Pinkerton On UAW: Not Just Wages—Work Rules

To the extent the MSM has been willing to report on the disadvantage under which the Big Three automakers operate compared to their non-union competitors, the focus has been on the huge wage differential.

On this evening's Fox News Watch, conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton highlighted another issue which has gone largely unreported in the liberal media: the onerous union work rules that add literally thousands of positions to the job rolls compared to those of the foreign transplants.

View video here.
JIM PINKERTON: I think there's just a general sense that [the automaker bailout] isn't going to work. $14 billion is nowhere near what it would take, and they could spend $100 billion, $125 billion—numbers you see—and they still won't make any particular promise that this bailout will succeed. And as Mickey Kaus, in Slate, wrote a very smart column, he said listen: the issue isn't so much the wages.  It's the work rules. It's the way the union is structured, going back to the 1930s, that prevents them from competing against other companies inside the United States like Toyota and Honda.
Cal Thomas can be heard saying "right." Right, indeed. The most telling factoid from the Kaus article: whereas under UAW rules there is a proliferation of job categories, all of which the union can bring grievances about:
In Japanese auto plants, where they spend their time building cars instead of creating job categories, there is only one nonsupervisory job classification: "production."
Will the MSM get around to reporting this crucial fact?  When will UAW chief Gettelfinger be asked if his union is willing to adopt the Japanese one-job-fits-all model?
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.