The Wall Street Journal, in its lead editorial this morning, sums up the problem facing GM and the UAW:
The Big Three’s woes — from shrinking market share to high benefit costs to overcapacity — were built up over decades. They’re the fault of both management and the UAW, which saw these problems coming but refused to do anything real to address them. The great tragedy is that the two sides didn’t make these hard choices 20 years ago, when they might have saved tens of thousands of jobs and spared a region much economic distress. Better to take a strike and its costs now, than continue the slow slide toward Chapter 11.
UPDATE: The National Association of Manufacturers adds:
Note to UAW members: If you want job security, go into government service. GM is in trouble today because previous managements made promises that simply were not sustainable in the long term. The current management is determined to avoid that mistake. To survive and prosper, GM must remain flexible. It’s a tough world out there for manufacturing, tougher than it’s ever been before. The UAW rank and file need to accept that reality, suck it up and get back to work.