This was my fax today to Congressman Mack. 14th district Florida
Honorable Connie Mack,
14th Cong District, Florida
I read where you suggested that Obama should ask the auto worker's union leader to step down.
I strongly disagree on principle for a couple of reasons none of which have to do who is to blame for the current condition of the US auto industry. ( more on that later )
The union leader is chosen by the members of the union in an election process unlike the CEO's of the auto makers. His obligation is to the members of the union, not to the auto makers. If the members elect him they must believe he is working in their best interest. It is up to them to decide if this is or is not true.
Auto workers are under pressure to grant concessions to the automakers as part of any bail out package. I don't recall reading of any similar demand having been part of the deal for the banks or AIG who already received far more money from Congress. Were their employees asked to make concessions as part of their receipt of cash?
I have no problem asking anyone to renegotiate for the best interest of all provided the same is asked of any company seeking funds. Seeking the removal of the duly elected official of the union is not solving anything. Again...he is responsible to the workers who elected him just as you are responsible to the people who elected you, not to the auto industry.
Why single out only auto workers for concessions even as AIG passed out huge bonus's to it's employees? I have heard cited "preexisting contracts" as the excuse for AIG. Didn't GM and Chrysler have preexisting contracts with the union work force? Is one contract somehow more "valid" than the other?
Who is to blame for the condition of the auto industry? Not the workers. They have no input to designing and marketing the brands. If the product sells well and at a fair profit after paying the workers wages and benefits then the business is sound and there is no complaint from anyone. The fact that it is not a sound business has to do with poor sales which have to do with poor product choices in a very competitive market.
Automakers have the foolish habit of dictating the market rather than listening to the needs of consumers. Muti-million dollar ad campaigns are designed to tell buyers what they want, not what they need. They push image that includes "muscle" and "sex" and tie that to SUV's, big pickup trucks for those who don't need them etc. They show them pulling trains and planes etc. to appeal to the macho side of the buyer indication that to by anything less somehow makes the buyer a "girly man". The worker punches a time card and makes what the factory tells him/her to. If they were making what America really wants and needs the industry would not have been over taken by Japan and other nations who do make what people want.
Blaming the worker is like shooting the messenger.