On its face, the so-called Jobs Bank in the current UAW contract seems like economic suicide for U.S. automakers. It requires General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler group to pay laid-off employees nearly full wages and benefits not to work. So one wonders how they plan to persuade the UAW to kill the Jobs Bank in the 2007 contract.
Good luck. The UAW already gave mid-contract concessions on health care. And UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, in a recent interview with Automotive News, didn't sound sympathetic on the issue.
So our guess is that the Jobs Bank will be the No. 1 flashpoint in the 2007 contract talks. Stay tuned.