Boortz: Void Union Contracts Under GM Bailout

     As a General Motors bailout becomes more likely – considering the rhetoric coming from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President George W. Bush – one media voice is calling for union contracts to be voided as a condition of the rescue.

     Atlanta-based talk show host Neal Boortz told viewers on the Nov. 11 “CNN Newsroom” if the government were to bail out General Motors (NYSE:GM), then it should void the labor agreements some blame for getting the automakers in trouble in the first place.

     “I did not say don’t bail them out,” Boortz said. “I did say, ‘Look – if you’re going to bail them out, void these union contracts. These union contracts are totally absurd and the benefits that they pay people that aren’t even working anymore, salaries that they pay people who aren’t working.”

     Boortz isn’t alone in linking the unions to GM’s troubles. The United Auto Workers union, which represents GM employees, is responsible for the current problems facing the company, according to Richard Berman, executive director for the Center for Union Facts.

     “The United Auto Workers have bled General Motors dry, leaving the company in a tattered state, and the union members extremely vulnerable,” Berman said in a release Nov. 11. “Job banks that pay workers to do nothing and other harmful union rules are at the heart of GM's imminent bankruptcy. It will be truly unfortunate if union demands over many years result in another bankruptcy or bailout.”

      Boortz said it would only be fair for the U.S. taxpayer, if having to foot the bill for GM’s survival, not be forced to subsidize its unsustainable business model, which includes expensive collective bargaining agreements.

     “If the American people are going to bail out these automakers, OK – for the mistakes that they made, then the American people deserve something in return,” Boortz said. “And the very least we should get out of this is to void these union contracts, tell these automakers who use unions, ‘Go back, get real, negotiate a deal that’s going to help these businesses stay alive.’ If we bail them out – we’ll be back doing it next year, the year after, the year after if we don’t do something about those union contracts.”