Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is not yet convinced that the UAW has given up enough to support the federal loans offered to General Motors and Chrysler LLC.
In a statement to Automotive News today, Corker said it was old news that the UAW had agreed in recent days to eliminate the Jobs Bank at GM, Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. The Jobs Bank pays idled UAW workers nearly full wages and benefits for not working. In December, the UAW suspended the Jobs Bank at each of the Detroit 3.
The UAW agreed to do away with the Jobs Bank in early December, but there are still a number of outstanding issues, Corker said in a statement. I look forward to seeing what progress has been made when the auto companies submit their plans next month.
The $17.4 billion federal bailout package for GM and Chrysler requires the carmakers to show by Feb. 17 how they intend to bring labor costs in line with those at the Japanese transplants.
During Congressional hearings late last year, Corker was among the most outspoken Republican critics of UAW benefits that allow idled workers to collect more than traditional state unemployment benefits. He also targeted supplemental pay, which is paid on top of unemployment benefits, bringing pay for laid-off workers to about 72 percent of working wages.
Corker hasnt softened his position since those hearings.
He said in his statement: Chrysler indicated to us in November that they had to continue to pay upwards of 95 percent of their labor costs even if they arent making a single car.