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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Making US Manufacturing Work

General Motors and the United Auto Workers stunned Wall Street and the labor movement this week by proposing the ultimate buyout package. GM proposes to pension off every one of its 131,000 GM and Delphi workers in the United States, with cash bonuses of up to $140,000 for taking early retirement.
 
Who would make the cars? A new generation of lower-paid workers. It is a mark of GM's fragility that the UAW considers this about the best deal the union can get.
 
GM lost $10.6 billion last year. Its bonds are now classified junk. The stock market values the entire company at just $12.4 billion, a fraction of Toyota's $177 billion. Wall Street reacted to the prospect of this daring desperation plan by bidding up GM stock -- by exactly one cent.
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