Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 UAW ignorance Previous Next
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 341
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This has to be my favorite quote from a union member ever.

Martin Shawl, 53, a 28-year Delphi Corp. and General Motors Corp. worker from Bay City, said he doesn't believe the Detroit automakers are in financial trouble.

"It's voodoo accounting," he said, questioning the timing of the Chrysler Group's losses and GM's restatement of earnings due to accounting troubles

He said the union shouldn't give back anything to the companies, and it should end a two-tier wage scale that pays new hires less than longtime workers.


Ok, Martin I guess your 28 years bolting something on to something has qualified you to speak on such things.

I think ignorance like this is the problem with unions and union members today.

Martin needs to put on his satin UAW jacket with his name stenciled on it and go out in the real world and try to find a job with the pay and benefits he gets now with his minimal skill set.

The reason the big 3 are in it so deep now are because of the union contracts they approved in the past. Now is the time for the unions and their members to realize that they had it good for a long time but the time accept less or lose their jobs all together.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8677
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The unfortunate thing is that people like Martin seem to believe that they work for the UAW, not the actual company that pays them.

Sometimes I wonder if there is mass brainwashing in the UAW. Does he also believe that there was "voodoo accounting" at the time of the last neotiations when the foolish auto company leadership gave them everything.


The UAW is dying and we all know it. The problem is that it often seems that UAW membership would prefer them to go out of business (read: no job) than give concessions.

Their influence in Wasahington is even below that of the domestic auto makers which is pretty sad.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 377
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I heard a UAW guy on WJR yesterday morning and he was saying the same crap. One statement I recall was "how can you maintain market share if you close plants?"

I guess it never occurred to him that market share comes from market DEMAND, not production capacity. He seems to think that as long as you make millions of cars, someone will by them regardless. These guys are largely the reason we have Granholm, she takes advantage of their economic ignorance.

(Message edited by perfectgentleman on March 27, 2007)
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Thnk2mch
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Username: Thnk2mch

Post Number: 825
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Guess he doesn't have one of these yet.

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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 449
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

on the flip side of that, if you arent paid a decent wage, you wont be buying the cars either.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 378
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Non union workers make good wages, it is not about just wages. It is the ability to run a company without idiotic rules that kill your efficiency, the ability to promote those that are good workers and get rid of the bad apples, and the ability to operate as a team and not adversaries.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8680
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The UAW makes a small percentage of the car buying population. That logic makes no sense from a business perspective. If it was that logical why not just give the UAW membership a free car?
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 342
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 7:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jt1,

Your first comment reminded me of a great meeting I was in one time.

It was a company wide meeting and an low level employee was asking the GM when he would be getting a raise from the company and that he had only been getting union raises.

The GM replied with something like "who do you think pays you??".

It was union ignorance at its finest.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3938
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 7:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miss_cleo, I agree... and then everyone will be living like Onslow...
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 236
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First of all, how do you know the man doesnt have any skills? He may do some electrical or carpentry on the side. Auto workers, like workers in many industries, often work and move around many different departments. Try doing their work; many of them retire broken and mangled.

Executive compensation and severance pay is often beyond excessive,riling many shareholders (who cares about the workers right)? Last I heard the big three had about 5 billion in reserve. The Auto companies are investing profits in real estate and other ventures.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 864
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No one has yet mentioned that management along with the UAW workers have seen pay increases since the 80s. Recently mgt has asked for more give backs while they keep paying themselves bonuses. When you guys gonna wake up? It's not the dummy (your words) on the line sucking the lives out of these once vibrant companies, its the people running them that have no passion for the automobile, just balance sheets.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1936
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

not just the people running them, but teh shareholders, too, who want excessive returns on their investment - kinda like the usury the credit card companies are collecting

btw, accounting isn't as tight as non-accountants believe it to be - ask any accountant - he can make the numbers say damned near anything

btw you all heard about David Stockman and his seven dwarves at Collins & Aikman, right?
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 343
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not saying the executives who run these companies aren't overpaid either. They are just smart enough not say anything.

I don't know why everyone hates on shareholders. I don't think they want excessive returns(Kerkorian excluded). I just think they want some return on their investment in a company. I know I do.

So Terryh. What have the big 3 been investing in with all of their extra money? Last I checked they were actually selling off parts of their companies to focus on automobile production.

Which could be a whole different thread about why did GM sell 51% of GMAC?

That seemed really dumb and shortsighted to me.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8691
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe they did it because GM's financial situation was having a negative impact on GMAC's credit rating. Selling off 51% allows GMAC to get much better rates and in turn makes the 49% that GM owns more profitable.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 451
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 7:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miss_cleo, I agree... and then everyone will be living like Onslow...


------------------------------ ----------


Oh Nice!
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 6642
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 8:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is this the same UAW that has resisted members' requests to have more detail on political contributions, which have been funneled exclusively to the Democratic Party?

The same crowd can't seem to understand why Air America goes bankrupt while other talk formats have record listeners (and advertisers, and advertising revenue)

Miss Cleo's silly "if you arent paid a decent wage, you wont be buying the cars either" highlights the ignorance. The poorest of our poor somehow manage to purchase a car. Somehow union workers think it their right in America to have a union insure that they are able to buy multiple cars, homes and other toys. They enjoy a lifestyle based on (sometimes minimal) skills that would earn minimum wage elsewhere - but whose lifestyle is the envy of citizens throughout the world. That lifestyle cannot be sustained for repeated generations, so those of you that got it, enjoy it. It's likely not to be repeated.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 866
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 8:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why would any one want to live in a society where the majority of the people are not paid much and have no healthcare? Do you really think just hourly peons are up for screwin'?
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 454
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 8:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

THe hourly workers are only carrying out the orders that come from the higher ups, they are making/doing what they are told. So why oh why when the company loses money, they are the first to go, most picked on, least respected?

The problem with the car companies comes from and started with the CEO's . Their ignorance, their bad decision making...but who gets the blame and takes the brunt of the cuts? the little guy who is only doing what he is told.

