Union Net: Nyet

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the deal between GM and the UAW yet, but my first sense is that the UAW got their dupas whipped. Consider:

The tentative agreement between the UAW and General Motors Corp., a person briefed on the deal said, is expected to include:

• A retiree health-care trust, known as a voluntary employee beneficiary trust, or VEBA. While neither party would officially comment on the amount GM will pay into the VEBA, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said financial analysis of the plan indicates it should be solvent for 80 years. GM has pushed for the trust to relieve itself of the responsibility for more than $50 billion in retiree health care cost liability. People familiar with GM’s position have said they believe the automaker will pay less than $35 billion into the trust.

• A two-tier wage and benefits scale under which new hires will make a lower hourly wage and receive a different package of benefits than current workers.

• A second tier of compensation for jobs that GM and the UAW have agreed are “non-core” production jobs. This is expected to include many positions in which workers do not have their hands on a vehicle in the assembly process.

So, GM gets its health care obligations off the books, gets to bring in new workers at lower pay rates, and gets to reclassify some jobs (janitorial, etc.) in order to pay them less.  The UAW gets to keep high wage jobs for its greybeards for a little while longer.

Yup.  Ol’ fashioned arse-whuppin’ right there.

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