Several Democrats complimented the UAW for agreeing to difficult concessions.
"I think the workers have taken more of the hit, and I haven't heard much about the bond-holders," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "This only way this is going to work is if everyone gives."
On Wednesday, the union agreed to modify their 2007 contracts and said it would be open to future changes. Most significantly, they agreed to suspend the criticized “jobs bank,” a program that allows about 3,600 laid-off workers to draw nearly full salaries. The UAW also agreed to put off billions in payments to a new retiree health fund scheduled to start next year.
In his testimony, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said that union workers make $14 to $28 per hour. He called the often-citied $73 an hour figure “outdated and inaccurate.”