Union Leaders Disappointed With Senate Vote - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Union Leaders Disappointed With Senate Vote

Posted:
UAW members demonstrating outside the offices of U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. UAW members demonstrating outside the offices of U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.
Michael O'Rourke, president of UAW Local 1853. Michael O'Rourke, president of UAW Local 1853.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - United Auto Workers officials in Middle Tennessee were upset with Tennessee lawmakers who did not support a proposed deal to rescue the nation's three largest car makers.

The proposed $14 billion emergency bailout for the nation's automakers collapsed Thursday night.

The bipartisan deal died in the Senate after the UAW "refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts," according to The Associated Press.

Midstate union leaders said jobs and Tennessee's economy are at risk.

They said the auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing.

And they worry some lawmakers just don't get it.

"I mean you couldn't make it almost more ineffective and more complicated," U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said Thursday on Capitol Hill. "Mr. President, we put in place a czar, it seems like anything we do around here we try to find a person who can save us."

The debate over an auto industry bailout has been a congressional battle.

As lawmakers wrestle with the plan on Capitol Hill, hundreds of miles away local union leaders tune in as Middle Tennessee jobs hang in the balance.

"We're talking about the economy in Middle Tennessee.  If you go beyond local 1853 Spring Hill, there are 30,000 jobs that are tied to that assembly plant," said Michael O'Rourke, president of UAW Local 1853.

United Auto Workers have screamed, picketed and protested - all but begging lawmakers to bail out Detroit's Big Three.

Corker is the man local union members have aimed most of their anger.

"He never questioned anybody's wages when they did the bank and the mortgage you know that $700 billion," O'Rourke said. "Never once was that brought up.  Now here we are with main street, people that are making $50,000 a year and we're the root of the problem. It's just crazy."

While they may be forced to sit on the sidelines, auto workers and union leaders refuse to sit silently.

Corker has proposed a bailout plan of his own that would call on the government to give loans to the auto manufacturers.

But General Motors and Chrysler must cut their debt by two-thirds by March or file for bankruptcy.

It still appears lawmakers are far from reaching an agreement.

Some expect it may be the weekend before Republicans and Democrats strike a deal on an auto bailout plan.

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.