Monday, September 24, 2007

GM workers on save jobs?

Union workers at all General Motors plants and facilities have gone on strike, not over money or benefits but over job security.

This hits GM while it's down, unfortunately. I think, like in years past, GM will have to acquiesce to an extent in order to stay viable.

UAW says strike about saving jobs - Yahoo! News
GM wants the trust, called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, so it can move much of its $51 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities off the books, potentially raising the stock price and credit ratings. It's all part of the company's quest to cut or eliminate about a $25-per-hour labor cost disparity with its Japanese competitors...
GM wants to move that horrible burden, health care liabilities, off the books, so that it can reap the rewards of a higher stock price. Not sure how this will help, or hinder, the bread-and-butter skilled laborers, but it will surely enrich the executives.
The striking workers will receive $200 a week plus medical benefits from the UAW's strike fund. The union had more than $800 million in that fund as of last November, according to the UAW's Web site. A fund of that size would last about a year at $200 a week for 73,000 striking workers.
This is somewhat unbelievable. I have to hand it to the striking workers: They have balls. Or unlimited funds.