Thats some screwed up shit some of you are buying into.
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 6643
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 8:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh, so Cambrian, why don't you just start a business and pay folks alot, along with their healthcare? It's easy, everyone should do it.

Go ahead - be a part of the solution, not the problem.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 455
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 8:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It could be done easily if the CEOs were not paid 8 mil a year.......I guess they cant get by on only 2 mil with the rest being used for health care etc....
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8693
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 9:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This argument that CEO/high level executive pay (while I agree is way too high) placing a huge burden on the bottom line is ridiculous. It is however important because it shows how little the rank and file really understand of the economics of a busines the size of an auto company.

Here is a little perspective:

Executive salaries at GM:
Wagoneer - $2.2 MM
Lutz - $1.5 MM
Cowger - $850K
Gottscalk - $1MM

So 4 of the top people make $5.55 MM in salary. When considering the average union pay + benefits is around $100K (we'll use $50K just to quiet the complainers. $5.55MM/$50k = 111 employees.

Let's say bonus structure triples their pay that would mean that making a very conservative assumption of $50k per UAW employee at 16.65MM for the top 4 execs. Their salary inflated against deflated UAW salaries is only equivalent to 333 employees in a company of tens of thousands.

Your claim that executive pay is killing GM is ridiculous.

Bear in mind that they are running a company that had $208 Billion in sales last year. I think that they have more than 100 times the responsibility than the average floor worker.

I apologize for using something as silly as logic in this argument. I am sure that you will have a well thought out, logical rebuttal.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 458
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 9:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your claim that executive pay is killing GM is ridiculous.

youre right, you forgot the bad decisions THEY made, they put the company in the position they are in today, NOT the hourly guy.


Hows that for logic?
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 741
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 9:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If unions are such a great institution, you'd think that they would have no trouble increasing their ranks. You'd think that there would be no need for unions to oppose "right to work" laws since it would be self-evident to every worker that they needed the benefits and protections of a union. You'd also think that during organizing attempts, the unions would be confident enough of their cause and respectful enough of their prospective members to allow them to vote using a secret ballot - but apparently that is not the case any more.

Why is it then, that unions are having such a tough time organizing and their membership is at an all-time low?

Is it because the average non-union worker is too stupid to see the benefits of belonging to a union? Is it because the companies are too powerful and that despite Federal Law limiting their activities during organizing attempts, they are able to coerce their workers into voting "no"?

Maybe in some cases the answer is "yes" to that last reason and they should be punished accordingly. But I doubt that there are very many non-union workers who fall into that "too stupid" category. It is more likely that these non-union workers ask themselves if they want to work at a place where:

A) everyone with the same job classification is rewarded the same as the person who does the least amount of work?
B) personal initiative is actively discouraged by your peers?
C) you have to have additional money deducted from your paycheck to cover the costs of:
  • getting the jobs back of those who have been fired for excessive absenteeism, substance abuse, etc.
  • doing union business with suppliers that are owned and operated by the spouses and friends of elected union officials
  • supporting political candidates whose idealogy you disagree with


After asking themselves these questions, they then have to make a personal decision about whether the trade-offs are worth any potential benefits the union might "win" for the workers.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8695
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Your claim that executive pay is killing GM is ridiculous.

youre right, you forgot the bad decisions THEY made, they put the company in the position they are in today, NOT the hourly guy.


Hows that for logic?



So you are saying that anything good that happens is due to the UAW and anything bad is due to leadership. You certainly have bought the UAW line.

Many of the Big 3s struggles are due to legacy costs, inflated wages and pensions. While it was stupid for leadership to agree to much of it the UAW does not get off free on it either.

If you are talking about other stupid decisions I would ask that you outline them so I can respond to them individually. Claiming stupid decisions without backing them up with real examples if a red herring if you ask me.

I will concede on their dependance on SUVs beyond that I would love to hear all of the stupid decisions that you are so certain about.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 378
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is enough blame to go around for all hourly and salary. How about the hourly people receiving 95% of their pay while on "lay-off". Figure that into Jt1's formula. I bet that amount is significantly higher than the exec's pay. At least the execs are working daily for their salary. I do agree, however, that a significant cut in their inflated salaries would send a message to the hourly employees that they are willing to sacrifice also for the good of the company.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 380
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not only the UAW...Last week I saw a bumper sticker "Save Michigan jobs, don't shop at Kroger!". Apparently this was in response to Kroger moving some jobs out of state last year. Wouldn't the correct logic be to encourage people to shop there so Kroger needs more employees?
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Paulc
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Username: Paulc

Post Number: 123
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1 and others... a few observations and comments as the "anti-union / blame the worker" sentiment runs rampant within this forum as of late. The blame for these industry-based woes is not as simple or unilateral as the "us versus them" mentality - which is the ultimate mentality that damns our region or lack thereof.

* For those of you who feel they have captured the "true spirit" of union workers' mentality via a few soundbites or worker statements - have you ever worked in a union production environment for the Big 3? My father did for almost 30 years. He made a wage that supported our family of three. He worked hard and we were by no means "wealthy." In my experience, in which I worked at Detroit Axle for Chrysler, I worked beside some of the hardest working - quality minded people I have seen in any job. The work is not "cushy" - try to perform some of the repititious / labor-intensive work for 40 hrs. per week for many years of your life. Those who made what I would consider to be "great money" worked 70-80 hrs. per week (via voluntary and involuntary overtime) performing the same tasks which not only require skill but great physical endurance. These folks are not simply tightening "a bolt to a widget." As in any work environment there were abuses (absenteeism, addiction issues, etc.) but these were commensurate with most work environments. I cannot speak for other plants or shops that are union within the Big 3, but to pigeonhole all "union" workers under the guise of "unskilled, lazy, entitlement mentality, etc." is unfair at best. I now have worked in a corporate salaried (non-automotive related) position for the last 10 years and I see the same abuses and mentalities cited above - let's be real here.

