AP headline: Angry UAW members lash out at Southern senators:
...autoworkers remain angry with the senators who tried to negotiate wage and benefit concessions from the union, then scuttled the House-passed bill that would have granted the loans and set up a "car czar" to oversee the nearly insolvent companies and get concessions from the union and creditors. Their top targets were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who led negotiations on a compromise; and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who has been a vocal critic of the loans.
Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama all house auto assembly plants from foreign automakers, and union officials contend the senators want to drive UAW wages down so there would be no reason for workers at the foreign plants to join the union.
"They thought perhaps they could have a twofer here maybe: Pierce the heart of organized labor while representing the foreign brands," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a Friday morning news conference in Detroit.
As a resident of Alabama I'm proud of Senator Shelby's vote and his vocal opposition. Alabama senator Jeff Sessions voted against the bailout as well. Both senators also voted against the financial bailout. Bottom line, they are against taxpayer bailouts, period:
...Jonathan Graffeo, Shelby's spokesman on the Senate Banking Committee, said the senator has consistently opposed taxpayer-funded bailouts.
"He opposed the Chrysler bailout in 1979 when there were no foreign auto manufacturers in Alabama, and he opposed the recent $700 billion bailout of the banking industry," Graffeo said.
Gettelfinger might also take a look at his own culpability. He could start here: 22 Pounds of UAW Rules and Regulations. The contract with Ford is 2,215 pages:
I’ll tell you this much, those 2,215 pages don’t include much regarding efficiency and competitiveness. What you’ll find are hundreds of rules, regulations, and letters of understanding that have hamstrung the auto companies for years.
Gettelfinger refuses to accept any responsibility for the failures of U.S. automakers. He makes his living demanding this and demanding that and when the chickens came home to roost, he demanded that we bail him out. Our southern senators, with a little help, did not submit.
Mr. Gettelfinger, you do not own the American taxpayer. You might own the Democratic party but you do not own the rest of us. We do not have to hand you billions of dollars just because you demanded it. As we say down here in the South: You made your bed hard. Now go lie in it.