So I was talking to a source in the car industry. He’s pissed and laughing at the Republican efforts to union bust on the back of the auto crisis. He says that the unions are a problem for keeping GM viable, but not in the way everyone thinks. He said it doesn’t matter if every union worker were making $90 an hour and got free pet-sitting. What the union does that hampers a place like GM is that the union dictates what suppliers GM can us.
So, if you’re building a vehicle that needs x part, depending on the deal GM has with the union, sometimes you can get a bunch of bids on x part from different suppliers and go with the least expensive, but other times you have to just go with the supplier the union dictates, regardless of whether you could get a better deal someplace else.
Obviously, I don’t know how true this is, but, if I were on Mythbusters, I’d call it ‘Plausible.’