It's All Because of Unions...It's Their Fault!  

I headed over to John Cole's Balloon Juice for some talk about Republican Union-Bashing and I found this nugget in the comments:

Exactly. But when it comes to union busting, there’s no lie too big. Romney said what he meant in that editorial, though:

The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end.
The only way, from an executive’s perspective, to make that enmity stop is to bust the union and give all the power to management. As a union member, I respond with "Fuck you very much."
This comment was based on the posting about Republican union-bashing and their disdain for working Americans represented by a union. From Cole:

this is union busting on a grand scale. There have been dozens of signs over the past week what they really want, starting with the Mitt Romney editiorial in the NY Times:

The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end. This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits. But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”

You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road. Companies in the 21st century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th. This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit sharing or stock grants to all employees and a change in Big Three management culture.

When Mitt Romney says a “new direction” for unions, the new direction means planned obsolescence. It is important to remember what Mitt Romney does to make his money, and when he gives advice to what should happen to the auto industry, you need to understand that his vision for America is more of the same- in his worldview, everyone is working for $8 dollars an hour at Wal-Mart, getting their health care from medicare/medicaid, and barely making it.

On Monday last week, Todd Harris picked up the ball and ran with it:

Harris: Republicans are going to be looking-as we talk about concessions on the management side, we’re going to be looking, when you talk about bailing out Detroit, looking at reopening some of those ridiculous union contracts that have been huge, massive giveaways.
No, I don’t-I don’t think that this is class warfare. I mean, you talk about a company like AIG or a company like Citigroup, and there was bipartisan consensus that they were simply too big to allow to fail.

Now, you haven’t heard-at least I’m not aware of any Republicans saying, no, you have got to protect the AIG management, or you have got to protect the Citigroup management. If they need to be hung out to dry, then let them hang them out to dry. But, when you talk about some of these union contracts that are really crippling the Big Three, it’s not just that they made bad cars or that they made cars that used a lot of gas. They certainly did, although their cars are a lot better now. But, if you’re going to address fundamental reform in Detroit, you have got to have the union issue on the table.

And just so you are completely clear on what the real agenda is for the Republicans, the WSJ brings it home this morning:

Consider labor costs. Take-home wages at the U.S. car makers average $28.42 an hour, according to the Center for Automotive Research. That’s on par with $26 at Toyota, $24 at Honda and $21 at Hyundai. But include benefits, and the picture changes. Hourly labor costs are $44.20 on average for the non-Detroit producers, in line with most manufacturing jobs, but are $73.21 for Detroit.

This $29 cost gap reflects the way Big Three management and unions have conspired to make themselves uncompetitive—increasingly so as their market share has collapsed (see the nearby chart). Over the decades the United Auto Workers won pension and health-care benefits far more generous than in almost any other American industry. As a result, for every UAW member working at a U.S. car maker today, three retirees collect benefits; at GM, the ratio is 4.6 to one.

Highly recommend heading over and participating in the conversation if you get a chance. Don't want anyone missing comments like this:

Let’s see…professional athletes have strong labor unions, but the leagues are doing well. Service workers like janitors have unions but I don’t see the hospitality industry dying. And there were no unions in finance industries that were run into the ground. But it’s the unions’ fault. Always is.

It's nice to see folks willing to say what needs to be said, that Unions aren't at fault in the current mess. This mess if far more complex and it starts with the letter R, Recession. Funnily enough, that's also the letter that starts the party name that brought us this Recession. Amazing how that works.

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