Monday, December 15, 2008

Sen. Corker's Wild Ride

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee is learning that jumping up to shout "I can fix the automakers bailout program!!" was not his best idea. Especially that part of his plan calling for altering the pay scales for workers -- as has been noted, that idea for controlling wages was never a part of the banking bailout.

Enclave points to this article by Paul Krugman:

"
No, I’m not talking about Bob Corker, the Senator from Nissan — I mean Tennessee — and his fellow Republicans, who torpedoed last week’s attempt to buy some time for the U.S. auto industry. (Why was the plan blocked? An e-mail message circulated among Senate Republicans declared that denying the auto industry a loan was an opportunity for Republicans to “take their first shot against organized labor.”)"

Ouch!

R. Neal at KnoxViews also has a Corker Rebuke:

"
We should never have entered into discussions with Sen. Corker, but we did because of the importance of what was going on here," Gettelfinger said. "And it failed. And it's not because we didn't have a tentative agreement. It's because" Corker "could not deliver at the end of the day."

Next up - I'm waiting for the ads to start running which show a picture of Sen. Corker with the caption "Would you buy a used car from this man?"

From the Washington Post
, some folks in Spring Hill say:

"
Our pay is nothing like what people say it is on the news," said Barbara Walker, who works at the plant, as does her husband. "I think Bob Corker stinks, I really do. I even sent an e-mail to him. He never responded to me at all."

"What Bob Corker is is a union buster, plain and simple," said Brian Kerr, 46, who has worked 28 years for GM. "We set the wage rates for the other plants in the state. Without us, they will be making $10 an hour."

He uttered a vulgarity and said "that's the nicest word I can use about him."

"Anyone who calls himself an American and wants to get rid of American jobs isn't worth much in my book," said Tim Kinjorski, 50, a plant worker. "He's been blinded by his own hatred of the unions."

Odd too that while southern states dole out billions to "help" car makers decide to locate in the South, southern reps in congress say no to aiding U.S. auto makers in financial turmoil, no matter the long-term economic costs. This list via Facing South shows these lures have been worth nearly $4 billion.

UPDATE:

I need to add here I have no sympathy for the car industry since for the last 30 years they have steered far, far away from alternative fuel vehicles despite the demand from consumers and the inevitable costs of dependency on foreign providers for oil.

Whatever fate may or may not be deserved by such refusals, another massive industrial and economic collapse is rapidly approaching an already deeply wounded nation. It seems we are poised to provide not only billions to foreign nations for fuel, but billions more for the very machines which use that fuel.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is... Why didn't Corker require all non-union factories (Nissan) to pay comparable wages to UAW organized US plants? Now that would level the playing field.
Can we say "protect the middle class"?

Ann

Ken said...

When Volkswagen comes to Chattanooga,GM will ante-up.

Competition seems to be the only way to drive the industry toward fuel efficiency. Toyoda is doing it,ask Rusty Wallace in Morristown. Seems like the U.S. automaker will make the gas guzzler vehicles to appease Exxon and BP until there is an alternative for the car buyer.