.5 million in 1979 to 465,000 at the end of 2007.
_____

Associated Press Writer Ken Thomas in Washington and AP Business Writer Ellen Simon in New York contributed to this report.

Potemkin
12-12-2008, 08:42 PM
Many Democrats support the Employee Free Choice Act, which would take away employers' rights to demand a secret ballot on whether workers will join a union. Instead, workers could form unions by getting a majority of employees to sign a card in support of it.

Wow, is this real?

Bring everyone in, stand them in line, have some big burley guys standing there.

"Here you go. Vote for union or not and hand it back to me."

"That video camera? Its nothing. Don't worry about it."

Sysiphus
12-12-2008, 09:09 PM
"Here you go. Vote for union or not and hand it back to me."

"That video camera? Its nothing. Don't worry about it."

My thoughts exactly. There goes the open shop.

Ought Six
12-12-2008, 10:15 PM
It is one of the most brazen, outrageous things the Dems have pushed for. They want to essentially legalize unionization election-fixing through threats and intimidation. Of course, the MSM has barely covered it.

Potemkin
12-12-2008, 10:45 PM
http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r284/flamingsimian/bigthree.jpg

ltow
12-12-2008, 10:54 PM
Employee Free Choice Act = you can kiss the "always low prices smiley face" good-bye

On another note
Anyone else see lots of Michigan license plates locally?
Will they be the new Oakies?

Potemkin
12-12-2008, 11:02 PM
On another note
Anyone else see lots of Michigan license plates locally?
Will they be the new Oakies?

Getting like the 1980s with all those Yankees doing a Carpetbagger II and moving to the south.

Sysiphus
12-12-2008, 11:04 PM
Employee Free Choice Act = you can kiss the "always low prices smiley face" good-bye

Or, more likely:
Employee Free Choice Act = Honda and Toyota move their plants to Latin America, and there goes the rest of it.

Potemkin
12-12-2008, 11:22 PM
http://www.airlinesafety.com/images/EasternUnemploymentVictory.jpg

leistb
12-13-2008, 03:00 PM
Union officials also accused the senators of retaliating for the UAW's overwhelming support of Democratic candidates in federal races. The union gave $1.9 million to Democrats but only $11,500 to Republicans in the 2008 election cycle.



Ahhhhh..... the benefits of lobbyists.

Ought Six
12-13-2008, 03:09 PM
j:

Check out post #14. ;)

jason
12-13-2008, 03:11 PM
j:

Check out post #14. ;)

damn. I thought I had something good to contribute. lol

rb.
12-13-2008, 04:44 PM
I foresee 2009 as the Year of the Riots.

I know two directly involved here. My best friend from high school works at Linamar, a parts manufacturer in Guelph, Ontario. My uncle works at Chrysler, in Windsor. Haven't talked to the friend, but my uncle knows he's going under. And hard. And he's desperate. And his desperation is affecting my life in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. And it hasn't even started yet. Oh, and DH works in the steel industry, much of which goes to auto manufacturing.

Season's F'n Greetings.

dyrt
12-13-2008, 09:38 PM
Bankruptcy does not mean they will permanently stop making vehicles. The Detroit auto companies are much too valuable to just disappear. They need to restructure their business model and the best way to do that is with protection from a bankruptcy court.

The factory workers and unions are going to be hit hard unless they adapt. The longer they cling to the old days, the harder it will be.

Ought Six
12-13-2008, 10:49 PM
At this point, the unions, factory workers and retirees are going to be hit hard no matter what happens. The question is, will the companies be allowed to institute a chapter 11 plan that will release them from the unbearable burdens of their union contracts, pension plans and health plans, and give them a chance to be competitive again? Can the management of these companies radically reform their way of doing business to achieve that goal if they are given such an opportunity? Or will the new administration try to force them back into that same old failed business model to serve their union contributors?

Sadly, I think we know the answer already. The main source of campaign funding for the Dems is the unions. They simply cannot afford to toss them aside. I see little hope for the survival of our auto industry in the long term, unless the bankruptcy courts can somehow keep the adminstrative and legislative branches from deciding what will happen. I am not optimistic on that.

dyrt
12-13-2008, 11:17 PM
The Toyota Tundra plant in San Antonio went back to work a couple of weeks ago. When Toyota saw the inventories building they wasted no time in stopping the manufacture of the pickups. Everyone got full pay and Toyota kept them busy. When they did not have restructuring tacks in the factory the employees could be seen all over town painting things, picking up trash, etc. Toyota is loved in San Antonio. They do a lot for the city and have no problem getting people to work at non-union wages.

Ought Six
12-13-2008, 11:47 PM
Can you imagine the reaction if a Detroit UAW worker was told that he had to go out and clean up a park or paint over grafitti in town? :lol:

penguinzee
12-14-2008, 11:33 AM
Can you imagine the reaction if a Detroit UAW worker was told that he had to go out and clean up a park or paint over grafitti in town? :lol:

Nah, won't ever happen... too dangerous!:lol:

Although if that actually did happen (with Blackwater security covering their behinds) it might actually make Detroit a nicer place... note I did not say nice...:laugh:

Franc (penguinzee)

Nightowl
12-14-2008, 02:16 PM
White House: No Decisions Yet on Auto Bailout (http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN1348401920081213)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Saturday no decision had been made yet on how to proceed with a bailout of U.S. automakers and that the Bush administration would take the time to do it right.

"We'll be focused on trying to get the policy right while considering the best interests of the taxpayer and our economy, and we'll take the time we have available to do that right," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "No decisions have been made."

After it became clear that auto bailout legislation was not going to pass Congress, the White House on Friday reversed its position and said the administration would consider helping the automakers by tapping the $700-billion package designed to rescue the financial sector.

Administration officials were continuing to gather financial information from the automakers on Saturday and assessing data such as their cash position.

"We'll take a look at that information, make some judgments and review our options," Fratto said.

Democratic leaders and the main U.S. auto workers union have appealed to the administration to provide emergency funds after a Senate deal to save Detroit's Big Three automakers collapsed in acrimony late on Thursday.

The White House was looking at a range of options to help the automakers and an announcement of any decision was not expected this weekend, a senior administration official said.

The official said "we're considering the full range of options with respect to the automakers and we haven't indicated what we will do, except to note that disorderly bankruptcy is something we should try to avoid."

Ought Six
12-15-2008, 01:09 AM
Sounds to me like Bush wants to kick it down the road a month and dump it in Obama's lap.

Fiddlerdave
12-15-2008, 02:50 AM
Sounds to me like Bush wants to kick it down the road a month and dump it in Obama's lap.That has been the White House's way of life on every problem it had for the past year.

Potemkin
12-15-2008, 01:31 PM
Of course if the current Administration would have made significant policy changes or implementation then it would have been blamed for implementing programs and sticking the new Administration with them.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

penguinzee
12-15-2008, 09:03 PM
Of course if the current Administration would have made significant policy changes or implementation then it would have been blamed for implementing programs and sticking the new Administration with them.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

True on that, Pote. By the same token, W has been talking to Obama for the most part, so hopefully there's some influence being wielded here by Obama (skepticism of course says otherwise).

Of course, don't even talk to me about the EPA regs Bush just rammed through...

Franc (penguinzee)