Lehman vs UAW

In a diary at Daily Kos, 4workers makes a great point on the differences between how union and white collar financial jobs are being talked about during the economic crisis:

When Lehman Brothers failed, I didn’t hear talk about how the employees (not the execs, but the employees)there made too much, needed to accept less, didn’t need these “legacy benefits” like health care. And I’ll bet a lot of them made more than the average auto worker.

But now that it’s blue collar auto workers in trouble, all we hear is that they need lower expectations, to be more competitive with foreign workers—-and that unions, especially, are in the way of that competitiveness. This despite the concessions the UAW made and is continuing to make in the spirit of “we’re all in this together-ness.”

This is a great point. There is clearly a double standard in terms of how most politicians and the press are willing to talk about affected workers in various industries. It’s frustrating and sickening — and this sort of commentary ensures that the financial industry will get bailout after bailout, while a sector that connects to millions of jobs in America gets run through the ringer for a comparatively tiny sum.

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