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March 26, 2009

Comments

matt

The current Big 3/UAW relationship is completely dysfunctional. It's a textbook instance of how "not" to run a company. Anyone looking in from the outside can see this very clearly.

bad

Hey TM. Class Warfare...is that where the kids through spitwads at the nasty, oppressive teacher?

bad

ummm THROW

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

Seems pretty simple.
The UAW is a prime cause of Detroit's demise and should therefore make concessions; something conservatives argued long before Detroit came begging for bailouts.
De Santis etal were retained to clean up and unwind a mess made by others, so why should they be penalized or demonized for their efforts?

Funny how liberals can spot a non existant knee jerk bias in conservatives (we automatically support rich people but not the proletariat, regardless of the facts) but are oblivious to the opposite and in most cases actual bias in themselves.

centralcal

O/T, but Politico is reporting that the NY Times is imposing 5% pay cuts, plus laying off 100 employees.

Fresh Air

Bologna, meet Oscar Mayer.

Neo

My (late) father was a shop steward for the CWA working for AT&T.

He hated the union with all of his fiber ..

.. but he also got every person in his shop to join the union .. because, being a closed shop, they got screwed if they didn't join. It was money for nothing.

He firmly believed that the union bosses of the CWA worked hand-in-hand with "management" to screw the rank-in-file, having seen strikes that were so obviously called to ease the financial burden on management .. plainly obvious when the final contract was really no different than what was on the table when the strike began .. a week .. 10 days for nothing.

.. and don't try to get me to tell you about the few weeks I was a member of the United Steel Workers union.

People who have never been a union member, probably like Anonymous Liberal, don't know the "Dark Side" of unions .. only that crap the organizers tell you.

bad

Neo, did you see the reports FOX News did yesterday about the small town that experimented with card check.

hit and run

AL:
If their companies were going to be saved by taxpayer money (at a fraction of the cost of bailing out AIG), well these workers were just going to have to suck it up and take the hit.

Speaking specifically about DeSantis, AIGFP is being wound down and the retention bonuses were to keep those of his talent and experience aboard the ship as it was intentionally sunk so as to cause as few waves as possible as she goes down to become an artificial reef.

Say GM were going to shutter a factory, Obama called for and Congress passed legislation authorizing bailout funds to help wind down the operation, and as part of the contract management cut with the workers, they were promised a generous severance package for staying on until the last vehicle were rolled off the assembly line. But then as they waved goodbye to that last vehicle, Congress demanded those severance packages be taxed at 90%, because they didn't realize the factory was producing dirty, evil SUV's.

You think that would not produce outrage amongst conservatives?

Because somehow I think it more likely that Obama would be telling people that the factory workers were bitter and that they were just clinging to their guns and religion and antipathy to those not like them.

bad

Isn't GM offering buyouts as we speak, including $25,000 vouchers for GM cars?

GM has taken billions in taxpayer dollars.

RichatUF

damn it bad, I was thinking the exact same thing. Chrysler is too.

PeterUK

The liberals,anonymous or otherwise, would do well to remember

PeterUK

%$^)_)ing Typepad.
1793 before unleashing the Obama Terror.

Stephanie

Via a friend...

If the secret service has to jump and cover because of an emergency, do they cover the giggling idiot or the teleprompter?

Extraneus

Neo, did you see the reports FOX News did yesterday about the small town that experimented with card check.

I saw that this morning, bad, at the top of the Fox political feed, but then I looked for it maybe a half hour later and it wasn't in their top 20. Usually top stories fall down the list little by little.

Anyone have a link?

Extraneus

Speaking of "news," here's AP's top story right now.

Obama wants high-paying, high-skill jobs in future

Is that a headline or what?

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

Isn't GM offering buyouts as we speak, including $25,000 vouchers for GM cars?

Just saw a stat somewhere that the buyouts (to pay people to not work) have cost GM over $330 million, or almost precisely twice AIG's bonuses.

Carl Pham

Not entirely up to your usual incisive standards, Tom. Let me offer a few other points:

(1) A big part of the outrage was the retroactivity of the attack, plus the hypocrisy. The Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress signed off on those bonuses, only to repudiate the whole deal and become "shocked, shocked!" when it seemed like it might turn into a political liability. Then they proposed a retroactive bill of attainder, something disgusting in conservative eyes no matter what the circumstances.

Nothing like this happened with the GM bailout. The union was asked to make concessions, perhaps pressed hard to do so. But once the deal was struck, no conservative would have, for pure personal political gain, gone back and revisited it, demonized in public the very same people he'd previously praised in private, and retroactively taken away that which was already agreed upon.

