The United Auto Workers apparently believes the U.S. auto industry really is in serious trouble. Today, the UAW announced, it is willing to make serious concessions to help automakers secure government loans.
The UAW says it is willing to renegotiate labor terms, accept delayed payments of billions of dollars into the health-care trust and suspend the job bank which pays laid-off workers 95% of their salary while theyâ€™re not working. There are no specifics on any of this, but the UAW is clearly aware that many blame the union as much as they blame automakers for the industryâ€™s predicament.
Once again, weâ€™re seeing the advantages of not jumping to provide billions of dollars the second the auto industry requested the money. Slowly, both executives and workers are realizing that a bailout absolutely must include fundamental changes. Thereâ€™s still a lot of debate to be had and a lot of steps to be considered, but at least the matter seems to be moving in the right direction.