* During my experience, joining the union was a "condition for employment." To MikeG's points, let the workers decide. I would assume though, that most if given the free choice, would choose protection and advocacy. It seems that there is a faction within this forum that believes that free-market capitalism / "trickle down" economics is the answer and that private business will take care of there own and all will benefit - I say let the workers choose. If the union rolls are decreasing and offer so little to their workers, why do they appear to be such a threat?

* Finally, I believe that the sacrifices should come from both sides - corporate and union. But in addition to trimming the fat, regulation has not been on the side of the American auto manufacturer. Also, legacy costs were agreed upon at the time by the corporation and the union through collective bargaining. A majority of these costs continue to be health-care related. I doubt that any of the parties involved at the time could have imagined just how exponential the increases in health care costs would become due to "Big Health."

I do not claim to know all of the answers - but in our "new economy" sacrifices will need to be made in addition to sound business decisions (creating desirable product, etc.). I would just ask that anyone "blaming the union" would make informed comments about those who take pride in their work for the company as members of the UAW.
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C_p
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Username: C_p

Post Number: 20
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Having worked as a supplier to all of the Big 3 for 30 years of my industrial sales career, and having gone to the plants 3-5 times a week, and having dealt face to face with "union" employees, it still amazes me that one car gets out the door. I have only encountered this attitude of negativity at union plants, however when visiting small feeder plants where the average jane or joe makes less than half of the union income,and no way near the benefits for the same or more amount of work time, the employees are grateful for thier job's and thier smaller paychecks, and have 100% less attitude than "union" workers. What's up with that.
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1391
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A) everyone with the same job classification is rewarded the same as the person who does the least amount of work?

In most union shops that are not industrial, the union only guarantees a minimum wage in the "shop", if you can get yourself over the scale, do it.

B) personal initiative is actively discouraged by your peers?

That's just silly. What do you mean?

C) you have to have additional money deducted from your paycheck to cover the costs of:

* getting the jobs back of those who have been fired for excessive absenteeism, substance abuse, etc.

Don't you think that workers deserve a review of their firings? Even the biggest bonehead should have representation on the floor. Nobody should be subject to random firings and unions are there to represent everybody.


* doing union business with suppliers that are owned and operated by the spouses and friends of elected union officials

Or by friends and relatives of the bosses.


* supporting political candidates whose idealogy you disagree with

I actually agree with you (kind of) here. In my opinion, the money thrown at Democrats by the unions has been wasted. I want to see bang for our buck and I want to see Debbie Scabmenow (for instance) return every union dime she ever got.

It's impossible to argue for unions on this board and so I'll stop. It's simply amazing that people would argue for less money and less representation.

thanks, Paulc. Good post.
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Cambrian
Member
Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 868
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"If you are talking about other stupid decisions I would ask that you outline them...."

1. Divestment in the US and investment in Asia, then crying the blues about lost market share.

2. Designing boring cars for most of the 1990s

3. Spotlighting what the rank and file make to smokescreen the opulent pay and bonus packages given to mgt. Sorry Wagoneer makes way more than 5.5 mil. That is what he's paid this year, base line, yes, but the stock goodies, if he pleases Wall Street by outsourcing more jobs will at least tripple that 5.5M.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8698
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

PaulC,

I have worked with UAW workers for many years and know that many/most of them are hard workers. I have also worked with minimum wage people that are very hard workers.

I have two points in response to that:

1. My gripe is with the protectionism for the sub par workers. I have dealt with many of them.
2. The market should disctate value. I have worked in non-union factories and those people did not work any les than UAW plants. While I respect how hard the work can be the simple fact of the matter is that the non-skilled worker can (and should be able to be) replaced easily. Simple economics.

IN my years of working with the union I have also seen:

1. People drinking/sleeping on the job.
2. Known of many 'you clock me in, I'll clock you out schemes'
3. A larger concern for protecting union jobs than what is right for the company.

I do not absolve management in this situation but I think that the union members need to realize that manual, unskilled (I am not talkiing about the electricians, die makers, etc) laborers will need to sacrifice on some of the upper middle class lifestyle that they are accustomed.

The UAW needs to be willing to work for a successful company (remember the nice profit sharing UAW guys got in the late nineties, early 2000s?) instead of protecting their own interests as priority 1.

Some questions for you:

1. Have you every tried to bring outside contractors in to do work at UAW facility even when the UAW is fully utilized and can't do the work? It still gets fought.

2. Have you ever tried to get something done at a plant after writing up a UAW employee for improper or unacceptable work?

3. Have you ever have tens of thousands of dollars lost in a S&R area only have the UAW protect the person that signed for it and misplaced it?

4. Have you ever had work fought against by the local because it would save millions annually and cut 1-2 jobs. I can assure you that in the minds of some those 1-2 jobs are worth more to the UAW than the millions in cost savings.

I can go on and on if you would like.

I agree that the vast majority of UAW employers work hard and care about their job. If they would allow the 5% that are more worried about interfering than working to be let go it would go a long way in helping repair the image of the UAW to many of us.

Support the good workers but let the dead weight and unproductive people go. That is a very important step to overcome.
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Paulc
Member
Username: Paulc

Post Number: 124
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ORF - Thank you. Based on your past and present postings, we tend to agree on much. Cheers.

