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Few Tears for Chrysler

Well, the crowd that reads washingtonpost.com is not particularly sympathetic to the problems at Chrysler, which announced that it is closing all its U.S. automobile factories for 30 days.

Yes, there are some who have sympathy both for Chrysler and the United Auto Workers and want the U.S. industry to survive, but there is a strong anti-union and anti-federal bailout tone to the comments today. One reader is obviously angry with his Dodge dealer and is transferring that feeling to the whole U.S auto industry; others say that foreign manufacturers are making better cars.

And finally there is the gloom-and-doom crowd, looking at the economy generally and seeing the problems in the auto industry as reflective of the larger economic issues and predictive of a very difficult near-term future. Meanwhile there are reports that Chrysler and General Motors are once again talking about a possible merger.

We'll start with bjackson1, who wrote, "I hear it argued that if we don't bailout the automakers we will lose jobs. However, regardless if the Big 3 gets money or not, they must consolidate which means massive layoffs are coming... I'd rather invest our money in growing industries and the future of this country..."

news5 said, "Bet they never re-open...."

hairguy01 predicted that, "The full-fledged Bush-GOP Depression is just around the corner."

wesco1 said, "they should be forced into chap 7 immediately. they have no green vehicles. they have no future ones either. their cars are built on obsolete mercedes platforms. jeep and the challenger are the only desirable units they make. these products could be better managed as part of toyota or honda."

momohund wrote, "...The union was supposed to protect the worker from unfair capitalistic policies and corrupt business people, not inflated salaries and me-me working conditions. Where the UAW is, a person can't even change a light bulb. Only the UAW can do it, at a ridiculously inflated fee."

But presto668 said, "...The problem for the car companies is not wages. The problem is paying the contractually-obligated benefits to their thousands of retirees. Even if the UAW agreed to work for nothing, cars would still cost something like $30/hr to build just due to the benefits costs for former employees..."

And ElrodinTennessee offered that "The UAW is not the reason these companies are in trouble. The fact that nobody wants to buy their crappy products is the problem. Labor costs are no more than about 10% of all costs in the automotive business. But when nobody buys what you're making, you lose."

maphound said, "This may be a good way to demonstrate the effect of what will occur if we lose Chrysler. Let them all close down for a month and let us see how it effects our economy."

wpfree wrote, "I left the Dodge dealer thirty minutes ago... He is wealthy, gives not a crud about service, and forgets he was born on third base due to Dodge. He thinks he hit a triple. His loyalty is to his bank account... Yes, I will never buy a Dodge again..."

officermancuso asked, "...How is it that our steel industry has come back from near death? It, too, has a union giving the workers some bargaining power."

RobParker wrote, "Must be nice to get a 1 month+ paid vacation from my "almost" bankrupt company..."

SeahorseFive wrote, "...I honestly don't see how the gov't propping up a dying industry is beneficial to the nation. Shouldn't the gov't be seeking out new industries more in tune with today's needs?"

But graced8669 said, "No jobs, no money, no purchases! Can nobody understand that jobs are essential!!"

Client-9 wrote, "Good. Stay closed, unless and until you're prepared to offer a quality product!"

We'll close with kubrickstan, who warned, "...all you auto bailout bashers you know what...your jobs are next...soon you will lose your home, soon you'll be unemployed...it's just a matter of time...tick tock tick tock."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  December 18, 2008; 6:39 AM ET
Categories:  Auto Industry , Economy Watch  | Tags: Auto Industry, Chrysler  
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Comments

Trillions and trillions of dollars for the thieves on Wall Street, but not one cent for the people who actually work with their hands...

Posted by: jerkhoff | December 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Its pretty easy to talk big as do the nay sayers but I'm most certain its not their jobs they want to shut down. There may have been poor management and leadership at the top but that was apparent with the financial intstitutions as well and I didn't recall these same people willing to shut them down. 700 billion granted there wasn't anything close to the amount requested from the American Auto industry and we aren't talking about a give away but a repayable loan. The American worker should not be sacrifice because of inept management. The emphasis on loan restrictions should not be on the backs of American workers but on those that mismanaged the industry.

The UAW and workers have given concessions not only recently but in last year as well. However, that really isn't the issue. The truth of the issue lies in the desire of Republicans and more specifically southern Senators of foreign Auto Industry states wanting to bust the UAW and deny America workers their right to Union represention. A foreign sell out to avoid union organizating efforts at their southern foreign plants. This is nothing more than a sell out of millions of American jobs to protect Southern foreign manufacturing and nothing more than further attacks on the American middle class by Republican Conservatism.

You nay sayers might think differently if it were your jobs being sold out by less than honest Republican Senators, but instead you continue follow what most certainly amounts a national disgrace, the sell out of American workers and their jobs for the gain of Southern States.

Posted by: 1ken | December 18, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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