From NBC News Online:
On this General Motors and the United Auto Workers agree — the strike that sent 50,000 workers out on the picket lines Monday is not likely to be over anytime soon.
Both sides are talking, but both sides are bracing for a long and costly fight as workers dig in on their fight for better wages, health care benefits and job security, union representatives and auto industry experts said.
“It will go on as long as it’s going to take to achieve our bargaining goals,” Chuck Browning, the UAW’s Region 1A Director, told MSNBC. “The bottom line is this company has been extremely profitable for a long period of time. Those profits have been made off the sweat and the hard work of our members, and our members want a fair agreement.”
Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan and an auto industry maven, said the leadership of the UAW needs to take a stand against GM not just for the rank and file — but for its own survival.
UAW President Gary Jones and other top union officials are currently under investigation by federal authorities for allegedly embezzling member dues and blowing thousands of dollars on everything from fancy vacations and golf equipment to $400 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne.
“I think the union leadership wanted a strike because they’re under attack, and when you feel like you could be losing your grip on power the age-old tactic is to go to war,” Gordon said.
And because they need to be seen as taking a hard line against GM management, union negotiators won’t seek a swift solution even though rank-and-file workers will start feeling the financial pain almost immediately.
Read the complete article here.