US Auto bailout talks collapse over union wages

A $14-billion emergency bailout for US automakers collapsed in the Senate Thursday night after the United Auto Workers union refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "terribly disappointed" about the demise of an emerging bipartisan deal to rescue the Big Three. He spoke shortly after Republicans left a closed-door meeting where they balked at giving the automakers federal aid unless their powerful union agreed to slash wages next year to bring them into line with those of Japanese carmakers. Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich, a strong bailout supporter, said the UAW was willing to make the cuts - but not until 2011.