(2) Conservatives may well be more sympathetic to DeSantis because he's actually working for that money, and very likely working very hard and very intelligently. The UAW's biggest concerns were for supporting GM's staggeringly enormous costs devoted to workers who are not actually working. If GM could simply pay its present workers, or even its present workers plus an equal number of retirees, it would be a slim, competitive company. But it is larded down with a staggering pile of obligations to people who are not working, are not going to be working, and arguably did not work very hard or well when they were working.

In short, the distinction conservatives make is not between the social class of DeSantis and the UAW workers. (If anything, DeSantis belongs to the modern Democratic Party social class, the Greenwich village Starbucks-sipping limousine liberals, while the rifle-totin' American-flag wearin' neat-whiskey-drinkin' UAW worker comes from the class in which the modern Republican Party is firmly rooted.)

No, the distinction is between someone working for his money and someone holding out a hand, in the past or right now, for charity. Yes, conservatives naturally prefer the former. It's about character, not social class.

Ranger

Speaking of hypocrisy:

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/26/when-will-rahm-emanuel-give-back-the-money/>When will Rahm Emanuel give back the money?

A very good question, considering that his passivity let the management at Freddie Mac engage in accounting fraud.

A.L.

Tom, respectfully, you're doing exactly what you accuse me of doing, i.e., imputing to me lots of things I didn't say and don't believe. My post was not a defense of unions or a defense of the House's clumsy response to the AIG bonus controversy. It wasn't intended to be about policy at all. For the record, while I think unions have a key role to play in our society (and have accomplished a lot more good historically that conservatives are willing to acknowledge), I think their proper role is limited and I don't want to see the U.S. turn into France. I also think the Congressional AIG confiscation tax is stupid and unconstitutional. It's a witch-burning exercise.

You write:

If the theorizing of the Anon Lib is correct he ought to be able to produce plenty of cites documenting conservative suppot for the management of General Motors and Chrysler.

Not at all. My point was not that Republicans were pro-management in that dispute, it was that they didn't rally around the workers, who had been promised one thing and were now being told they wouldn't get it. They weren't outraged by calls for Congress to adjust their promised compensation.

But the auto-workers were in fundamentally the same position as DeSantis. DeSantis had worked for 11 years for AIGFP, and during that time, even if he wasn't directly responsbible for the CDS investments, he profitted from them. He received lots of compensation as a result of AIGFP's (illusory) profitability, and AIGFP had promised to pay him more.

But AIG was much like the Big Three, it was overpaying its workers and ill-prepared for what was coming. And that day of reckoning came. When companies fold, promises aren't kept. That's how it goes. DeSantis' compensation was negotiated in March of 2008, well before AIG fell. Had AIG been allowed to go bankrupt, he wouldn't have gotten anything. Yet he acts like he is entitled to that bonus.

I sympathize. His expectations were shattered by circumstances beyond his control. The same is true for anyone whose employer goes bankrupt.

The point of my post was that conservatives seem to be rallying around DeSantis (or interested in his plight) in a way that they just weren't for the thousands of auto-workers at the Big Three, despite their analogous situations.

Seppo

GM and Chrysler retirees were promised pensions and health benefits that can no longer be afforded by the industry, company or union. As a result, they will likely lose future benefits they had counted on, which is a sad misfortune I think we can all deplore. An industry-wide contraction leads to business failures, and suffering for those associated with it.

AIG's troubled divisions brought down the entire group, but much of AIG will survive and thrive in another form. Mr DeSantis and others like him were specifically contracted to be compensated at the end of 2008 so they would stick around to complete their winddown work. Congress chose not to overrule this compensation arrangement in stimulus plan.

To now deny barely-deferred compensation for work recently completed because of general public outrage is not fair, and not at all analogous to a reduction in future health and retirement benefits.

The government is presumably funding AIG and the Detroit Two in order to lessen strains on the general economy, not to pay off certain people. The class warfare arguments are unseemly and demonstrate envy and hatred rather than fair public policy decisions.

Cecil Turner

It wasn't intended to be about policy at all.

Yes, and TM's point was that the "striking" apparent hypocrisy you're seeing through conservatives' "ideolological prism" is precisely because conservatives' positions are based on the policy aspects. He's not imputing that argument to you, but rather suggesting you overlooked the obvious.

Further, there's nothing "analogous" about the UAW workers' and AIG's bonusees, unless you can show me some politicians whipping mobs into a frenzy and a couple AGs and a couple hundred congressmen making thuggish attempts to separate them from their livelihoods.

Pofarmer

Obama wants high-paying, high-skill jobs in future

Windmill operators, probably.

