Press may have to adjust its anti-union rhetoric in light of Toyota's dismal sales

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Japanese car company's sales in America fell 40 percent in May. The reason I highlight the showroom collapse is not to slight Toyota, but because I couldn't help thinking back to the end of last year when the media debate about bailing out Detroit's Big Three was raging, especially on cable TV, and hearing time and time again from experts about how the American car companies had been crippled by greedy unions (whose workers made $70 an hour!), and that if the Big Three were more like Toyota they wouldn't need a bailout.

Did I mention sales at Toyota, which has no labor unions, cratered 40 percent last month?

Still, the anti-union narrative persists. This week in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Ingrassia wrote a column dubbed "How GM Lost Its Way." The take-away? It's pretty much the unions' fault. GM lets those workers run wild with outlandish pay and benefits, and they drove the company into the ditch.

Wonder what Toyota's excuse today is.

UPDATE: The media's anti-union mindset was visible on MSNBC this week when the New York Times' Andrew Sorkin, the same person who last year helped launch the myth of the overpaid autoworkers, suggested it was nearly impossible to name a single "successful" company that employs union workers. CF quickly knocked that down, but it's pretty clear how unions are viewed by lots of media elites.

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