November 25, 2008
Avoid collapse of domestic auto industry
Since September the United States Treasury has used the financial rescue package passed by Congress to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street firms which played the securities markets like a slot machine in Atlantic City and now need help covering their bad debts.
Wall Street’s failures now threaten to bring down an entire industry – domestic automakers – which suffers the consequences of the credit crisis. Three million jobs – many of them belonging to our brothers and sisters in the United Autoworkers – hang in the balance.
The AFL-CIO Blog has a great entry about why the Treasury and some members of Congress seem to have decided what is good economic policy for one sector of the economy isn’t good for others:
Q. Why is handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds OK if the recipients are Wall Street corporations but not OK if they are Midwest automakers?
A. Automakers are unionized.
Tell your member of Congress bankruptcy is not an option
Now is not the time to deny a bridge loan to the domestic automakers in order to push an anti-union agenda, which would punish hard working members in order to “let these people learn the lesson the hard way” as GOP Congressman Zach Wamp from Tennessee put it.
Aside from buying a house, buying a new car or truck is probably the largest purchase anyone will make in their lifetime. Would you buy a new vehicle from a bankrupt company?
Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler shouldn’t get a free ride on the tax payer’s dollar. That is why Democratic Congressional leaders are demanding automakers demonstrate their viability and accountability before taking action. But doing nothing is not an option.
Please call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your member of Congress. Tell them:
Congress must act in December to avoid the terrible consequences that would result from a collapse of the domestic automakers. It must pass legislation providing an emergency bridge loan to enable the domestic auto companies to continue their operations. At the same time, it should include requirements that will protect the taxpayers, and ensure the accountability and long term viability of the domestic auto companies.