The crisis in the U.S. auto industry is often blamed on the excessive demands of organized labor, but unions actually tried to push Detroit into reforms that might have spared the Big Three from their current crisis.
Sam Gindin, former assistant to the president of the Canadian Autoworkers' Union, notes that years ago the unions wanted GM, Chrysler and Ford to build smaller cars and favored national health insurance, which would have lifted that huge financial burden off the backs of the companies.
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Gindin says the auto industry rebuffed the recommendations, ceding the small-car market to the Japanese (on the belief it was less profitable) and siding with most other U.S. businesses in opposing government-backed health insurance.
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