Superb article! The UAW Still Doesn't Get It By Charles PaynePublished September 16, 2010 | FOXBusiness I guess when the White House essentially gives you an auto company it’s easy to become emboldened and unrealistic. But, the United Auto Workers really seems to be making a giant mistake in Wisconsin. The union turned down a contract extension at Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK), the super-hot maker of military vehicles, saying it was appalled at the offer it received from Oshkosh management: • 3.5% pay hike • $750 signing bonus • No healthcare premium increases • Incremental increases in pension and fringe benefits The extension was offered for a year, and that angered union leaders looking for more long-term security. On a thread for the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, this is how one union worker replied to the ongoing criticism of the union’s decision: “You idiots think it's all about the money. It has nothing to do with the money. It has to do with the company not honoring the laws of FMLA. A guy has to take care of his wife after a heart attack. He is walked out on and doesn't have a job. A woman with cancer needs time off for chemo, she is walked out on for attendance. A man's wife has a baby and he needs a week off. His FMLA is denied. Just a few examples. … These are the rights we are fighting for. The rights many other companies have in place already. This is why we rejected the contract…. Yeah, you all wanna work here? Better not get sick or need time off to help your family.” The answer to his last question would be ‘yes’ from the 14.9 million not working in this country and the 8.9 million working part-time for economic reasons and the 2.4 million marginally attached to the workforce. Actually, there are many people with jobs who would have taken the offer in a heartbeat. Indeed, management at Harley Davidson (NYSE:HOG) knew there were people all over the country and all over the world eager to work for decent wages. Ironically, that same knowledge seeped into the consciousness of the folks who run the United Steelworkers of America union and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Harley was ready to bolt Wisconsin, but decided to stay put this week after unions agreed to tough terms. Wage Freeze Laying off 325 workers Union workers moved to same pension plan as salaried workers Oshkosh won a string of big-time military truck contracts in 2009, and there is a ton of money sloshing around the company. But, those trucks are mostly for the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. What happens when those wars are over? It wasn’t too long ago that the very existence of the company was questionable. The stock touched $4.74 on March 6, 2009, and has been under a fair amount of pressure more recently. For an organization whose rally cry is “fight greed,” it’s amazing the UAW is playing such a dangerous and irresponsible game. Maybe it has been inferred to OSK management by the union that getting new U.S. government contracts could become more difficult if their demands aren’t met? For what it's worth, what happened in Wisconsin this summer is a microcosm of what's going on in this country. The same people pulling the strings and selling fear want lavish amounts of money showered on union workers and less on people without jobs. They aren't considering the future or how the nation could grow if we lighten the load on entitlements and political payoffs. On that note, the government is really twisted and sick when it thinks allowing me to keep more of the money I earn is the same as giving me money. Say what!!! It doesn't cost the government a dime to allow job creators to keep more of the money they earn. The nerve of the government to wedge itself into private transactions is an affront, but to actually attempt to divide the nation by pushing through policies that say people that didn't pay federal income tax deserved a rebate while those being crushed by Uncle Sam deserve only our scorn is wrong. I hope the GOP stands its ground and makes sure all Americans enjoy the Bush tax cuts in this critical time when we need to unlock spending and enthusiasm, and not continue browbeating successful people. The President who was going to unite the nation continues to pit it against itself. It's not social justice, or smart, to punish success. People are angry, and it's not only with Wall Street, and it has never been with the woman that owns the wig store on Main Street. Fanning the flames of that anger in hopes it will destroy your enemy is as dangerous as starting a wildfire in the hopes it only engulfs your neighbor's home. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” - Abraham Lincoln Lincoln lost eight election attempts, including Senate runs in 1854 and 1858, and yet won the presidency in 1860. People must do the right thing even if it means losing now.