The writing has been on the wall for a long time about the realities of the global economy bringing with it lower-priced goods from cheap-labor countries.
How long has it been since the Japanese first exported a car to the United States and thereafter consistently increased their presence due to great styling and solid quality?
Keith Crain is right that the union leaders must educate their members about the reality of the marketplace ("Toughest job in the auto industry," Oct. 24), but they should have started years ago. The union leaders have done a disservice to their members by not telling them the reality of the marketplace.
The signs have been there for a long, long time, but the union leaders just kept on doing the same old thing and refusing to look ahead. That was a losing strategy for the workers, leaving them ill-prepared for the future.
As tough as it might have been, the union leaders could have leveled with their members that the status quo was unsustainable, given the move toward global free markets, and that workers should think about becoming educated in fields in which they could enjoy higher incomes, that perhaps education is an avenue to prosperity and that just whining about how management is trying to take advantage of you is ultimately self-defeating.
The truth is that one can complain all he wants that the Big 3 are being unfair and that they should be held to their promises, but the fact is that the automakers cannot keep those promises no matter how much they may want to.
I feel sorry for the union workers, but some of the blame should fall on the union leaders.