UAW, Republicans Blame Each Other on Bailout

Gettelfinger says he felt he was being 'set up'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2008 11:21 AM CST
United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger speaks during a news conference in Detroit, Friday, Dec. 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – The UAW and opponents of the failed Detroit bailout blamed each other today for the impasse, the New York Times reports. GOP Sen. Bob Corker says the rescue plan could have been salvaged if the UAW had listened to him. "I offered him a solution," he said of UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger. But Gettelfinger feared he was “being set up” and called Corker’s proposal to cut union wages in 2009 an unreasonable “arbitrary deadline.”

“This was a blatant attempt to make workers shoulder the lion’s share of the costs of any restructuring plan,” Gettelfinger said. Corker had proposed that UAW salaries, which stand at about $55 an hour, be made competitive with workers at foreign-owned plants, who make about $45 an hour.