The Truth Behind the Bailout Blockage

Let's talk about why the Republicans are really willing to throw millions out of work and further cripple the struglling economy: union busting.

The first line in their Action Alert memo says it all:

Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it.

The second line is their cover:

This rush to judgment is the same thing that happened with the TARP. Members did not have an opportunity to read or digest the legislation and therefore could not understand the consequences of it. We should not rush to pass this because Detroit says the sky is falling.

In other words, the GOP wants to kill organized labor (taking away a large source of Democratic funding and votes) while encouraging automakers to move to the southern, non-union states where the GOP still hold power.

As a guy who spent a decade on the factory floor, I can tell you that many workers have been sold on the idea that the union workers making $100 per hour are the reason that we can barely make $10 per hour and that if we attempt to organize all our jobs will be in peril.

Throwing millions onto the unemployment rolls will strike fear into the masses who already believe that organized labor will eventually lead to unemployment.

It's union busting, plain and simple, and we should call them on it.


It's neither

The nation didn't go tango-uniform when Burlington Industries went bust. Many of their divisions were bought up and even though many folks did lose jobs temporarily, many folks didn't. The reason I bring this up is because, in my opinion, if the Big 3 did have to go into Chapter 11, they could and would continue to make automobiles. Yep, some folks would lose their jobs but many wouldn't. Many of the things that have caused the automakers to be unsuccessful could be "renegotiated". I'm not saying that's fair because the management also has been complicit by making poor decisions or no decisions at all in the face of severely reduced car sales and not being competitive with the foreign automakers as well.

As far as republicans wanting the Big 3 to fail so as to "bust up" the union, that's ridiculous. I continue to see so many posts on this venue about how republicans are evil and the wealthy are evil and wicked. Saying republicans want the Big 3 to fail so unions will go belly up is the same as when I read a few years ago that democrats wanted America to fail in Iraq and wanted a lot of troops to be killed there so they could win more elections by showing how republicans were wrong about the war. Stooooopid. Republicans don't want the Big 3 to fail...they want the Big 3 to correct the mistakes they've made so as to be competitive in the marketplace. Isn't that what capitalism is all about? And, yes, I do hope that they do get some help along those the way of a LOAN...only.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

What part of this isn't clear ...

"Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it."

That's from a REPUBLICAN memo, straight from the horse's ass. The memo says nothing about wanting the industry to reorganize.

"As far as republicans wanting the Big 3 to fail so as to "bust up" the union, that's ridiculous."

No, that's what THEY SAY they are doing.


I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Your hung up on that "hard-wired"

Persondem....settle down, guy. Not sure where these "memos" and other info you're seeing from supposedly republican sources come from, but I'm pretty involved in republican politics (at least at the county level) and I haven't seen what you're presenting.

What's your source? I mean, is it something from Hannity or Rush or someone? Republicans are moving away from that more far right least a great many of us.

The best thinking is independent thinking. ever heard of Google?

It took me one search to find a copy of that memo. Why don't you give it a go? I'll give you a hint.....LA Times.

Ya know....I think it is just so cute that you think Senate Republicans and the national GOP are going to copy you on a being involved on the county level and all. :D Of course, it is so much easier to deny something exists when you haven't heard of it, but if you hang around here long enough we'll have you using teh Google like an old pro.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Okay, going to Google...but first gotta say:

I'm going searching around for this memo we're discussing.....and, if there's something like you've said and I don't know about it....then I'm gonna wonder why you haven't given me the site for it.

No matter....any time you can attempt to make a "silly old republican" look stupid or something....just go for it. I've got thick skin.

I'll go now searching for "the memo".

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Okay...found it...duh

Went to the top of this thread and got it...didn't need Google. Duh. Boy, do I feel stoooopid !! it is, by the way:


Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:12 AM


Subject: Action Alert -- Auto Bailout

Today at noon, Senators Ensign, Shelby, Coburn and DeMint will hold a press conference in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery. They would appreciate our support through messaging and attending the press conference, if possible. The message they want us to deliver is:

1. This is the democrats first opportunity to payoff organized labor after the election. This is a precursor to card check and other items. Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it.

2. This rush to judgment is the same thing that happened with the TARP. Members did not have an opportunity to read or digest the legislation and therefore could not understand the consequences of it. We should not rush to pass this because Detroit says the sky is falling.

The sooner you can have press releases and documents like this in the hands of members and the press, the better. Please contact me if you need additional information. Again, the hardest thing for the democrats to do is get 60 votes. If we can hold the Republicans, we can beat this.

Well....guys....even though I KNOW I'm gonna get trashed by the majority left-leaners here, except for that "taking their first shot against organized labor" remark, I'm pretty much okay with the rest of the memo. But, like I said, this is a predominantly left-leaning/demo blog where I'm in the severe minority being a conservative/moderate I will expect the worst.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

The rest of the memo is pretty much ok.