Comparing Desantis (one person) to the UAW isn't fair. Compare UAW to the entire group of managers at AIG. I'm sure there are plenty of good, hardworking individuals within the UAW.

Appalled

A.L.

I think the difference is a reaction to the approach the media and Congress took to the situation. The UAW folks have not been threatened with a Congressional investigation. No congresscritter demanded that GM provide the names of those receiving plush retiree medical benefits. No state Attorney General has been on the phone to recipients of "excess" compensation suggesting that returning the benefits would be the patriotic thing to do.

Also, and less charitably, I think it is easier for folks to put "faces" on the AIG people than the UAW people because of the smaller size of the AIG group. It's the sort of thing that allows us to feel more sympathy for a Dallton Trumbo than for a mass of organizers who are flagged as communists.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

A little OT and I posted it on the Geithner thread too but it is interesting.

Here's what I think is an essential read on bailouts, too big to fail, etc that was refrenced at the Corner.
It's a 42 page PDF so be forewarned.
Go to the first site, which just has the abstract, and click on one of the logos at the top. 'Stanford School of Law' logo worked for me.

hit and run

The UAW workers were being asked to renegotiate contracts in order to make the auto manufacturers competitive so they could save their jobs.

Failure to do so would mean the end of their jobs.

(well, that is unless the government doesn't bail them out in perpetuity, so on second thought, the UAW is smart not to renegotiate...sigh)

AIGFP Bonus recipients were being threatened to give back their bonuses in order to ... punish them for making their jobs go away.

A.L.

Comparing Desantis (one person) to the UAW isn't fair. Compare UAW to the entire group of managers at AIG. I'm sure there are plenty of good, hardworking individuals within the UAW.

I completely agree. That was exactly the comparison I was making. And again, I'm not claiming that DeSantis doesn't have reason to be mad. I just think he's no more sympathetic a figure than anyone else who gets screwed when their employer fails. Nor do I think that the "policy" implications of what's happened here differ in any significant way from those surrounding the bailout of the automakers.

rse

Desantis has marketable skills and experience that other companies apart from AIG can profitably use. He contracted with AIG but he could have gone elsewhere.

How is that analogous to the autoworkers?

pagar

Yet he acts like he is entitled to that bonus.

The evidence that he was entitled to that bonus is clear. He was paid the bonus. There was no legal reason for taking that money from him. If the company had gone bankrupt, his contract would have established a claim against the company and the judge certainly would have awarded more than a dollar for his work.

No one is sticking guns in the face of UAW workers and taking away money they have earned and received. What is being discussed is future earnings, where a worker has the right to quit and go else where if the salary is not agreeable.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

I just think he's no more sympathetic a figure than anyone else who gets screwed when their employer fails.

A worker who brings value and profits to a company seems considerably more sympathetic than a group of workers who have known for decades that their salary and benefit demands were making their own employer less and less competitive and contributing to catastrophic declines in market share and ultimately the brink of bankruptcy.

MayBee

The point of my post was that conservatives seem to be rallying around DeSantis (or interested in his plight) in a way that they just weren't for the thousands of auto-workers at the Big Three, despite their analogous situations.

I can tell you I have enormous sympathy for the people that will be out of work with the Big Three.
I guess the only difference is, most people could have told the UAW years ago that they were doing more harm than good to the automakers. There has been time to change.

A.L.

Desantis has marketable skills and experience that other companies apart from AIG can profitably use. He contracted with AIG but he could have gone elsewhere.

How is that analogous to the autoworkers?

Very. DeSantis compensation was negotiated in March 2008, well before the financial crisis really hit. By the time AIG collapsed in the Fall of 2008, financial products guys were being laid off left and right. There are a ton of those guys out of work right now, and the financial products industry will never again support the level of employment or compensation that it did in recent years. DiSantis may have been able to find other work in the Fall 2008, but maybe not. And if he did, it likely wouldn't have been for nearly as much compensation as he had been promised by AIG.

His situation and that of the autoworkers is analogous.

clarice

A.L:"His situation and that of the autoworkers is analogous."

If I were posting carp like that, I'd remain anonymous, too.

Pofarmer

a group of workers who have known for decades that their salary and benefit demands were making their own employer less and less competitive and contributing to catastrophic declines

How about a group of workers involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in a division of a company with a set of questionable trades and contracts, so huge, that if they went bad, they could threaten the entire U.S. banking industry?

Extraneus

I just think he's no more sympathetic a figure than anyone else who gets screwed when their employer fails.

