In a huge victory for the United Auto Workers, the union signed a new contract with General Motors that actually improves workers’ lives rather than accept rollbacks. Starting workers get a pay raise, everyone gets a bonus in lieu of a pay raise, increased profit sharing, and health care and pensions are stabilized rather than decimated. Moreover, GM has agreed in the contract to reopen its closed plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which was originally its model Saturn plant it centered so much in its advertising campaigns of the 1990s.
Essentially, GM is showing a social conscience here. The UAW and American taxpayers made sacrifices to bail out General Motors when it was about to go under. Now the company is paying the union back. Reopening the Tennessee factory also brings good paying jobs back to the United States, something our economy sorely needs.
I think GM should center this in its advertising campaigns and continue to open plants in the United States. I know that I am much more inclined to buy a GM car than I was before (and I will likely be in the market for a car soon). I think a lot of Americans would look favorably on a company that made a social contract with Americans and provided a big boost to the economy.
It’s also again worth noting what a great policy Obama made by bailing out the auto industry. I might be disappointed with him in some ways, but he saved the American economy by doing this. The fact that the Republican Party turned this against him shows how fundamentally unserious it is about economic recovery and what we can expect with a possible Perry presidency in 2013.