JT1 - Thank you for the clear and detailed response. In regards to the questions you had for me - the obvious answer is "no," as I was not in such a position and I am sure you could cite many more examples. In response to your points, which appear to be based on personal experience - I will certainly not refute you. It does appear however that the common denominator is not necessarily the hourly worker - but the union representation. This was another point I forgot to make - in my experience, the "advocacy" at the "shop level" was often mired in politics and favoritism, etc. As in any organized group - it is only as strong as its weakest link. In my experience I saw a little too much "bed sharing" between the union folks and the white collar brass. Many of the union contacts in our plant were workers with many years of experience who appearred to have been "placed" to wait out their retirement. This "layer" appears to be what is making the union inneffective and counterproductive in your examples. At this level, I think there needs to be some "flushing." The folks who volunteer (as I did) for groups such as PQI, etc. would be good candidates in my opinion, as they are not "institutionalized." Again - I cannot speak to every situation at every shop, but I believe that the spirit of the union has a good opportunity to be revamped when many of these folks retire. But in general, I hold deep personal feelings towards the necessity of organized labor.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 381
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I visit DCX plants regularly. On a recent visit, the plant was shut down because of slow sales. My host told me to be careful where I stepped because there was a company in the plant restriping the yellow caution lines on the floor. I asked why the line workers wouldn't being doing this instead of being on lay off. I was told that it wasn't in their "job classification". So they are home collecting 95% of their pay and the company is paying tens of thousands to an outside company. Who is at fault here? The people aren't screaming "Hey let me do that!" because they are getting a nice paid vacation. The union is protecting them saying that's not what they were hired to do. The company isn't saying to the union "We're offering your members work outside of their usual duties." I see scenarios like this all the time. Boggles my mind. BTW-Most of the hourly line workers I encounter work their asses off. Sometimes it is cold in their. In the summer it is stifling hot. Most go about their business with no complaints. Like many situations, the few exceptions stand out in the crowd.
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1772
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You can argue for Unions, but your blind unionism show through too many times.

It is not your pay scale that is choking these companies, it is BILLION dollars in liabilities that is choking them from pensions and health care costs.

I am all for job protection to a point, when I have to keep a hi-low driver who has had 2 DUI, Three Arrests and three stints in inpatient rehab and pay him disability during rehab while he continues to be a safety problem then that is what I call Union BULLSHIT that is killing these companies you work for. I once had an employee threaten another employee with her life if she continued to lose hours. Union steward told her to tear up the letter, of course after many had seen it. Union said it was not a threat, I countered a veiled threat is still a threat.

That is job protection that no one deserves.

I don't have GM stock filing in front of me, but a quick search showed that he was paid 2.2 million. He was also granted stock options, but did not mention whether he exercised them.

(Message edited by _sj_ on March 28, 2007)
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 742
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

B) personal initiative is actively discouraged by your peers?

That's just silly. What do you mean?



Being told to slow down, stop finding easier ways to complete a task, stop cleaning up your work station, ....
quote:

* doing union business with suppliers that are owned and operated by the spouses and friends of elected union officials

Or by friends and relatives of the bosses.



I highly doubt that any union budget money anywhere is going to suppliers run by friends and relatives of the bosses. On the other hand, I have no doubts whatsoever that every UAW local officer in southeast Michigan knows which printing company they should be dealing with when they order their 2008 calendars.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 382
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is a coincidence that some of the most uncompetitive and inefficient companies and public institutions are unionized? The goals of the union are not necessarily in line with overall good of the organization they are part of.

When the teachers go on strike, are they doing so out of concern for the students? Are auto workers that strike doing it because they seek to make the company they work for stronger in the marketplace? Of course not. They clearly could give a shit about the long term viability of the organization they work for.

I have met and worked with many hard-working conscientious union workers, but they would be good workers whether they were in a union or not. The fact they were in a union, if anything held them back because excellence is not really stressed or rewarded in a union environment.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2619
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well said.


The entitlement attitudes of the union were on full display this morning, as the Gov. catered to them in her rhetoric to the UAW. Class warfare at its finest. Just look at the photo of her.
http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20070328/UPDAT E/703280437
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1945
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

excellence is not really stressed or rewarded in a union environment


nor is it in a non-union environment

If you aren't already on the edge of teh big boys' club all you get for being good is more work dumped on you at equal or less pay because business execs, in small or large biz, have no trouble shitting on others if it makes them more money.

There's almost no social consciousness in this country anymore.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 869
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I highly doubt that any union budget money anywhere is going to suppliers run by friends and relatives of the bosses."

However when I was an engineer at GM everyone had to use Total Travel to book business trips, contractors, direct hires, everyone! Guess who owned Total Travel? That's Right CEO Jack Smith's wife!

JT1's point that a company should be able to look for the lowest bidder to perform low skilled tasks has some merit. One would then assume that the low skilled people if they chose could become skilled and fill a skilled position if they wanted job security and decent pay. However we know it does not really work that way. There are plans on the books to outsource ALL jobs regardless of skill level, and of course we're not just talking about competing within the country for work either, but you all know that. Only jobs that won't get outsourced are those held by upper managers.
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1220
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So right, Jt1 --

"Executive salaries at GM:
Wagoneer - $2.2 MM
Lutz - $1.5 MM
Cowger - $850K
Gottscalk - $1MM"

When folks read about executive pay, everyone assumes that is all salary and cash out of the pockets of other workers. It's not. Actually, when you read about $5-10 million, or more, in pay, most of it is usually in the form of exercised stock options or awards of restricted stock. That reduces the equity of existing shareholders, and they're the ones who ought to be weighing the awards against the performance of the company.
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1393
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a fantastic story! I wonder if Granholm really screamed, but you know how it is in modern journalism, if you don't lead your sheep, how will they know what to think?

Fucking newspapers.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 383
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup quote:
"There's almost no social consciousness in this country anymore."

60% of the Federal budget is being spent on "social consciousness," where is it getting us?

If excellence is not stressed in a non-union environment either, why is Toyota and Honda kicking our ass?

Granholm's call for Universal Health Care would hurt union workers, their existing health plans are far better than what the government would provide. That didn't stop those union sheep at Cobo Hall from cheering wildly.

I am sure at no point she ever even came close to addressing some of the problems that unions have caused in this state. A true leader would have been more balanced and truthful with these people. Even if you feel that unions are a good thing, there is no doubt that they have had a detrimental effect on the Big 2.5 and state government.