Why not? People don't get "screwed" when their employer fails. Employers don't owe people jobs, and there's no moral or normally a contractual obligation for employers to maintain unproductive or unnecessary jobs. Businesses are about making money, and it's not their job to maintain jobs. DeSantis is truly getting screwed.

When businesses fail and people get laid off, they get paid for all the time they worked, and usually even receive additional severence pay; after which, they're free to find another job and maintain their livelihoods. DeSantis worked the whole year, under contract, only to find out he wasted a years' work, which in his case was worth approximately one million dollars. How is that comparable? Did UAW people have to work for free for a year?

Extraneus

the financial products industry will never again support the level of employment or compensation that it did in recent years

Really? Why not? Is someone going to see to that?

MayBee

How do we work in the fact that GM can't get rid of the union workers?
DeSantis could have found another job.
AIG could have found another worker.
But GM is legally obligated to the UAW.

A.L.

A worker who brings value and profits to a company seems considerably more sympathetic than a group of workers who have known for decades that their salary and benefit demands were making their own employer less and less competitive and contributing to catastrophic declines in market share and ultimately the brink of bankruptcy.

This kind of proves my point. DeSantis was an executive in a division that literally destroyed a company. Even assuming he played no role in the decision to issue CDSs, he certainly profited from them indirectly (as did everyone at AIGFP). And AIGFP made a number of bad calls besides issuing CDSs. How are you so sure that this guy "deserved" everything he got and that he was a net money-maker for AIG?

Second, if you look at the data, it's not the current autoworkers who are dragging down the U.S. automakers, it's the legacy benefits owed to past workers. The current workers have already made major concessions and their compensation levels are very similar to U.S. workers of foreign automakers. Moreover, the real problem was that the U.S. auto-makers were making cars that no one wanted. The workers had no control over that. If GM, Ford, and Chrysler had made smarter business decisions, they wouldn't be in the situation they are now. That's not the autoworkers fault.

bad

damn it bad, I was thinking the exact same thing.

I'm so sorry Rich. That must be frightening.

Chrysler is too.

Chrysler is paying bonuses later this year that will be exempt from the 90% tax bill if it passes, because Chrysler has only taken $4 billion, not the $5 billion required by the bill.

Let's see Obama jumping UAW asses.

bad

LOL Clarice

clarice

A.L. shows us that the L. in his moniker is well-earned by the repetition of the same old garbage every L is spouting about the auto industry:
" the real problem was that the U.S. auto-makers were making cars that no one wanted"

He/she ignores that at a salaries and benefits equally $150k p.a. and under work rules that demanded inefficiencies and precluded firing the non-productive nothing the auto makers produced could make it on an international marketplace.

Period.

MayBee

DeSantis was an executive in a division that literally destroyed a company.

Why aren't we comparing GM executives to AIG executives, then?
White collar workers are being laid off today, and GM had long ago cut their benefits so they could still pay the UAW-promised benefits.

A.L.

How is that comparable? Did UAW people have to work for free for a year?

Facts are hard, I know, but if you read the letter, you'd see that DeSantis got paid (he claims he's going to give it to charity). Second, while it's true that people laid off usually get severance, people who are owed money by companies that go bankrupt often get nothing. It sucks, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. DeSantis is very lucky that the government stepped in to bailout his company. If it hadn't, he wouldn't have upwards of a million dollars to give to charity.

MayBee
How about a group of workers involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in a division of a company with a set of questionable trades and contracts, so huge, that if they went bad, they could threaten the entire U.S. banking industry?

Aren't we asking everybody to work for about what their healthy competitors pay?

Extraneus

If the workers were more productive, their companies would be in better shape. You say you've looked at the data. Have you ever seen the comparisons between Detroit and Toyota workers in Tennessee, for example on metrics such as person-hours per car?

rse

In justifying the Davis Bacon provisions in the Stimulus bill that would limit job creation, the union rep said people have a right to a middle class lifestyle without having to work 2 or 3 jobs.

The UAW wants that same middle class lifestyle for its members regardless of their skill sets or education levels or the impact of such pay packages on company competitiveness. They are asking American taxpayers to subsidize a richer pay, health, and pension than most taxpayers will ever see.

It's simply not analogous to argue that if you're unwilling to subsidize unsustainable compensation going forward for services that are unnecessary to the market, you must also be against paying an agreed upon amount after the work's been done.

A.L.

the financial products industry will never again support the level of employment or compensation that it did in recent years

Really? Why not? Is someone going to see to that?

Yeah, it's call the market. The profitability of the financial products industry over the last decade was illusory. It was based on the building of a massive credit bubble. There will still be a profit to be made in this industry going forward (just as there are profits to be made in the auto industry) but not enough to support the number of workers or the level of compensation we saw during the bubble years.

