Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the UAW Ringing its Death Knell by Extracting $12,500 Bonuses From Government Motors


The UAW managed to extract $12,500 in bonuses for hourly workers in the four-year-contract deal it just negotiated with Government Motors. It is congratulating itself for protecting worker wages even in these tough economic times. But Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in her column at The Daily that wage-protection for UAW members comes at the price of job jeopardization for everyone else in Michigan. Indeed, thanks to the UAW's history of bidding up labor prices, Michigan jobs and economy have been steadily going down the potty for decades.

But now, unions are facing a political backlash. Even as the UAW celebrates its triumph, a right-to-work movement is brewing in the union capital of the country that poses a serious threat to its existence.

"The Great Depression launched the labor movement, which promised prosperity and jobs," she notes. "But the Great Recession might spell its end because it can't deliver, the jubilation about the new contract notwithstanding."

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. Let us acknowledge the right for all workers to collective bargaining with the limitation that it is a right, but should not be a condition of employment. The results of collective bargaining are often to the detriment of the workers. The UAW got sweetheart deals, and management looking the other way when workers got less and less productive. Result? Check out the nearest lot for Hondas, Nissans and Toyotas, and check out Detroit’s dismal streets or available manufacturing space here in Fenton, Missouri.

    The public sector is much the same in that the negotiators across the table from the unions are as corrupt, perhaps even more spineless, then those of the Big Three who gave away the store to the UAW. So let us seek legislation that would require public sector contracts be put to the vote of the taxpayers, just as the UAW contracts and member behavior were put to the vote of the car buyer. Unions’ and management’s last best offers go on the ballot for a binding vote by the electorate. And, should we feel the politicians charged with representing us have made too generous an offer to the unions, we need only look down the ballot to find the opportunity to throw them out.

    1. Let us acknowledge the right for all workers to collective bargaining

      I absolutely acknowledge that right. I also acknowledge the right of employers to fire somebody for any reason at any time.

  2. What about work rules?

    Did “we” (the suckers who backstopped this fucking trainwreck) get any faint hope of productivity increases? Not that building shit cars more efficiently is a sustainable business plan.

  3. Doug owned a GM product a number of years ago and wasn’t too terribly unhappy with it. However, there will be no GM products in Doug’s future. Ever.

    1. my grandfather was a UAW member while working the GM line. I grew up with mostly GM cars, except for my dad’s momentary love for Volvos. Heck, I drove mostly GM cars. Now? I have a Mercury.

  4. Over at the Washington Compost, E.J. Dionne is smugly declaring that the auto bailout is an example of “socialism rescuing capitalism”. So maybe we should get Cuba to bail out our economy?

  5. Union leaders, “The hole is filling with water! Dig faster! Dig faster!”

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