The UAW did not cause the problem Detroit is facing. Look, unions (especially the UAW) can be as corrupt as any other big organization. And the UAW should not get a pass just because they are a union. But in this particular case, the blame shouldn't be on them.
Sure the workers who put these cars together are paid well. Good for them. They got together and negiotiated for better health care and more money. The issue we don't get is how upset folks get when the UAW tries to get themselves a bigger piece of that sweet American apple pie. You know, the same pie that gets sliced up nice and big for CEOs all the time.
Anyway, the big issue here isn't UAW costs. Or the costs of retirees. The issue, as we've said for years, is that most car shoppers don't want what Detroit is making. For years no one had a choice as to what to buy, Detroit was it. Then came competition. If Detroit was rolling out the rides people wanted, the costs of the workers wouldn't come up. Or only when it was time to renegotiate the contracts (in which case there'd be talk of communists in the ranks of the UAW).
We're guessing this week there'll be a bailout announced and everything will be saved. In particular, the jobs of the CEOs who make the cars fewer and fewer want.
The auto bailout: Eat it, taxpayer!
NY Times: $73 an Hour: Adding It Up