Grasping Unemployment from the Jaws of Work

By September 25, 2007General

In his master work “From The Jaws of Victory,” historian Charles Fair recorded how King Philip II of Spain, who sent the Armada against England, prevailed upon the Pope to create a roaming inquisition of the fleets and galleys. “To have been a galley slave accused of heresy by roaming inquisitors,” Fair dryly observed, “must have come close to exhausting the possibilities of human misfortune.”

I had that very thought when I read this morning that 73,000 employees of General Motors had walked off the job. What else can go wrong for GM? News reports indicate that the United Auto Workers understand they must make concessions to enable GM to remain competitive, but in return they want “significant promises of job security.”

Note to UAW members: If you want job security, go into government service. GM is in trouble today because previous managements made promises that simply were not sustainable in the long term. The current management is determined to avoid that mistake. To survive and prosper, GM must remain flexible. It’s a tough world out there for manufacturing, tougher than it’s ever been before. The UAW rank and file need to accept that reality, suck it up and get back to work.

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