This Is My Grandfather, the AutoWorker

My grandfather, the auto worker

Tonight the Senate did not see fit to take care of autoworkers. They’d rather union bust and hand out money to companies like AIG, so they can take spa retreats and give out golden parachutes.

They’d rather watch Detroit fall further and further and watch Michigan’s unemployment rate go higher and higher.

For Wall St. they asked few questions and wrote larger checks. For Main St. they demand concessions and czars and oversight.

Pensions and health care and worker protection were demonized all in the name of business. The pension that keeps people like my grandfather able to pay for care in their golden years. The health care that most Americans would work their asses off for. The worker protection no one has anymore, but sure could use in this day and age.

Tonight my government could have helped and impacted those who don’t wear suits and instead will leave them out in the cold.

Tonight the missteps of an industry were held up as a symbol of the free market and it’s workers thrown to the wolves despite GOP Senators welcoming foreign counterparts with open arms in the South.

Tonight we told American workers they mattered less than the 100% Japanese government funding of plants in our states.

I’m not one for bailouts. I’m not one to always scream ‘BUY AMERICAN.’

But I am one who supports local jobs, local manufacturing, and local indstury.

I also support the need for unions in a world of WalMarts.

Tonight I stand shoulder to shoulder with American workers and hope we weather the storm to come.



    This is my Grandfather 55 years ago at Ford.

    Why can’t people just understand?

    It’s not like Algebra or something difficult to wrap your mind around it is basic math.

  2. It’s not just the auto workers jobs in Michigan, it’s also Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. It’s not just the auto worker jobs in Michigan, it’s all of the other businesses those autoworkers shop at and buy from. The only good thing to Michigan having a depressed economy is at least the screaming loud off shore racers were pretty much silent on the lakes last summer. No one had enough money to run them.

  3. The priorities of this current government as SO screwed up. They keep kissing the banks’ butts while the banks ruin us all with high interest rates and fees. The banks held a gun to our heads and got their bailout then BOA pulled the trigger anyway on that window company in IL – took some seriously bad press for them to back down. Now this for the auto makers. Apparently DC doesn’t understand how vital the industry is to our national security and continuing independence. They forget history. WWII – and the speed with which we needed to start manufacturing weapons – only the automakers had the infrastructure in place. What if something like that happened again? Sorry, this just makes me so mad. Thanks for the post.

  4. This was so very well said. As I Texan, I am surrounded by people who strongly resisted the ‘bailout.’ They completely refused to listen to logic, and I only heard of one decent alternative, which was to prove as much money to independent car companies to support innovation, assuming that they would hire those who were forced out of jobs.

    Anyway, great post!

  5. I support buying locally where possible.

    I support us having infrastructure that matters.

    The auto industry matters.

  6. The hypocrisy of all of this annoys the crap out of me. With barely a fight we’ll bailout white collar (the Citi thing and the AIG thing really gets me), but ask for help for blue collar and suddenly you have to be responsible for your poor decisions? I’m all for taking responsibility for your actions, but the government is acting in a capricious manner, rewarding some for gross incompetence and punishing those with lesser incompetence.

  7. Queen of Spain says:


    “I am disapponted that the Senate could not reach agreement on a short-term plan for the auto industry. I share the frustration of so many about the decades of mismanagement in this industry that has helped deliver the current crisis. Those bad practices cannot be rewarded or continued. But I also know that millions of American jobs rely directly or indirectly on a viable auto industry, and that the beginnings of reform are at hand. The revival of our economy as a whole should not be a partisan issue. So I commend those in Congress as well as the Administration who tried valiantly to forge a compromise. My hope is that the Administration and the Congress will still find a way to give the industry the temporary assistance it needs while demanding the long-term restructuring that is absolutely required.”

  8. It was bizarre to read the absolute glee that so many had over the failure. I’m not a fan of bailouts, and I’m still pissy about the Wall Street bailout. But for crying out loud, the joyous gloating at the thought of thousands of people losing their jobs. Cripes people!

  9. amen. well said and there are many many who should read this.

  10. I am not one to comment much on politics, but this really saddened me too. It could have worked with the right guidelines and regulations, but instead those in the auto industry will suffer. It’s really frustrating to watch this injustice to those in this industry.

  11. The bailout won’t happen until people get angry.

    Politicians aren’t intimidated by lofty discussions and mannered debates. On the other hand, they react with alacrity when they see a livid, white-hot electorate banging axe-handles against guard-rails. That hasn’t happened yet.

    We’re still in a defeatist mindset. We think it’s we who screwed up. We think our cars aren’t good enough. We think, somehow, we deserve this as some sort of national punishment.

    Unfortunately, things will have to get worse before they can get better. People don’t yet understand what Old George Bush and Bill Clinton did when they let our economy “float” out there in the global soup. All the protections and supports for American workers suddenly became obstacles to our being able to compete.

    Fact: In 2007, GM and Toyota sold, world-wide, about the same number of cars. Yet, Toyota had a huge profit and GM had a multi-billion dollar loss. Why? We all know the answer (and it ain’t that Japan is more efficient).