Neo

Neo, did you see the reports FOX News did yesterday about the small town that experimented with card check.

I'm not sure. Was it about the group that de-certified their union once they got the "secret ballot" back ?

Extraneus

Facts are hard, I know, but if you read the letter, you'd see that DeSantis got paid (he claims he's going to give it to charity).

Kind of snarky, but yes I read the letter. What I don't know is why these people are giving the money back. Do you? I find it somewhat suspicious when the likes of Andrew Cuomo are involved, making Obama-giving-the-finger-like statements about how he "never threatens," and furthermore how he always uses a soft tone of voice. Were any thugs involved in twisting UAW arms, or was it the thugs' arms that got twisted on that one?

Cecil Turner

Facts are hard, I know, . . .

Apparently you don't. Again, show me the mobs and AGs and Congresscritters chasing down UAW workers. Or, alternatively, explain the public interest in abrogating contracts, passing bills of attainder, or threatening to publish lists of folks receiving lawful compensation in order to "shame" them into foregoing it.

Or, you can admit your analogy is so strained as to collapse under its own weight . . . or are you going to continue spouting the same nonsense over and over?

MayBee

OK, let me ask this.

If GM told the gov't it could stay in business if it could decouple from the UAW, would that be allowed to happen?

clarice

From what I recall of the value of his servies as head of HUD, we should probably sue Cuomo for what he received.

Charlie (Colorado)

Speaking of "news," here's AP's top story right now.

Obama wants high-paying, high-skill jobs in future

Is that a headline or what?

Does he have one in mind that he's qualified for? Or is he thinking of going back to school?

MayBee

Norah O'Donnell is about to read some of the death threats the AIG executives are receiving.

I wonder how many the average autoworker has received?

jwest

“The current workers have already made major concessions and their compensation levels are very similar to U.S. workers of foreign automakers.”

A.L., you can’t possibly believe this tripe. Current workers haven’t given up a dime or anything else. What they have done is allow future workers to start at a lower base pay, if all current workers are called back according to their seniority (as if that is ever going to happen).

Your analogy is not relevant. People contract to sell their labor for what the market will support. Once that labor is supplied, the agreed upon compensation is due – without the extortion and bullying of left wing lawmakers.

Extraneus

Yeah, it's call the market.

Really? What do you make of this?

Administration Seeks Increase in Oversight of Executive Pay

bad

Facts are hard, I know,....upwards of a million dollars to give to charity.

I thought it would be less than $800,000 which is less an a million plus but facts are hard.

hit and run

If the two situations are so analagous, how about an A.L. edit:

It's striking to me that the very same people who are outraged by DeSantis's treatment bonus showed no sympathy outrage at all for the nation's autoworkers. In fact, they were angrily demanding that these workers DeSantis agree to give up their "luxurious" health benefits his "outrageous" bonus...

We're gonna need some names of good charter bus companies in Michigan.

bad

Yup, Neo, that's the one. Not only did the union intimidate the workers, it got employees to intimidate other employees.

Charlie (Colorado)

Second, while it's true that people laid off usually get severance, people who are owed money by companies that go bankrupt often get nothing.

Um, actually, AL, (1) DeSantis's "bonus" is legally wages, and (2) wages unpaid are at the head of the line in bankruptcy and get paid first.

Yes, another damn fool who thinks not actually knowing the facts shouldn't disqualify him from having an opinion.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

How are you so sure that this guy "deserved" everything he got and that he was a net money-maker for AIG?

Well he rather explicitly stated his profitable resume at AIG and I have no info to contradict it. Do you?

Even assuming he played no role in the decision to issue CDSs, he certainly profited from them indirectly (as did everyone at AIGFP).

Possibly. But he also claimed to have suffered a great deal of financial harm brought on by the CDS division of AIGFP. It seems certain the vast majority of his compensation came from his direct work product, so it is far from clear whether he on balance benefitted or was harmed by the CDS operations. More likely the latter I'd say.

The current workers have already made major concessions and their compensation levels are very similar to U.S. workers of foreign automakers.

It's hard to give someone much credit for spending decades driving a company over a cliff and then making concessions as they, management and the stockholders are about to make a Wile E. Coyote shaped crater in the canyon floor.

Moreover, the real problem was that the U.S. auto-makers were making cars that no one wanted. The workers had no control over that.

