To the Editor:
When GM was threatened by bankruptcy, Obama bailed it out, and in the process paid off the UAW with 17.5% of GM common stock, preferred stock plus $2.5 billion dollars to go towards their retirement benefits and such.
The UAW is headquartered in Detroit in their “Solidarity House.” It is largely because of the strength of the unions in Michigan, particularly the UAW, that unions had so much influence over elected officials in Detroit. For years Detroit’s politicians knew that if they wanted to be elected, they had to toe the union line. As a result unsustainable deals were cut for city employees, including the police and fire fighters, giving them incredibly generous employee benefits including retirement benefits.
It’s time for the UAW to show solidarity to the city unions that are having their benefits cut due to the bankruptcy ruling. It was unions that pushed to get these unsustainable benefits that is to a large part a reason for Detroit having to declare bankruptcy. It should be the unions that come together to help Detroit’s men and women employees in their hour of need. While there may be Taft-Hartley road blocks, there are ways to overcome them if they really try.
With Obama’s payoff billions readily in hand, they have the ability to help the men and women in Detroit that has served them so well.