So has does the paying off the automakers pay off the unions? The unions get they're power (read money) from, wait for it, autoworkers. If they don't have anyone paying union dues the cash reserves will dry up in about. However, unions are a very vindictive lot. Remember the mob connections of the Jimmy Hoffa?
Another example is locally in Toledo a judge legally kicked out a union of her court because they weren't doing they're jobs. So what happened? Her son's tires were slashed, she was slandered on a local tv station and daily paper, and she had brick thrown through a window.
How is this relevant to the original point of the unions being vindictive? In they're death throws of the cash drying up they would unleash a torrent of reprisals against everyone they gave money to in the last decade for not getting them the money they think they deserve. This kind of arrogant attitude would possibly crush over half our congress and the incoming president.
I personally think would be a great thing. Show us your corruption. We know it exists on both sides of the aisle. I think US politics needs this kind of cleaning. This kind of honesty we haven't seen in decade. Congress, just say no to the bail outs.