If you mean the wrong type of car, you are simply wrong. The Japanese (and Europeans to a lesser extent) have spent the last few decades expanding into SUVs, pickups, minivans and crossovers, all market segments which were pioneered by the Big Three.
If you mean quality then you are misinformed as to the cause. Each of the big three suffer from a competitive disadvantage of a minimum of $1500 per vehicle due to the legacy pension and medical costs you cited above. A manufacturer faced with such a disadvantage must either cut features or quality control or both.
Overseas, where GM and Ford do not have such a disadvantage, they are profitable and formidable competitors.
No UAW disadvantage=cars people want at a competitive price. The workers had a great deal of control over that.

A.L.

Again Cecil, I'm not defending Congress's grandstanding and scapegoating (which was bipartisan in its stupidity, by the way). I actually wrote a post on my blog saying that virtually everyone at AIGFP who was responsible for the CDS stuff was gone, so it was wrong to act like these people were personally responsible for AIG's downfall.

I think you're ignoring the degree to which UAW workers have been similarly scapegoated however. They too were pressured by grandstanding Congress-critters to give back promised compensation. And they weren't any more responsible for the plight of their industry. As I said before, the Big Three were weighed down by legacy committments to retired workers and by bad product design choices. The level of compensation owed to current workers is comparable to the amounts owed to current workers by foreign automakers.

MayBee

AL- do you think that GM would have survived- or would now survive- if it could legally break away from the UAW?

PeterUK

Mr DeSantis got screwdd by a government created witchhunt to cover the government's crass incompetence.No more no less.It wasn't business,it was politics.

bad

Yes, another damn fool who thinks not actually knowing the facts shouldn't disqualify him from having an opinion.

Sorry!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

MayBee

'Cause again I'm going to say that we only seem to be talking about UAW workers, and not GM workers.
GM seems to have negotiated with its own workers in ways responsive to the marketplace.

Has anyone expressed outrage at all the white collar workers at GM being asked to leave their jobs? I don't hear A.L. doing it.

Should GM be allowed to dump the UAW, A.L?

Cecil Turner

Again Cecil, I'm not defending Congress's grandstanding and scapegoating (which was bipartisan in its stupidity, by the way).

How about the demagogue-in-chief and his "core principle" and "outrage," whilst his staff insisted the authorization be inserted in the subject legislation? Sorry, "bipartisan" doesn't begin to describe this stupidity . . . "bipolar" might be a good start.

I think you're ignoring the degree to which UAW workers have been similarly scapegoated however.

Nonsense. The debate is whether to continue paying them at their present rates from public coffers while they lose money on every vehicle they sell. There's no way to describe this as a sensible public policy, it can't continue, and giving them a choice between bankruptcy and concessions is the logical answer. Funding them out of bank-rescue funds after the legislation was voted down on precisely those grounds was one of the worst decisions of the former Administration. None of this rises to the ex post facto outrage over AIGs perfectly public compensation issues.

DebinNC

Big Labor "invested" over $1B during the campaign to elect Obama and provide him a filibuster proof Congress. The UAW "invested" over $3M in ads run in MI, IN, OH, and PA in the final week. In the first ad a UAW worker expresses fears for his grandson's future. Both ads end with "We can't afford John McCain." I wonder how affordable they're finding Obama and crew now, and how bright that little boy's future appears.

sbw

Years ago I sat in on negotiations with an outside union rep who wasted meetings talking about his hemorrhoids and we, as management, were forbidden by the NLRB to mention that our workers were paying x percent dues to outsiders who did nothing for them.

Not a union I have to deal with anymore. Their "pension" went bankrupt, too, along with their character.

MayBee

Years ago I sat in on negotiations with an outside union rep who wasted meetings talking about his hemorrhoids and we, as management, were forbidden by the NLRB to mention that our workers were paying x percent dues to outsiders who did nothing for them.

That's just it!

I could find myself more appalled at the government getting involved in trying to make the UAW renegotiate wages if it wasn't the government forcing GM to hire UAW workers.

Pofarmer

(1) DeSantis's "bonus" is legally wages, and

Yep.

$1 plus wages, which is how it should have been laid out.

Pofarmer

Um, actually, AL, (1) DeSantis's "bonus" is legally wages, and (2) wages unpaid are at the head of the line in bankruptcy and get paid first.

Given the fact that AIG is soaking up somewhere around 200 BILLION taxpayer dollars, I'd imagine those owed back wages would've been kinda screwed.

PeterUK

This is beginning to go viral.

jwest

TM always seems to know when to hang up a liberal piñata and bust open a new box of sticks.

DebinNC

Obama today touting the single payer healthcare system of Canada: "You go in..say 'I'm sick'...and someone fixes it." LUN

Uh huh. And where will Americans go when the inescapable delays that bring Canadians here for care occur?

