Soviet is the Russian word for a labor union or “workers’ local council” where the workers are in actual control of company as opposed to just using collective bargaining to protect their interests. On December 1th, 2008, the largest, most powerful, and most destructive to America soviet in the US was handed a bitter defeat.
The US Senate – or at least the Republicans still holding the line within it – defeated the soviets in a quiet but brilliant move. Led by U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, they successfully blocked the Auto Bailout by adding an amendment to the bill that called for more concessions from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union than had been previously asked for by the Democrats who originally crafted the bill.
The amended bill recieved bipartisan support in the US Senate and would have passed into law, but the UAW refused to abide by this new, fairer bill that included the “Corker Amendment” and removed themselves from the negotiation table. I find no surprises there.
The unamended, staunchly pro-Labor bill failed in the Senate 52-35.
Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) has claimed that he won’t bring this issue up again until the next Congress convenes. This means that there is little chance for an Auto Bailout before the “Big Three” – or “Big Two,” since Ford “Miraculously” came up with enough funds for 2009 – file for bankruptcy, which may allow them to renegotiate or repudiate their lopsided contracts with the UAW soviet.