    Let’s hope President Obama finds a way out for us before our American manufacturing infrastructure collapses. Let’s hope he can lead us out of this mess before people wake up from their long fitful sleep and suddenly see that there’s no cash in the account and no food in the cupboard.

  12. the thing that makes me most sick is that everyone is out to get the automakers, but the bankers who pissed away our money seem exempt from the anger and personal recriminations.
    Unions are not bad. They have made possible most of the work and workplace improvements that we all benefit from, and have ensured that people earned a living wage doing jobs that may be considered low skill. The automakers like to say the unions are the problem, that the automakers are way overpaid, but those figures are propaganda to make the inept executives look like the victims in this whole mess. And they’ve been doing it for a long long time.
    We need to LOAN the money to the automakers and save local jobs. We need to keep people employed and keep people covered by employer provided health insurance. I am frustrated to the point of tears with the inability of our lawmakers to understand this is as essential, scratch that, more important than the banks and wall street.

  13. It’s disturbing how they decide so quickly to save the white collar workers, but the blue collar workers have to wait weeks and possibly lose everything. Our whole economy is balancing on this one decision that so many in govt are using to prove some kind of twisted point.

  14. We can’t blame Detroit’s position on “mismanagement” or “making cars no one wants to buy”. It should be noted that Sweden is giving assistance to Saab, the Japanese government has given extensive help to its automakers, and those Southern Senators who decry a Detroit bailout have given billions in tax breaks and incentives to foreign automakers to set up their non-union shops in their states. How about fair is fair and just give Detroit the help every other automaker is getting?

  15. Gretchen Adamek says:

    What we don’t hear much about regarding Lieberman and his defiant support for McCain is the Obama endorsement. That’s right, when Lieberman was running for the senate, Obama was one of the few democratic senators to endorse him as an independent democrat. More than a slap to the party, Lieberman’s support of McCain was a pretty clear dis of Obama. That he was angry with other democrats whom he considered his friends is understandable, but in order to flip the metaphorical bird at them, he actively tried to hurt Obama’s candidacy. I find that particularly troubling.

  16. Unfortunately, as those of us who used to be from the South can tell you… the handouts to the foreign car makers often far outweigh this so-called “bailout.” They are given land, tax breaks, subsidies, and other incentives worth billions of dollars. This is despite the fact that the reason they build in the south is because they know politicians there won’t allow unions to get a foot hold so they can pay the workers barely more than Wal-Mart. No, the southern senators involved in this are in the pockets of foreign auto makers and that’s why they refused the bailout. It was there intention all along to give their friends from the East some help in the competition field.

  17. I’m all for a bridge loan to the auto companies, but with there current “plan” we will only be delaying the inevitable; another need for a loan, or not being able to re-pay the loan given in a couple years. The Unions need to understand times have changes and the high school educated auto worker can no longer make 75/100k a year, sorry but that’s the cold hard truth.

    Funny, I listen to retired GM management that believes this “Bridge Lone” is a poor idea in its current form and the best thing to do is clean house, file B.R. (evil word I know) and start over.

    And the Wall Street Bail Out was a joke, and I think I said that and even what would happen before the first check was even written.. They wrote 300b in checks, stop now; it’s not helping and save the rest.

    And Happy Birthday, sorry no e-mails but I have been working 7 days.. (not auto related)

  18. Maybe the reason that the Public doesn’t want the Big 3 to get their bailout is because we have too many cars and too many roads. Maybe instead of manufacturing more cars and defacing our rural landscape with more highways, maybe we should make our communities more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and put more money into putting up passenger railroad service between our cities. There’s a lot of people in the American Public besides myself who believe that America should give up having so many cars and instead have a World Class high speed rail system like the Europeans.

  19. Erin,

    I have a simlar picture but I’m the bride and it’s my grandpa, the retired Ford Employee. A employee that invented a part that is still used but got nothing for it. An employee who worked hard to be taken care of and now could have those promises broken.

    I’m a Michigan person where it’s freaking 15 degrees right now and it’s bad here.

    I agree with you. I have to agree for my grandfather and all his buddies that retired and gave their life to Ford. I have to agree for my cousins and family members still working for Ford. We’re an auto industry family and right now many of my family members could be in big trouble.

  20. Nicely written. Some people still appreciate our workers and their quality work.


  1. […] this the right thing to do? This blogger thinks so. Another blogger whose grandfather is a retired auto worker says that last night the government failed her grandfather and people like him. They failed to reach […]

  2. […] there’s so much sad and depressing news surrounding Ford and the auto industry. Erin from Queen of Spain Blog posted about the trouble in Detroit and her grandfather being in the auto industry. It made me […]

  3. […] is Erin funny as hell…she’s true blue to her family and her hometown.  Her post on her grandfather the autoworker moved me. Destiny, you make me proud to be your […]

  4. […] you signed up yet? I just looked and I noticed that my friend Destiny (also known as Erin, QueenofSpain) has signed up.  I was also happy to note that Liz from ThisFullHouse has her bowling shoes on!  […]

Speak Your Mind