UAW issues statement on Senate’s decision to not pass auto bailout

As you know by now, the proposed auto bailout failed to pass Senate late last night. It is said that the main issue that broke down negotiations was the wages of UAW workers. There those in the Senate that believe that auto workers are paid to much and that their wages should be reduced to be competitive with auto workers that work at foreign automaker plants in the U.S.

UAW issued a statement this morning about their reaction to Senate’s refusal to provide the Detroit Big 3 with loans. You can read the statement after the jump.

“The UAW is deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have blocked the bipartisan legislation that was agreed to by President Bush and congressional Democrats.

“In an effort to work out a compromise, the UAW was prepared to agree that any restructuring plan should ensure that the wages and benefits of workers at the domestic automakers should be competitive with those paid by the foreign transplants. But we also recognized that this would take time to work out and implement, using attrition programs to allow the companies to hire new workers at the lower wage and benefit rates. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans insisted that this had to be accomplished by an arbitrary deadline. This arbitrary requirement was not imposed on any other stakeholder groups. Thus, the UAW believed this was a blatant attempt to make workers shoulder the lion’s share of the costs of any restructuring plan.

“The UAW has recognized from the beginning that all stakeholders will be required to make sacrifices to ensure the viability of the domestic auto companies. We were prepared to do our part. But we could not accept the GOP demands to treat workers differently from all other stakeholders, and to subject them to different requirements than other groups.

“Now that the legislation has been blocked by Senate Republicans, the UAW calls on Secretary Paulson to use his authority to provide TARP funds to provide emergency assistance to the domestic auto companies. The ball is squarely in his court. He has the power to prevent the imminent collapse of the companies, and the disastrous consequences that will follow for millions of retirees and workers and for the economy of our entire nation.”

Source: Detroit Free Press