The Big Three Auto Maker bail out, or more to the point, the United Auto Workers bail out, is the first explosive issue for the new Obama Administration. Never mind that his administration has not even started yet, this issue is being debated in terms of a big Democrat win in the recent elections.
Need proof? How about the fact that on CNBC this morning, former Michigan Congressman -- and now Obama economic advisor -- David Bonior was supposed to be debating the bail out of the big three auto makers. Even in light of these companies being bankrupted by their unions, Bonior is using the opportunity to try and strengthen the union influence even more. (Video here)
Joe Kernan, one of the resident conservatives on CNBC, took after Bonior as expected. However, even normally liberal Becky Quick was not buying what Bonior was selling. Much of the tape is three way arguing and it is fabulous. And it's obvious Bonior came mainly to pitch the so-called Employee Free Trade Act (EFCA).
Some highlights below, listed by time of the video:
3:08 - 6:16 Bonior avoids question a couple of times from CNBC's Becky Quick. See her and Joe Kernan of CNBC hold his feet to the fire. BECKY QUICK asks if he means union or mgt compensation.
6:17 - 6:37 Bonior is less than honest about TARP program in order to make it fit an auto industry bail out. Then Kernan tries to wrap up the segment.
6:57, Bonior will not leave and goes into lecture on the EFCA. Here he compares our current management - labor struggle to the Soviet Union, says we should follow the lead of 80 other countries with our labor laws. Kernan and Quick interrupt to "correct" Mr. Bonior numerous times.
9:10, Bonior pulls out the EFCA brochure! He obviously came prepared to talk about this act. He then goes on to mention that productivity is up since 1983 (about when union membership started plummeting by the way) and says the intimidation issue rests mainly with management intimidation. He also cites Southwest Airlines as proof that union shops work well with management, prompting Kernan to remind him that unions had bankrupted many airlines.
This video is worth watching.