Oldredfordette -

Of course she screamed, thats what she does! It is embarrassing. The folks up there with her don't look too impressed...


gran
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Mthouston
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Username: Mthouston

Post Number: 794
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Even if you feel that unions are a good thing, there is no doubt that they have had a detrimental effect on the Big 2.5 and state government.



Certainly no more detrimental then piss poor Senior Management or a short sighted State Legislature and Governor.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 384
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote:

Certainly no more detrimental then piss poor Senior Management or a short sighted State Legislature and Governor. -

There is plenty of blame to go around but why not say that instead of continuing to promote a losing strategy?
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2620
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The photo of Granholm is terrifying. Why do her gestures imitate those of a European dictator?
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1398
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It couldn't possibly be the photo chosen by the editors at the Detroit News, could it?
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2621
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's not kid ourselves, though, that really does capture a typical Granholm speech.
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 65
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paulc, I too worked at Detroit Axle Plant in the 90's and agree there was a lot of bed sharing between union and management there. We did bust our butts there too. I remember well the summers that got into 100+ degrees in there.

One thing I see at that plant and the one I'm at now is the number of brain dead bosses there. We do what they tell us to do yet we are blamed for the inefficiencies. They buy the cheapest, hardest to maintain dies and tooling and expect immediate repair. We have minimal replacement parts, die changes up the ying yang,(which take time away from production), slippery floors, piss poor production planning,etc..It's hard to get ahead when you have the majority of bosses acting like keystone cops.

I feel the company has abandoned the age old rule to take care of customers, stock holders, and employees EQUALLY.
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1331
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I keep resisting the urge to chime in on these threads. But I guess I see it as one simple thing. Supply and demand. People generally get jobs and get pay inline with the job that they do. If I'm the only one in my company/group that can do job A, I am sought after and get paid well for it (see nurses/physical therapists lately to see what I'm talking about). If nearly anyone can do my job, I'm not in demand, not sought after, and thus not paid very well, because I'm in big competition with everyone else.

Applies here too (regardless of whether it is union or not). Guys like Waggonner and Lutz make the money they do because the people that pay them believe they're worth that much. You can't just go out on the street and hire a guy like Bob Lutz for $60,000 and get the same result. He is a one-in-a-million type guy, and the board and company obviously believes that his current salary brings far more in return to the company than what they are paying him each year. If they did offer him $60,000 for that job, you don't think some other company someplace else would at least pay him $500,000 or $1M do do similar work? You bet your ass they would. And unless he loves slaving for GM just because he loves GM so much, he'd take one of those other jobs, or just retire (the dude is 75).

On the flip side, if there are 50,000 people wanting and can do a job they only need 500 for, why would/should they pay good money for that? They can pay cheap, somebody will take it because it is a job, and the end result again doesn't change much. Union or not, this is just economics at work.

I'll leave it up to other discussions as to what you get out of a person and how that's related to their pay (you obviously don't want to crap on your workers, you should pay them a fair wage unless you don't care about the quality of your product), but I'm just saying people get paid the big bucks because of supply and demand. The issue is that many companies feel they get the same result by outsourcing and paying way less. Well, even though they pay way less, those people in Mexico or China are making a GOOD living. Same as people were in the US 40 years ago. So the companies save money, their workers are happy, and the product is the same. Win/win/win. It is all supply and demand. And as soon as a union (or whomever) starts fighting that basic economic principle, Detroit today is what you get in return. The fighting of the wage cuts is going against economics. And because they're trying to artificially inflate low-value workers to a higher level, they're getting burned by those who don't have to put up with that stuff.

Economics works. Protections are there for basic health. If you don't like the job, quit. That's what most people have to do. But most people aren't allowed to bitch about their job, then demand more pay, and then expect not to lose their job when they do something that nearly anyone out there could. You can either quit (but you don't want to because you realize you do get paid pretty well), or you can fight it (you know you could quit but you don't want to cause you'd take a huge pay cut at a different company so instead you try to artificially keep the status quo, meanwhile it kills the hand that feeds you).

I just look at it as simple economics. Goes for white collar too. If you wanna get paid the big bucks, make yourself in demand. Don't do something anyone can do and then expect that you should get paid the big bucks for doing it.

Probably the last response I'll chime in on this stuff for a long time. I'll sit back and read....
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Paulc
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Username: Paulc

Post Number: 125
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Warrenite - good to hear from a former fellow Detroit Axle employee. I certainly do not miss some of those 100+ degree days and I worked downwind from Heat Treat. And by no means were there ANY signs of management or the union wanting us to suppress our output - it was always high numbers. I do agree with management being an issue in that type of environment...as workers, we wanted quality and to meet production, but that is rather difficult to do when management (which by the time I left, appeared to be anyone just out of college with a polo shirt and a walkie-talkie)promoted us running bad parts to avoid "downtime" or loss of numbers and the machinery used (chamfer and boring)was from the WWII era (Barnes machines used for cutting war shells). I assume you are a job setter or skilled trades? Our job setters really felt the same way you did - based on our conversations.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 874
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good points on Economics. Chapter 1 in my college econ class discussed the importance of Companies supporting people, and people supporting companies. It was the Circle of Economics or something like that. It went on to talk of how you employed people of a community and that community in turn bought your products. Well, since NAFTA, that chapter 1 philosophy went out the window, and no one seems to understand where all that lost market share went, hmmmmm strange thing, economics. I'm all for paying a guy what he's worth, but if your job is to go out and make sure your company is profitable, and instead under your charge your company loses money, are you still worth the big money?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2926
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The photo of Granholm is terrifying. Why do her gestures imitate those of a European dictator?


Luckily, her being Canadian prevents her from being elected president or VP.

However, the Dems aren't the most strict constructionists when it comes to the US Constitution.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 385
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 5:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Granholm was once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, some saw here as the next Hillary, which I guess she would be in terms of her outdated thinking and foolish policies.

Maybe if Hillary gets elected she will offer a cabinet post to Granholm to rescue her from a job that is clearly beyond her abilities and we can have the gentleman below preside over our final collapse.


cherry
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 6649
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perfectspeaker (oops, Perfectgentleman) said: "...some saw her as the next Hillary, which I guess she would be in terms of her outdated thinking and foolish policies."

