With Unions, Republicans Ring Death Knell

Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and Southern senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers.

By Tom Krisher and Kimberly S. Johnson
The Associated Press

United Auto Workers (UAW) union president Ron Gettelfinger (R) ...
UASW president Ron Gettelfinger (R) holds a press conference at union headquarters to discuss the failure of the bailout plan in Congress in Detroit, Michigan. The White House said Friday that it may tap a 700-billion-dollar rescue package to save US automakers from immediate collapse, a policy reversal hailed by Democrats and a major labor union.(AFP/Getty Images/Bill Pugliano)

The vitriol had been near the surface for weeks as senators from states that house the transplant automakers’ factories criticized the Detroit Three for management miscues and bloated UAW labor costs that lawmakers said make them uncompetitive.

But the UAW stopped biting its tongue after Republicans sank a House-passed bill Thursday night that would have loaned $14 billion to cash-poor General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to keep them out of bankruptcy protection. The Bush administration later stepped in and said it was ready to make money available to the automakers, likely from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout program.

Still, autoworkers remain angry with the senators who tried to negotiate wage and benefit concessions from the union, then scuttled the House-passed bill that would have granted the loans and set up a “car czar” to oversee the nearly insolvent companies and get concessions from the union and creditors. Their top targets were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who led negotiations on a compromise; and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who has been a vocal critic of the loans.

Read the rest:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Angry-UAW-memb
ers-lash-out-at-apf-13823458.html

Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu's are shown at the General Motors ... 
Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu’s are shown at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Mich., Friday, Dec. 12, 2008. Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and southern Senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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