Who is Detroit to Blow Against the Wind?
Talks Aimed at Automakers' Survival Precarious Condition of Ford Draws Special Attention
By Sholnn Freeman Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 4, 2007; D01
The United Auto Workers union appears to be simultaneously crafting new labor contracts with each of the three Detroit automakers, a break from traditional tactics but one motivated by a desire to keep the financially strapped American companies alive.
Detroit automakers in the past have competed for the position of lead company in the contract talks, viewing it as an opportunity to fashion an agreement that put crosstown rivals on the defensive. With this year's contract talks heading into a final two-week stretch, sources close to the talks say the UAW is being careful to complete a deal that doesn't worsen the problems of any one company, especially Ford.
In Michigan, Ford is viewed as the most endangered of the Detroit automakers. Ford borrowed $23 billion last year, and it is now in the process of breaking up its E…