A Web of Inefficient Union Work Rules....
Now that everyone is criticizing work rules, it's easy to forget that they don't represent a perversion of the collective bargaining process--they are the intended result of that process, and were once celebrated as such.
That's why Democrats are deluding themselves if they think they can save Detroit by mandating that GM and Ford build high-MPG small cars in the U.S.--thanks to inefficient work rules, they'll be overpriced high-MPG small cars, and badly built high-MPG small cars. That's why Republicans are deluding themselves if they think a wage cut that saves Ford and GM $800 per car is going to make all the difference--it won't, if the trim still falls off and the carpets bunch up.
Sen. Corker's proposed bailout compromise apparently did try to tackle the issue of work rules. But the UAW balked at the Corker requirements (which would also have cut pay to parity with Toyota and Honda's U.S. factories) and the deal collapsed. That shouldn't be a surprise. A "web of rules" is what adversarial Wagner Act unions were designed to produce.