Conservatives use GM bankruptcy to launch union offensive

Conservatives are using the bankruptcy of General Motors to pounce on organized labor, complaining that union-favored policies led to GM and other businesses' struggles.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggested Wednesday that the lack of so-called "right-to-work" laws in Michigan, which would allow employees to join a workplace without having to join or pay dues to a union, led in part to GM's downfall.

"I think all of us can look at the model in Detroit and understand what was wrong, and structurally compare that to the other manufacturers in the right-to-work states and see what we needed to do," he said during an appearance on CNBC.

Cantor also echoed concerns by some other Republican lawmakers that the Obama administration had favored union interests over bondholders in its bailout agreement with GM.

"There has been a downright suspension of the law," Cantor complained about the bondholders' treatment.

Another interest group opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), lambasted union contracts as having forced the financial peril of GM and Chrysler before executives from those companies appear on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

"The reality is that union boss demands on the automotive companies resulted in contracts with wage and benefit commitments that could not be met and now workers suffer as massive layoffs ensue," Katie Packer, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) said in a statement.