While Congress and President Bush are working out a bailout deal for the Auto Industry, the United Auto Workers Union is funding a posh golf course and “education center” that has been losing money for years. Maybe along with caps on CEO salaries, the government should look into making the union give up their money pit country club. American tax payers should not be paying for union greed!
Black Lake Golf Club is the newest addition to the UAWâ€™s Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, situated on 1,000 heavily forested acres along the southeast side of Black Lake, one of Michiganâ€™s largest inland lakes near Onaway, Michigan.
Black Lake Golf Club complements the Centerâ€™s recreational facilities, which now include a beautiful gym with two full-sized basketball courts, an Olympic-size indoor pool, and exercise and weight room, table-tennis and pool tables, a sauna, beaches, walking and bike trails, softball and soccer fields and a boat launch ramp.
The UAW selected one of golfâ€™s most acclaimed course architects, Rees Jones, to design an environmentally responsible, championship caliber course. It was a challenge eagerly embraced by Jones, Golf World Magazineâ€™s â€œArchitect of the Yearâ€ in 1995.
From the DC Examiner
What do UAW executives and workers do to relax? They play golf at the unionâ€™s highly touted championship caliber Black Lake Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones. The UAW golf club is in secluded Onaway, MI, as part of the unionâ€™s Walter and Mary Reuther Family Education Center. Also part of Black Lake are a learning center, a practice facility with practice bunkers, chipping and putting greens, and a small, nine-hole par-three Little Course.
Golf Digest named Black Lake as one of top â€œupscale public courses.â€ And Michigan Golf described the course as a â€œclassicâ€ that includes â€œwide, well-groomed fairways [that] provide ample room for big hitters.â€ But some big hitters get special privileges at Black Lake. Tee times can be reserved up to two weeks in advance by UAW execs, compared to only three days for non-UAW duffers. Cost to play Black Lake is $95 per round.
Remember all the much-deserved bad press Detroitâ€™s high-paid Big Three executives received last month when they flew in their corporate jets to beg Washington for a tax-paid bailout? Has anybody in Congress or the media bothered to ask UAW head Ron Gettelfinger about his unionâ€™s assets and perks like Black Lake Golf Club?
As head of one of the nation’s most powerful unions, Gettelfinger doesn’t earn nearly as much as Detroit’s top CEOs. GM’s Rick Wagoner, for example, made more than $14 million last year. But Gettelfinger’s total compensation of nearly $160,000 annually far exceeds the U.S. median gross family income of $61,500 and puts him among the top five percent of all tax filers, according to U.S. Census Bureau and IRS data.
And the UAW is anything but poor, with net assets reportedly worth an estimated $1.23 billion. UAW membership has been declining for years, as it has for most major unions, but annual income from member dues, interest and other revenues exceeded $300 million in 2006.