Cheer up. The General Motors/Delphi/UAW struggle will turn out OK.
I know because I had a vision, which came to me in a dream:
Rick Wagoner, Steve Miller and Ron Gettelfinger are on a mountaintop. They're sitting together, talking and munching on muesli and other natural snacks.
They're all trying to get healthy.
Lower on the mountain, a crowd mills about. Among them: Bill Ford, Tom LaSorda and former Michigan Gov. John Engler. There are others, some in business suits, some with union jackets, others in coveralls.
After a while, Miller and Gettelfinger stand up, beat their chests and start hurling stones at each other. In the maelstrom, Wagoner gets hit a few times.
The crowd divides into two groups, chanting inaudibly.
Eventually Gettelfinger and Miller sit back down, but they don't dress their wounds or rub their sore spots in front of each other.
There is more intense talking and more munching.
As evening approaches, the three men get up, shake hands and throw the rest of the muesli and other snacks to the crowd. They all stroll down the mountain together.
That's the vision. Here's what it means:
Delphi and the UAW will come to terms on a new hourly wage rate, probably somewhere in the $16 to $18 range. That happens whether or not there is a damaging strike that wounds the supplier, union and GM.
That new wage rate becomes the standard for suppliers and drives changes in other industries.
General Motors agrees to take back some of the Delphi workers at the new lower wage rate.
In exchange for saving those jobs, the UAW lets GM use the new wage as the standard for its new hires and as a factor to adjust the pay of current GM workers, who won't need to take the full hit.
The GM arrangement becomes the pattern.
Some of this comes to pass immediately, but some of it doesn't happen until they all return to the mountaintop for contract negotiations in 2007.
A few of the details are murky -- but I'm sure the next vision will clear them up.