Friday, December 12th, 2008
Umm, yeah…about that Corker Amendment…
Allow me to do a quick “cocktail napkin” analysis of the union-bashing “alternative” bill:
(a) LOAN CONDITIONS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—As a condition of receiving financial assistance under this Act, each eligible automobile manufacturer shall comply with the following conditions, including entering into new agreements or contracts or modifying any agreement or contract, notwithstanding any other provision of law (including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, and collective bargaining agreements and contracts of employment), as required to meet such conditions:
Wingnut-English translation: In order to comply with the conditions set out in this bill to qualify for a loan, the auto makers — where allowed by existing law — will be required to rip up the old union contracts and make new (presumably non-union) ones. What follows are the conditions for receiving a loan.
(A) No eligible automobile manufacturer may receive a loan or other assistance under this Act, unless such manufacturer reduces its outstanding unsecured indebtedness (other than with respect to pension and employee benefits obligations) by not less than two thirds, through a debt for equity exchange.
Wingnut-English translation: Auto makers must raid their employee’s pension funds to pay off their debt (not that they haven’t done that in the past).
(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), for the period beginning not later than March 31, 2009 and ending on the termination date applicable under such paragraph, the eligible automobile manufacturer shall—
Wingnut-English translation: Here are some things that the auto makers must do to shaft the unions some time between receiving the money and paying off the loan and any interest on the loan:
(i) reduce the total amount of compensation, including wages and benefits, paid to employees of the manufacturer so that the average of such total amount, per hour and per person, is an amount that is equal to the average total amount of such compensation, as certified by the Secretary of Labor, paid per hour and per person to employees of Nissan Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, or American Honda Motor Company whose site of employment is in the United States; and
Wingnut-English translation: Auto makers must slash union wages down to nearly nothing. Ignore the part about “equal to the average total amount of such compensation” part — if you actually had to do that, you’d have to raise union wages!
(ii) ensure that the work rules that apply to the employees of the manufacturer are on par with the work rules for the employees of Nissan Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, or American Honda Motor Company whose site of employment is in the United States.
Wingnut-English translation: In order to get one thin dime of loan money, auto makers must reduce their safety standards to pre-Upton Sinclair levels!
(C) Not less than one-half of the value of each payment or contribution made by the eligible automobile manufacturer to the account of the voluntary employees beneficiary association (or similar account) of a labor organization representing the employees of the manufacturer shall be made in the form of the stock of the manufacturer, and the total value of any such payment or contribution shall not exceed the amount of any such payment or contribution that was required for such time period under the collective bargaining agreement that applied as of the day before the date of enactment of this Act.
Wingnut-English translation: All union workers are required to gamble their pensions and benefits on a stock market that has lost 40% of its value in the last year — much of it since September.
(D) The eligible automobile manufacturer shall immediately eliminate the payment of any compensation or benefits to employees of the manufacturer who have been fired, laid off, furloughed, or idled, other than customary severance pay.
(2) DURATION.—Each eligible automobile manufacturer that has received a loan or other assistance under this Act shall comply with the requirements of subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1) during the period beginning on the date on which the loan or assistance is approved and ending on the date on which the manufacturer has paid the full amount of the obligation under the loan, including any applicable interest.
We’ve covered this one already up above. It basically details the time period that auto makers have to comply with the conditions laid out in the bill as starting when the loan is approved and ending when the loan is paid off.
(3) APPLICABILITY.—The requirements of paragraph (1) shall apply to each eligible automobile manufacturer that receives any financial assistance under this Act.
This section simply repeats the earlier stipulation that any auto maker receiving loans under the bill this amendment is applied to is subject to the requirements of the amendment.
(b) PENALTY FOR NONCOMPLIANCE.—
(1) REPAYMENT OR BANKRUPTCY.—The outstanding obligations of a loan or other financial assistance made under this Act shall become due, and the eligible automobile manufacturer that received such loan or financial assistance shall immediately repay the full amount of such obligations to the Secretary or, if unable to make such full repayment, immediately file for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of title 11, United States Code, if—
And here comes the union-busting poison pill. At the end of the loan period, if any auto maker who takes the loan is not in compliance with the anti-union conditions of the bill, they must file for bankruptcy, which as Neal Boortz is so eager to point out, allows the auto makers to tell the unions to ESFOAD.
(A) by March 15, 2009, an eligible automobile manufacturer that received a loan or other assistance under this Act has not implemented and fully carried out the requirements of subsection (a)(1)(A) in a long-term and sustainable manner, as determined by the Secretary; or
Wingnut-English translation: If auto makers who take the loan haven’t finished raiding employee pensions to
take the executive management and shareholders on an expensive resort trip pay off debts by the next Ides of March, they must file for bankruptcy.
(B) by March 31, 2009, and during the period of applicability described in subsection (a)(2), the manufacturer fails to comply with the requirements of subparagraphs (B) through (E) of subsection (a)(1).
Wingnut-English translation: If the Big Three™ take this loan and haven’t finished the other union-busting measures by the end of next March, they must file for bankruptcy.
In short, no one above the rank of Vice President of Wiping the CEO’s Ass will have to sacrifice ANYTHING. The entirety of the onus is on those evil union workers who are fluoridating the water supply. Never mind that labor only comprises 8-10% of the cost of each car. <wingnut>The evil unions are entirely to blame here.</wingnut>
And since we’re on the subject — Tom Curry, you might want to take your mouth off of Corker’s dick for a second so you can pay attention: Bob Corker was elected in ’06, so he’s not “new.” And given that this is the first major piece of legislation that he’s authored, he’s definitely not a “star.”
Incidentally, that would be the same Bob Corker on whose behalf the RNC gleefully played the “Willie Horton” card with this disgusting ad:
Stay KKKlassy, “librul” media!