Saturday, February 14, 2009

Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you...

DETROIT (AP) — Negotiators for the United Auto Workers walked out of concession talks with General Motors Corp. Friday night in a dispute over payments to a union-administered retiree health care fund, a person briefed on the talks said Saturday. The breakdown comes at a critical time as GM races against a Tuesday deadline to submit a plan to the government showing how it can become viable.

The Detroit-based auto giant is living on $9.4 billion in government loans, and the Treasury Department must approve its viability plan for GM to get $4 billion more. Chrysler LLC, which has received $4 billion in government loans and wants an additional $3 billion, faces the same deadline.

At GM, UAW negotiators walked away because the company made demands that were "detrimental to retirees and the ability to provide health care," according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
Unions...gotta love their brash inability to grasp the obvious and the inevitable. The UAW turned their back because "the company made demands that were detrimental to retirees." So, instead of offering concession for the prolonged existence of their employer, they are perfectly content to apply the "scorched Earth" approach. Surely, they don't think they have negotiating leverage. And, why is the management even entertaining a negotiation. They finally have the leverage to say "either you accept this plan...or you start sending out resumes...because we are finished..."

It's all reminiscent of the scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." They are wedged on the side of a cliff. The posse is closing in, and their only viable option is to jump to a precarious looking river way below.

Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
Sundance Kid: No, I said.
Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?
Sundance Kid: I can't swim.
Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.