Perfect - if you ever need a weekend R&R in AZ, let me know. You truly have your thinking in order.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 461
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 6:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They clearly could give a shit about the long term viability of the organization they work for.

------------------------------ ---------------------

I think the very same thing can be said about the CEOs who continue to make bad decisions but are in no danger of losing THIER job.
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3rdworldcity
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Username: 3rdworldcity

Post Number: 587
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 3:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Those union folks who don't think they should have to give up a lot this summer are in for a very rude awakening.

They may not be very bright but they have lived for years with their expectations fulfilled without apparently having the slightest idea what the big picture was.

And, they are not the only ones who have been incredibly stupid and shortsighted over the years. Their union leaders and management are right up there (down there?) with them.

I don't think there's a chance F, DCX or GM will survive, at least in their present forms. They are doomed, for all the reasons posted here and many more.

This summer's labor negotiations will be the final step and will determine if they even have a chance. If the idiot management negotiators even consider maintaining the jobs bank, it's all over.

I'm short F and GM. That's because I think that neither management nor the union are capable of thinking beyond the 4th quarter, and besides, don't have an ounce of common sense between them.

Learn Japanese and Korean you soon-to-be-former-union members, and possibly Chinese. And, apply at Wal-Mart while you can.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 55
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

3rdworld, I agree 100%.
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Yvette248
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Username: Yvette248

Post Number: 473
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 7:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, he will need more of that "voodoo accounting" to figure out how to pay his bills from his unemployment check.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 371
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 11:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We saved the SMART bus system with a small property tax increase which raised $50. Million per year. Since car companies are in the same business as SMART, we should raise the property tax to operate Ford, Chrysler and GM. Then we can save the union auto making jobs, just like we saved the union bus driver and mechanic jobs at SMART,--- NOT

What's important is family values and not being greedy. It is indeed greedy if you don't support just a small tax increase to keep food on someones table.--- NOT The Japanese car companies get government support in their country, so let's be fair about this and give our union workers the respect and dignity they deserve to keep.

But, NOT with higher taxes which Michigan does NOT need.

It's time to bring jobs back to Michigan by allowing competition. SMART does not know how to move people thus should get out of the transportation industry by means of worker attrition. The management at SMART is incompetent. It's time to say NO, and not just vote NO but HELL NO. Your NO vote will only cap the SMART operating budget and will not hurt them.

http://savethefueltax.tripod.c om/altern.html
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 880
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 8:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Well, he will need more of that "voodoo accounting" to figure out how to pay his bills from his unemployment check."

Too bad we can't clean some house at the top floors of the Ren Cen, Glass House and DCX HQs and put them on the $362/ wk lean economics program.
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 6665
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 8:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cambrian, I assume you're old enough (and apparently, smart enough) to get a job at any of the Big 3. So why aren't you in there running the show? Any valid, money-saving tips would be appreciated by management and labor alike, and you'd be a hero to all.

It's tough to run the Big 3. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 882
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yet people running the Asian companies are handing it to the big three, last I heard was rumors of the Chinese bringing an MG plant to OK. GM abandoned OKC recently. Some people are focused on smart growth, while others focus on shrinking, while being clueless to the fact that shrinking market share accompanys.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8757
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

GM abandoned OKC recently. Some people are focused on smart growth, while others focus on shrinking, while being clueless to the fact that shrinking market share accompanys.



Do you have any idea what excessive inventory does to the financial situation of the auto companies? They are right sizing which is necessary. Business exapnd and contract as a cycle of business and the Big3 are trying to do that right now.

Market share does not make a company profitable. Why is that a difficult concept for some people and our media to understand.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 883
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where the domestics want to go is history repeating itself. They want to only provide Cadillac Escalades, Corvettes, Mustangs and Navigators to people with money, as the profit margins are so high. That philosophy is what killed Duesenberg, Packard, and Pierce Arrow. AMC came along in the late 50s and made stupid huge profits providing economical cars to middle class people. And no AMC was not buying parts from companies that used Chinese labor, and yes everyone was union back then. Anyone with half a brain in 2001 when GM was still making a profit, not losing money every year, listened to their plans to off shore so many jobs to low wage companies said to them selves, "Well no one's gonna be left to buy their products" was apparently right.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8759
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Where the domestics want to go is history repeating itself. They want to only provide Cadillac Escalades, Corvettes, Mustangs and Navigators to people with money,



Incorrect. I think that all/most of us will admit that leadersip in the domestics was very stupid not investing more in the late nineties in making profitable small cars but your assertion is incorrect.
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Oilcan_harry
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Username: Oilcan_harry

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 7:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unions suck! I been a member of 2 over the years and all they do is protect people who should be fired. Unions make everyone the same, not by raising the lower performers up, but by dragging the highest performers down.
I remember a news interview of a local Indy Chrysler employee after being laid off. The reporter was obviously fishing for a sob story about the hard times ahead. But the guy she talked to was overjoyed he was laid off. He said right out loud he would be drawing 95% of his pay and he was making arrangements to have his checks forwarded to Florida where he was going to party and go deep-sea fishing every day!
The people that need their butts kicked are the union negotiators that asked for 95% pay on layoff and the company morons that agreed to it. The car companies are in tough shape but theres enough blame to go around on both sides.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1205
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 8:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cambrian--AMC did not buy parts from off-shore suppliers, they bought the big three's over runs, which is why AMC stands for

All
Makes
Combined

just try to get brake shoes for a 70's AMC product--a good, experienced parts counter man won't look in a book or computer, he'll tell you to take apart what you have and bring it in to be matched up.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 411
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 9:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The sad fact is that the entire domestic industry operates in an adversarial environment. Labor hates management, management hates labor, the suppliers hate the OEM's and vice versa, the dealers hate the auto companies and vice versa. Meanwhile a large part of the American public dislikes the big 2.5 as well, with those on the left being particularly hostile to them because they see them as polluting, overly capitalistic enterprises.

