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UAW to taxpayers: $%^@ you!

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 24, 2008 06:40 AM

Well, it will come as no surprise to you that the union thugs have thrown concessions under the bus and are looking to Barack Obama to fork over all the money they need without strings attached. They promised they would abandon any wage cut proposals as soon as President Bailout, er, President Bush, announced the $17 billion auto “rescue” package.

(Remember?)

Yep, this is no surprise at all:

The nation’s automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefits concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package, but labor officials say they will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout rather than make those sacrifices.

The remarks by union leaders have set up yet another contentious battle in the auto industry.

In agreeing to provide federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, the White House demanded the firms cut worker compensation to the levels paid at the U.S. divisions of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said earlier this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.

Gettelfinger said that what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

…Critics of U.S. automakers say that they pay their workers, who are unionized, far higher wages than those of nonunionized workers at foreign-owned automobile plants. But union leaders say many of their members actually make less. In many cases, the truth depends on how the compensation is calculated — whether it includes bonus pay and benefits, for instance.

The stakes in the talks between the unions and the automakers are high. If GM and Chrysler are unsuccessful in convincing labor officials, as well as bondholders and other stakeholders, to go along with a broad restructuring plan, the government could call off the loans and let the companies declare bankruptcy or fail.

That would be novel.

But no, they will get their bailout sooner or later and still keep their gold-plated golf course, too.

Posted in: Subprime crisis