Republican Senator Bob Corker (Tennessee) was on CNBC this morning providing a post-mortem on the failed bailout deal. He said everything had been worked out–bond cramdown, equity dilution, etc.–and that the deal eventually came down to one sticking point:
The UAW’s refusal to agree to a date by which their wages and benefits would become “competitive” with those of American workers who work for Honda, Toyota, and other foreign car companies based here.
Anyone on the other side of the aisle care to rebut that?
For what it’s worth, this UAW position strikes us as indefensible. Shareholders have gotten crushed. Bondholders have gotten crushed. Management has gotten hurt. What argument other than “we don’t want to take less” could the UAW be making here?
If Corker’s account is accurate, this is no longer about “How can we bail out Wall Street and not Detroit.” It’s about a single constituency believing it is entitled to accept less pain than everyone else.
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