The New York Times is reporting that the Treasury Department is preparing a bankruptcy filing for Chrysler.
A couple of months ago I lamented the possibility that GM might eat Chrysler. With this I’m not really feeling that bad about it. In fact, I’m quite happy about it. I’m also happy GM is working on a bankruptcy plan too.
The reason is that I hate the UAW.
Before we continue and I start getting death threats let me say I’m absolutely in favor of unionization. It’s a critical tool for workers to assert their bargaining power in groups in ugly situations. Workers should absolutely be able to band together to empower them against corporations. But they shouldn’t overpower the corporations. The UAW has for a very, very long time been far too dominant a force. I’d love to see it split up.
Right now, the UAW is up the creek. They want to try to preserve their workers remarkable salaries and benefits, but to do so they’re going to lose jobs. They’re doing this in the face of A) non-union automakers who make more reliable, better built, more interesting cars, B) two of their three suppliers of jobs looking at bankruptcy, and C) pressure from the government to make concessions. They have to be sweating bullets.
As an extra little bit of happiness, Fiat was briefly refusing to make a Chrysler deal (upon which the government bailout funds were dependent for the next round) due specifically to the UAW’s stranglehold. A bankruptcy would speed up a partnership.
A partnership will either get Fiat tech into American cars, or Fiat cars in America. I hope very very much for the latter. Specifically, I want the Fiat 500 and a whole lot of Alfa Romeo goodness all over the roads. I think it’ll do the drivers of the nation good.