UAW cuts jobs

Patrick Gibbons

For years the Big Three focused on building pensions for workers rather than cars for consumers. Will that change in a globalized economy?

Today, there are more union workers in government (7.9 million) than in the private sector (7.4 million), despite there being five times as many workers in the private sector, because private-sector unions must deal with choice and competition in the open market. As it turns out, both consumers and laborers prefer non-union goods, services and jobs over unionized alternatives.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the United Auto Workers union has laid off 130 workers at its Detroit headquarters as a result of strained finances. The union has seen its membership plummet from 700,000 in 2000 to 350,000 workers today.

Now, will the union bounce back with government subsidies and protection, or will the Big Three focus on building cars for once?