UAW Eyes Give-Backs to Help Big 3 Bailout

Union ready to make concessions to secure industry loan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 7:55 AM CST
From right, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, and GM CEO Rick Wagoner pause during a Senate hearing on the auto industry, Nov. 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The United Auto Workers appears to be easing off its “no more cuts” stance. The union is negotiating a swath of concessions it hopes will convince Congress to loan money to the Big Three, starting with the elimination of its controversial jobs bank, the Detroit Free Press reports. The bank pays laid-off workers, sometimes for years after their dismissal.

The UAW’s willingness to sacrifice comes after congressional leaders roundly rejected automakers’ pitch for a $25 billion rescue yesterday, panning the executives’ performances. “I was, in some ways, embarrassed for them,” said one Tennessee Republican. “They had no plan.” Michigan’s Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow crafted a compromise they believed could pass, but Democratic leadership insisted automakers devise a plausible rebound scenario first.