Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No Benefit Cuts to Auto Workers

The American auto industry problems are not due to the wages, health benefits and pensions that Union auto workers have fought for through the UAW for many years. These benefits helped to create a broad, diversified, and healthy working and middle class. They enabled millions of workers to raise and educate their families, unlike the benefits provided by the newer foreign-owned companies.

To enable the American-owned manufacturers to compete in the future, government assistance must include two major items:
1. The government should take over the automakers future payments to the auto industry health benefit plans, with no cuts in benefits or increased cost to present and future autoworkers. The plan should be governed by a board made up of UAW and government representatives. This would also be a big step towards health care for all.
In addition, foreign-owned automakers must immediately be required to either provide equivalent health benefits to their workers, or to pay into the UAW-sponsored fund to provide benefits for their workers. The workers in the home countries of these automakers receive health benefits through social insurance paid for by general tax revenues; their U.S workers should have the same benefits!

2. The pension liability of the U.S auto companies should also be taken over by a government assisted fund, again governed by a joint Union and government Board.

There must be no cuts in benefits earned by these workers.

-- Bill Morico