- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2008

No government-sponsored bailout should be given to the automotive industry again as we did with Chrysler in 1979.

During the past 40 years, the auto industry has allowed itself to be bullied by the overpaid United Auto Workers and has failed to adjust to consumer demands. UAW negotiated and forced industry management to retain a certain number of workers on the payrolls even though there was no work for these employees to perform. These employees were forced to show up in designated rooms to occupy their time for eight hours to “earn” their paychecks. The impact of this nonproductive work force on the industry’s bottom line - as well as the lack of quality product - is ultimately the responsibility of management that agreed to this arrangement in negotiations.

The auto industry also did very little to compete aggressively with its foreign competition, showing itself to be unable to compete on the basis of quality, efficiency and cost, thus marginalizing its customer base. Management and the UAW are sinking ships and should not be saved by my tax money. Though the short-term job losses will be painful to the Detroit area, UAW has to share in the blame for the plight of its industry. Requiring payment for not working is an untenable and arrogant position only equaled by the work habits of Congress.



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