Yesterday we reported that newly disclosed details of the Bush emergency loan to GM included clauses forcing the automaker to seek massive concessions from their main union, the UAW, including pegging wages and working conditions to those at non-union U.S. plants.
One major clause that we didn’t mention, however, was that the UAW and its affiliated locals are prohibited from engaging in any strike or work stoppage. If the unions take either type of action, the government can recall the loans and force the company into bankruptcy.
The terms of the government loans extends through December 29, 2011. The UAW has a “no-strike” clause in its current contract that extends though September 2011. However, local unions have different timetables for negotiating their contracts. If the UAW was forced to reopen its contract to make concessions, the no-strike clause could be set aside.
The union is reportedly pushing its allies in Congress to reopen the terms of the loan agreement once the Obama administration takes office.