Meanwhile the legacy costs of employee pensions, asinine union rules that drain productivity make matters worse. I see nothing changing in the culture of the industry which seems to doom the US auto business and Michigan. Granholm, who was elected by the union crowd, refuses to speak out as to what the real issues are facing this state which means we will not get new business or transplant operations to locate here either.

I see the domestic auto industry facing many of the issues the steel industry faced in the 80's. Only in recent years have these areas of Pennsylvania adjusted and began to recover from this upheaval. We are looking at many years of things getting worse before they get better unless drastic measures are taken, something that the politicians and much of the population seems unwilling to do.
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1454
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 9:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You might get your wish Oilcan Harry. You and every other blue collar worker will make 8/hr and everything will be just great!

Cue up They Might Be Giants "Minimum Wage".

Tell us in your humble opinion, several times to get it through our thick skulls.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2985
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 9:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

You and every other blue collar worker will make 8/hr and everything will be just great!


But what if your skills and those of others whom you cry for are only worth $8/hr? Why should you be paid more than that? Just because some are greedy doesn't mean that they should be paid more than they're worth.
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1456
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think Allan Mullaley is worth about 9.50/hr. With benefits. Now what?
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Cinderpath
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Username: Cinderpath

Post Number: 66
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 10:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about management ignorance that put the Big 3 in-trouble in the first place? By putting their head in the sand, producing gas guzzling hogs in a world of $3.00 a gallon gasoline?

They did not complain about the UAW in the '90's when fat profit sharing checks went out, and profits were in the billions. Remember when Ford had billions in the bank? It was the same UAW labor that made them those billions.

I love how idiots on this thread want to blame the union for everything. Blame is a two way street. The reality is, was, and will be: Its the product stupid. Management has a lot more say in product development, than some UAW schlub on the line does.

Management is still balking at upping mileage quotas, and they still do not get it. They better produce vehicles that get even better than gov. regulations, if you think $3 a gallon gas is the end, you are not living in reality. With China, and India's demand increasing, and lots of cash in those countries, management at auto companies better be planning for $5-7 a gallon gasoline. You can bet Toyota and Honda have taken this into account.
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Motor
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Username: Motor

Post Number: 5
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cinderpath, Toyota has started a huge campaign to boost sales of their large gas guzzling pick up truck. They must of bumped their head or something. I can see it now Toyota falls from their place in heaven, Toyota execs make astonishing poor business calculation in making gas guzzling truck.

In the end the Big 3 made many mistakes resulting in their decline, making gas guzzling hogs was not one of them. We Americans (O.K. some of us Americans) love big, strong, gas guzzling pick up truck. I love my Chevy, I cring ever time I pay at the pump, but I will be damned if I pay even more at the pump for a damn Toyota pick up.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1207
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 12:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The American car buying public has a habit of changing their mind faster than the Detroit three can change their product line up. This happened in the late 70's when gas shot from 30 cents a gallon to 55, in the course of a month. Every American car buyer up until that point wanted the biggest, baddest thing they could (almost) afford. Chevy was making Monzas, they wanted Impalas. They had already begun the production of smaller more efficient cars with the introduction of the (horribly marginal) Ford Pinto, Chevy Vega and Chrysler Omni/Horizon. Unfortunately, there's no markup in those lines the way we do it in Detroit, so the 14th floor attitude is to give 'em something just good enough to keep them here and hope that their standard of living improves over time and they will want one of our "real cars" the next time. A lot of American car buyers want the biggest thing they can have, then when gas goes up it's right to Honda and Toyota. We already can look at the early 90's SUV behemoths as the direct descendants of the huge thirsty cars of the 70's.
There is another layer to this though--boats, travel trailers, motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile owners want and need something to pull all of these toys up north. Your Corolla ain't gonna do it, your Tundra will. Every one of those products is itself an industry that employs many American workers.
A big part of the big 3's inability to see this coming is that they principally worry about what each other is doing in their "fat" market segments and not the whole US auto sales picture. They see Americans who buy the Japanese brands as customers they could never have because of culture differences, not realizing that the culture is one that wants a quality, durable product that holds up well for owners, especially long term owners and doesn't start needing $600 repairs twice a year to keep going after the warranty is up.
Around Detroit you are treated like some kind of loser if you can't get a NEW car every two years, the 3 love those lessees, look askance at long term owners. Before the $3/gallon gas (last summer) the behemoth SUVs and Billy Bob trucks were moving fine. We just changed our mind.
This all kind of goes back to a force the big three cannot spend to control--word of mouth. I see what is happening now as a repeat of what happened to the independent brands in the early to mid 1950's. The water cooler talk at that time was "why are you looking at a Studebaker? they are going out of business any day now, you won't be able to get service, you won't be able to get parts--buy a Chevy instead!"
Back then Chevy, like Toyota today did make a better product, but to an independent like Stude, this had a crippling effect on sales, which caused the death spiral to kick into gear. Less money due to poor sales = less money for advertising, engineering, styling, production improvements causes less sales--etc.
Back then the big three were the beneficiaries of the water cooler talk. Today they are on the short end.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 927
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 1:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Packman, It's a sad fact.. I think we need to envision a Detroit w/o the big 3, and prepare for that. Far as fault goes, I'd say it's with the dudes driving the bus, not riding it.

