Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Overboard: What Happened To Auto Industry Workers Outside The UAW Hall?

Great column by Michelle Malkin about the thousands of blue-collar workers in the auto industry who did not get a bailout, are still unemployed, and have not shared in the fabulous success of the auto bailouts: 

The bailout pain was not distributed equally. It was redistributed politically.
Bondholders standing up for their property and contractual rights got shortchanged and demonized personally by the president. Dealers and suppliers faced closures based on political connections and lobbying clout, rather than neutral efficiency evaluations. And as I first reported in September 2010, in the rush to nationalize the auto industry and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members’ costly pension funds by shafting their non-union counterparts. 
These forgotten non-union pensioners (who worked for Delphi, a GM auto-parts company) lost all of their health- and life-insurance benefits. Hailing from the economically devastated Rust Belt — northeast Ohio, Michigan, and neighboring states — the Delphi workers had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers, and sales employees. Some have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish. They’ve banded together to seek justice in court and on Capitol Hill under the banner of the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association.

Gotta love the alchemy of modern politics, where the president can crow over unpopular auto bailouts, bragging about how he "took the risk" as if he were freakin' Kleiner Perkins, rather than a politician spending other people's money. 

Honestly, would it really be too much to ask for Republicans to run one of those Newt Gingrich-style ads featuring ominous music and quavering-voiced oldsters weeping over their lost pensions, literally taken away at the direction of the government? Yes, it's probably too much to ask, but I can dream.

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