We all know that due to the current economic crisis and horrible business decisions over the last 55+ years, GM is in deep doo–doo. Current GM Employees and UAW members face layouts and/or wage and benefit cuts. Retirees potentially have it much worse. That pension fund is most likely going bye-bye, replaced by stock options. Ditto retiree health care–which probably isn’t even very reasonably priced or very comprehensive right now. Our fathers and grandfathers, who worked hard for GM and made huge amounts of wealth for that corporation’s executives and shareholders, are about to be sold out.
GM has recently made progress on its negotiations with the United Auto Workers, winning deep concessions on healthcare and entry-level wages, but negotiations are ongoing over the fate of its obligations to 775,000 retirees.
As part of the negotiations to reduce or eliminate certain retiree benefits, the union is likely to seek some compensation, which could include a stake in the new GM, cash from a sale of the new GM, or any other source of funds, the source said.
The current generation will lurch forward with less pay than the previous generation, less benefits, less of a social safety net, less job security, less job mobility, less time with their families–and less credit (also, mercifully, less material goods thanks to the death of cheap credit). But will they renege on the promises of the past? Will they allow those worker’s who came before to be robbed too? It sure looks like it.
Progress is deep cuts–I’m sorry, concessions, to benefits and base pay. Retiree “obligations” are next for renegotiation, and the financial and physical well-being of at least 775,000 retired American workers will be decided by the outcome.
Why is it when times are bad, anyone making less than high-six figures as an annual income has to just take it on the chin then pick him or herself up and carry on smartly, whereas our “betters” run to Uncle Sam and get all the filthy bailout lucre their piggy little hearts desire?
Why are GM’s contracts with the UAW open to constant refiguring (the UAW seems to make new concessions every six-ten months–even though their contracts are longer than that), while AIG gets hundreds of billions in US government bailout funds (plus God only knows how much virtually-free money in the forms of loan guarantees and such from the federal reserve) and MUST, MUST, MUST honor its contracts and immediately REDISTRIBUTE that bailout WEALTH to a bunch of clowns who very nearly–or did–destroy the world’s economy.
Meanwhile, our elite punditry and airbrushed anchorpeople wonder why everyone short of them and Rick Santelli’s posse is so G.D. cheesed off about AIG using a fraction of one percent of its bailout cash to pay performance bonuses. They shrug their shoulders and wonder why London is burning, only vaguely aware that the little people are sick to DEATH of the “best and the brightest” rewarding themselves for failure (and/or very very short-term successes) while everyone else loses their house, their job, their car, their 401k, their health care, their health, their DIGNITY, etc. etc. etc.
The promise of America must be fulfilled. Or pretty soon the G-20 protests in London (where 1 person has already died) will be a daily occurrence on the streets of the USA.