Could the UAW buy GM?

Felix Salmon at Seeking Alpha says the short answer is, yes, but it probably won't.
With the newly draw up contract between the UAW and GM, the automaker will transfer almost $30 billion into a what is basically a health care fund, with another $5 billion to $7 billion added down the road. As Salmon says, that's more than enough to just buy the General outright, essentially turning it into an employee-owned company.

[Source: Seeking Alpha]

It's not a completely original idea, as Salmon points out. The Wall Street Journal brought up the idea back in 2006, but suggested the Union own only a piece of the biggest U.S. car builder. The WSJ said the prospects of part ownership by the UAW would be enormously complicated with tax, legal and managerial problems.

But Salmon thinks full UAW ownership would simplify much of that and end up benefiting both the company and the workers. After all, if workers directly benefit from their performance then surely the quality of their work would improve, and the chance of a union-led strike would be almost nil.

Salmon, though, says the UAW instead should take its newfound cash and invest it wisely, U.S. automotive companies not being one of the better choices.

Though not likely to happen, UAW ownership of GM is one of those intriguing what-ifs that can keep us automotive fans talking for days. So, what do you think? Should the UAW write a check for GM?

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