It's going to be a bitter pill to swallow for people who've enjoyed union pay and benefits for a lot of years, but the agreement approved last week by United Auto Workers members working for Delphi and General Motors represents the future of the auto industry.
First, because the changing and increasingly global nature of the economy means things weren't going to be the way they were in any case.
Second, because without agreements such as this, it's doubtful there will be a future.
Going from $27 an hour to $14-18.50 will hurt, no doubt. The day of the line job providing for a comfortable lifestyle with family medical benefits while Mom stays home is on its last legs for a while. It's a double shame because jobs such as that drove the economic engines of areas such as this one for decades.
But the day of all a region's eggs being in one basket is over. In the same way our society, choices of entertainment and sources of information have become fragmented and specialized, so to is our economy.
The Delphi deal, grudgingly approved, is just the beginning.