As you read this, there are about 3,000 unionized workers -- down from about 15,000 two years ago -- employed by the Detroit 3 getting paid, despite the fact that they aren't working. While it's nice for America's automakers to have access to a talent-pool of available workers, it's also a major financial drain on an industry that's already reeling from a distinct lack of profits. And with new cutbacks and layoffs being announced almost daily, these "job banks" are increasingly tough to justify,
even for the UAW
. It's always been a bit of a competitive disadvantage, at least on paper, as non-UAW competitors like
do not keep such job banks. To ease Detroit's transition from bloated, money-losing corporations to lean "right-sized" competitors,
Prez. Ron Gettelfinger has brought up the job banks and their possible elimination. Will this be a part of the overall
plan to become competitive
that the Detroit 3 bring to Congress? We'll find out soon enough.
Wall Street Journal