MayBee

Tell Natasha Richardson it works like that.


Of course, Obama is used to people walking into the emergency room, saying "I'm sick" and having Michelle Obama hand him a David Axelrod-designed card telling them to go elsewhere.

Jane

That Mark Steyn (Jane Won) piece in PUK's link is hysterical. I put it in a LUN if you are interested.

sbw

Anyone get the feeling that when Obama wraps himself in FDR's robes that FDR's reputation is slowly crumbling?

Thank goodness for Eleanor.

pagar

were forbidden by the NLRB to mention that our workers were paying x percent dues to outsiders who did nothing for them.

According to Union Facts.com, as of 2006, 538,448 workers who belong to the UAW, have 1108 UAW employees to take care of. 687 of these UAW employees take home over $75,000 per year.


bad

It would be easier to read Mark Steyn if he didn't give me that "come hither" look the entire time.

Gits me knickers in an uproar, so to speak...

Tom Maguire

From the Anon Lib:

But the auto-workers were in fundamentally the same position as DeSantis. DeSantis had worked for 11 years for AIGFP, and during that time, even if he wasn't directly responsbible for the CDS investments, he profitted from them. He received lots of compensation as a result of AIGFP's (illusory) profitability, and AIGFP had promised to pay him more.

The profits of his sub-unit were not illusory.

But AIG was much like the Big Three, it was overpaying its workers and ill-prepared for what was coming.
Overpaying compared to what? Most AIG FP people got what they could have earned elsewhere. The entire point of the UAW is to get premium pay not available elsewhere.

And that day of reckoning came. When companies fold, promises aren't kept. That's how it goes. DeSantis' compensation was negotiated in March of 2008, well before AIG fell. Had AIG been allowed to go bankrupt, he wouldn't have gotten anything.

Speculative - bankruptcy judges routinely approve compensation deals. In any case, neither GM nor AIG went bankrupt, GM in part because they negotiated concessions.

AIG affirmed these contracts on multiple ocassions.

As a percentage of total comp,the two cases are not comparable.

And the GM was mostly prospective (other than retiree health care), whereas AIG was retroactive, as noted above, after Congress had already come down on the other side of the issue. And those retirees were going to have their health care plan changed in bankruptcy, I suspect.

The point of my post was that conservatives seem to be rallying around DeSantis (or interested in his plight) in a way that they just weren't for the thousands of auto-workers at the Big Three, despite their analogous situations.

Well, if you think the UAW is part of the problem and that DeSantis was part of the solution, the analogy is pretty weak.

No one was asking the UAW to return wages earned in 2008 and give GM the year for free. Yet that was effectively the deal Congress offered DeSantis, since 90% of his compensation was that bonus contract.

bgates

they weren't any more responsible for the plight of their industry. As I said before, the Big Three were weighed down by legacy committments to retired workers

Oh, so it's not the union workers, it's the stupid corporation that offered retiree benefits for some reason.

facts are hard
How on earth would you know?

Jim Ryan

Ouch.

PDinDetroit

I think you're ignoring the degree to which UAW workers have been similarly scapegoated however. They too were pressured by grandstanding Congress-critters to give back promised compensation. And they weren't any more responsible for the plight of their industry. As I said before, the Big Three were weighed down by legacy committments to retired workers and by bad product design choices. The level of compensation owed to current workers is comparable to the amounts owed to current workers by foreign automakers.

AL - Dude, whatever you are smoking, put it down and walk away.

Just another lib with brilliant talking points, lacking substance and proving nothing.

The UAW Workers have an ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY and always demand more, not less. This is the only principle they stand for: GREED.

DeSantis stood for HONESTY and COMMITMENT, both of the reasons I believe he left AIG as he could no longer maintain those and his employment with a dysfunctional company at the same time.

by bad product design choices

Do you mean to tell me that no one wants to buy their products? You mean the reporting of GM being either first for many years or second last year (by a few 1000 units) in WORLDWIDE SALES is a LIE?

Again, whatever you are smoking, put it down and walk away.

matt

can someone post Pelosi's home address for us so we can run buses up there? It's only fair.

Pofarmer

DeSantis stood for HONESTY and COMMITMENT, both of the reasons I believe he left AIG as he could no longer maintain those and his employment with a dysfunctional company at the same time.

O.K. I've kind of been following this as a mental excercise, but, that ain't really the vibe I'm getting from DeSantis.