It's that part about taking a shot at organized labor that isn't ok - at least with me. Your post implies you're not okay with it, either. So why would we take shots at you?

Frankly, I'm surprised that you don't already realize that while yes, we are mostly a bunch of left-leaning, tree-hugging liberals, we don't have a problem with political organizing. I don't think I'm just speaking for myself when I say that.

But the whole thing about taking shots at organized labor - that gets me pretty pissed off. I realize here in NC, unions are anathema, but they are, by and large, the best thing that ever happened to the working man (and woman) in the last 200 years. Every advancement in labor can be traced back to working people organizing and demanding it.

Smitty, I have to give you kudos

for hanging with us and at least talking about these issues.

I don't think I could do the same on a conservative blog :-)

Smitty.....the memo is linked above

I'm sorry, but if you are too lazy to click on the link that the author provided and you're too lazy to visit the LA Times to find the article via Google, then I'm not going to waste my time holding your hand. The memo exists. Senate Republicans do not deny the existence of the memo. Why should you?

Edit Ha! See what happens when you write something and forget to post it while you go and make orange marmelade (what a mess!) and then you come back and post it before looking to see what else has been posted...... Now I get to feel stupid, Smitty.

Glad you found the memo. Now....I'm going to go clean up my kitchen. It will be sticky for a week.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

DId you even read the original post of this thread?

There's a link in the diary that started this thread to the memo that you're not sure exists.
Are you kidding me? Do you see why it's so hard to take you seriously sometimes?

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

There's a more insidious reason

I think you've got it a little skewed, Smitty. Republicans don't want the big 3 to fail to bust up Unions, they want Unions to cede their power or else be subjected to the failure of the industry.

I may be putting too fine a point on it but to me that reason is even more vile.

I understand the anti-union sentiment

Republicans, for the most part, aren't supporters of unions. It's got a lot to do with the graft and corruption that has been a part of unions (and, yeah, that is there in management too, don't get me wrong) and it has to do with the fact that the vast majority of business owners are fiscally conservative republicans and know how a union would cost them dearly in their business.

This isn't to say that there are times when a union serves a purpose in our country. But, more and more, with laws being enacted to protect workers, unions pretty much exist to collect dues and to provide the less-than-acceptable worker someone to keep their job for them when they screw up. Yeah, I know there are exceptions to this, but I do speak from working in the union environment for decades.

The republican party doesn't have the objective of getting rid of unions in the U.S. If they do, it's a very well-kept secret because I've been involved in republican politics for a long time and although most republicans aren't pro-union, I've never seen a "memo" or a policy etc. to get rid of unions in America.

And, unions don't just support democrats. They've supported republicans for everything from county commissioners to president from time to time.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Ok, well why do you think

that Republican Senators insisted workers pay be cut so drastically and that that was the deal breaker if they wouldn't?

How drastically was that?

The deal breaker was that the union wouldn't give. I read the article and they were VERY close to closing the deal but the UAW just wouldn't give.

Just how "drastically" was this pay cut they asked for? I didn't see a number either their current wage or the requested wage.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I can't document it but

what I heard was $20.00 an hour. The UAW agreed to implement the cuts by 2011 but the Senate wanted it immediately. Again, I'm relying on my memory for that.

Oh, in negotiation, "giving" is a two way street.

This is about the best I could find

Hourly wages for UAW workers at GM factories already are about equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp. at its older U.S. factories, according to the companies. GM says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78 per hour, while Toyota - generally viewed as the main competitor of the Detroit Three - says it pays about $30 per hour. But the unionized factories have far higher benefit costs.

Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at University of California at Berkeley, said the move to push down UAW pay could put pressure on wages across industrial America.

"If we back up a moment and look at what's at stake, it isn't two automakers and a union," Shaiken said. "It's the long-term viability of manufacturing and the future of the middle class."

Obviously if the $20.00 an hour figure was right and this is right, the cuts must be in combined wages and benefits.

Very sorry

I posted this without thinking it would get such a huge reaction and, to be honest, forgot about it. This was my bad as I am not one to abandon a thread that I start.

Anyway, as Betsy said earlier, much of the fuss could have been avoided had Smitty just clicked the link I provided in the second sentence of the diary.

In recent days, I have looked into other aspects of the story but they have merely echoed my initial position.

The current meme is that foreign automakers have set up shop in the south. Therefore the GOP is solidifying that arrangement.

But that arrangement is still union-busting. Kill Detroit, force the factories to non-union states, kill the unions.

That said, if Smitty really thinks that the Republican party is not interested in killing organized labor, then he is, I'm sorry, delusional.