Why didn't they just pay these folks normally? If they leave, they forfeit the rest of the years pay. Why? Because Liddy knew if they got a better offer they'd bolt, that's why, and he had to have a way to keep them there. If they'd been committed, the whole Dollar and a Bonus charade wouldn't have been neccessary.

qrstuv

When UAW workers get their last year's pay taken back, discovering that they've worked for free, then the situations are analogous.

qrstuv

Po, again, the hundredth time: retention bonuses are a normal procedure when a company or a unit winds down.

This procedure is used precisely because people do have options and are not working at Acme, Inc. for the Greater Good (TM). If a retention bonus were not offered, that company or unit would see a lot of people vanish quickly. The people at the top, rightly or wrongly, do not think that is a good idea.

The deal was made, but you would rip it up like so much trash. I'm not impressed with your grasp of the importance of rule of law.

And now you're bashing this DeSantis guy.

He's calling out upper management for a lack of honesty and commitment. If the management of a company is dishonest or faithless with its employees it certainly deserves to be called out (and yes, this would include the Big Three). Somehow, though, you find fault with him for *gasp* wanting to be paid for working!

Extraneus

retention bonuses are a normal procedure when a company or a unit winds down

And it's not just then, either. I was once involved in a sale of a company's division into a joint-venture, and the buyers, a big-revenue company, required that the selling company assure them that a certain set of people wouldn't bolt. I happened to have been one of these "must-haves," and was asked to sign a contract assuring them that I'd stay. In return, they committed to a retention bonus, just to make sure.

I think this is more prevalent than a lot of people realize.

bad

I happened to have been one of these "must-haves," and was asked to sign a contract assuring them that I'd stay. In return, they committed to a retention bonus, just to make sure.

Of course you are a MUST HAVE!!!


Extraneus

Well, yeah, but they probably didn't know about *that*.

clarice

That Jane Won thingy (photoshopped as we all knowa) must have been a really big thing in a certain someone (who I will not mention)'s life.

Everyone here's a Must Have and I'd give you all retention bonuses but my hands are tied. See the legisaltion specifically provides for it which must mean I can't do it..and if you take it Cuomo and busloads of raving progs will be at your door in a minute.
Here--have a bisuit.

Extraneus

[chomp]

This would be a great time to paint a picture in New Yorkers' minds that Cuomo is nothing but a thug. Sad as I'd be to see a gratuitous Italian angle, I'd be pretty ok with it if it helped. Cartoons would be particularly effective.

Maybe Rudy will run and take that off the table, but you know Paterson will give way to Cuomo on the Dem side, and there's very little chance of knocking him off unless people learn to really dislike the scumbag, as most people would if they actually knew him.

bad

Are they home made biscuits? If so, I'm IN.

Jane

photoshopped as we all know

Harumph,

When you come to visit me you will see the original "Jane Won" sign posed prominently in my office. Plus I have impeccable witnesses.

verner

The cautionary tale of the UAW and GM must never be forgotten in our brave new world of card check and government takeover. And I can't really blame the UAW for all of it. GM's management suffered from the "we thought we were too big to fail" syndrome for decades.

GM opened the Saturn plant in Spring Hill TN, as a new partnership between management and labor for one big hidden reason. They wanted to force the UAW on Nissan and break the competition's back. Thanks to Nissan workers, who were quite happy, they never succeeded.

And now, Nissan has its North American headquarters eight miles down the road from me in Cool Springs, and the Saturn line is going to be discontinued.

They're trying to pull the same crap with Fedex, and it's great to see Fred Smith play hardball with the unions. Hope he wins.

clarice

bad--I've been fiddling with the bread recipes and the deli rye and Italian peasant breads I made yesterday are just about the finest breads i've ever eaten,

During the Obama impeachment hearings , just for a break in the tedium, I'll steal and old thread and post about the wonders of no knead breads.

Sure, Jane, What-ever.....

bad

I dream of those days.

MayBee

verner-
I don't think the management or the UAW have acquitted themselves well.

I find it really interesting, though, that AL was here comparing the UAW workers to AIG management, rather than GM management to AIG management.
And the reason is the union. AL and the left, I believe, are simply more interested in union workers that lose their jobs than all the other hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their jobs across the country.

Yet, if GM hadn't been legally obligated to deal with the unions, they may have been flexible enough to have kept more labor jobs over time.

mel

Po-

The Bonus Operandi of AIG-FP is just that, modus operandi of the financial system, as it WAS, of the greater Tri-state area. Call it Pay-to-Play writ large, you make them money, they pay you at year end, when we settle up the accounts.

For them, That is normal. I used to play in that world, and got paid, and NOT paid, the exact same way.

Happier now. My brothers still in the game? Not so much. You do NOT want to know the details of NY's idea of "deferred compensation" in a publicly traded company.

Later all.

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Wilson/Plame