I did the brakes on both my ambos and the parts were readily available. Ford Tranny, charging system, carb and a GM dist. Plus a jeep following to keep the demand for engine parts strong. Parts hard to find? ferr get about it!
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Ltdave
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Username: Ltdave

Post Number: 41
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 2:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hey you guys i worked at the Axle plant for 15 months after a layoff from the Tool and Die facility. the Barnes machines are still there. the Lamb and the Cross lines are still there. what a place...

i have issues with the SALARY platform guys who would send us build plans for tooling fixtures in January, then send revisions requiring anywhere from 75-100% revisions in April. they would then get all in a wad because we were suddenly 4 months behind. oh yeah, there were no charge backs for the SCRAP that was produced...must be the UAWs fault.

my plant manager who has presided over an annual loss of as low as $17 Million to as high as $30 Million, got $225,000 in bonus money in 2005...must be the UAWs fault.

the FEDERAL govt requires us to have TWO full time salary guys @ $120,000/year to produce our ISO9002/3/4/2001 paperwork...must be the UAWs fault.

for some of you 'NEW' union members, it was the COMPANIES that demanded the myriad of job classifications in the 40s and 50s, especially in Skilled Trades.

it was also the COMPANIES that established the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB pay) where the STATE pays you unemployment and the Company pays an additional stipend.

it was the COMPANIES that established the Job Banks because it didnt want to lose those UNSKILLED workers who could be replaced by anyone walking in off the street.

my plant manager (the one above) wants to shitcan all but 2 electricians, 1 machine repairman, 1 millwright. he would subcontract the rest of the maintence work to an outside concern. im sure they will be able to make repairs in the same 5-15 minute time frame that on-site maint. trades can. oh and when DCX fails to pay their contractors' bills, those same people will be right there do work for free.

Eaton got $70 million, the top 9 people at DCX last year got $44 million in CASH (not to include stock options) M-B and Schremp got a hold of $9 BILLION in cash that Chrysler had on hand...that must have been all the UAWs fault too.

while im not in favor of defending the losers, guess what? the National Labor Relations Board would say otherwise. the National Labor Relations Act allows Union representation to be sued if they fail to represent union workers properly...is this the fault of the UAW?

as far as quality, look at the latest JD Powers report shows VW and Mercedes at the BOTTOM and the domestics while not on par with the Japanese cars, in the top 25-35%...that must be because of MANAGEMENT right? it couldnt be because the UAW, has anything to do with it...
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Detroiternthemist
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Username: Detroiternthemist

Post Number: 85
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 3:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice post Ltdave....
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Cinderpath
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Username: Cinderpath

Post Number: 67
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 3:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cinderpath, Toyota has started a huge campaign to boost sales of their large gas guzzling pick up truck. They must of bumped their head or something. I can see it now Toyota falls from their place in heaven, Toyota execs make astonishing poor business calculation in making gas guzzling truck.

-This is true, their truck sales are hurting, as well as Nissans, because part of their product portfolio also includes gas pigs. The Hummer often gets the blame at GM, but the Nissan Armada, and Toyota Land Cruiser are not much better. But the point to consider is that on average Honda produces far more fuel efficient cars.

In the end the Big 3 made many mistakes resulting in their decline, making gas guzzling hogs was not one of them. We Americans (O.K. some of us Americans) love big, strong, gas guzzling pick up truck. I love my Chevy, I cring ever time I pay at the pump, but I will be damned if I pay even more at the pump for a damn Toyota pick up.



-This is true.....to a point. Americans love their large trucks (I too, and I only drive Big three products for personal and family reasons) however, Americans love these only to the point when it becomes far to expensive to operate.

Would you love your big Chevy if it cost you $150 to fill it up? I doubt it. That is where we are headed. Even at $75 to fill it up, think about how much money this sucks out of the economy and the average persons income? $ At 4 tanks a month is $300, ($3600 per year net income). In California, where over 37 million Americans live, and the largest car market in the world, the average price per gallon is $3- $3.40 at the moment. This is why their products are not selling. The sales figures do not lie. Auto sales are actually quite high. How the pie is divided however tells the story.

The part of ANY business is to anticipate changing market conditions, and act accordingly. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a person with a PHD in economics to figure out that gasoline will be horrendously expensive in the future, especially with tensions in the middle-east, and world consumption far exceeding increases in supply output. It was foolish, and to a degree saddening that this was not taken into account, as this poor oversight has thrown the whole region into economic turmoil. As usual, just like in the 1980's American car exec's had their head in the sand, and once again got caught with their pants down, and conveniently want to "Blame the Union". The tough part is that the foreign car companies are well on their way with better hybrid, and more fuel efficient technologies, and we are playing catch-up. What are American car execs doing? Chasing a fart in the wind and pushing the same vehicles to use E-85. Why would I want to fill my car up with a product that on average gets 30% less milage, in a vehicle that gets bad milage anyway? Like I say the world is changing around us, companies that recognize this quickly and adapt will survive. Those that don't will die.
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Alan55
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Username: Alan55

Post Number: 11
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 5:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Of course the auto executives are worth tens of millions in pay and bonuses. Without this large compensation, the companies would not have been able to retain highly skilled leaders such as Roger Smith, Jack Smith, Bob Stempel, Rick Wagoner, William Clay Ford II, and Delphi CEO Steve Miller. Where would the U.S. auto industry be without these visionaries?
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 928
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 9:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good use of sarcasm Alan55!! That's funny!
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 80
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 11:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Blame is plenty on both sides. What we need to answer is can this region get this economy going again by using the same confrontational union,management model that has worked for decades or do we change. This current model has been such an inflexible model for doing business. When the economy radically changes such as it has in SE Michigan so must the model. If you don't change something then we will be like folks in the early 1900's when they were trying to sell buggy whips while cars were rolling down the street.

Everything must be driven by the realities of the economic system we live under. Not how I would like it to be, but what it is currently.

I like to think that what I do is worth more than a 10 mil a year ballplayer. The economy tells me its not so I adjust and do what it takes to make a living.

The problem that the union has is that for them to be more flexible means working with management trying to create a win-win environment. The rank and file would need a lot of education to accept that.
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 929
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 11:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The problem that the union has is that for them to be more flexible means working with management trying to create a win-win environment. The rank and file would need a lot of education to accept that."

Good and rationale points 1 and 10. However one problem is that one of the players in this game is not willing to be fair and rationale. Nothing short of giving up all wages and benefits as they pit US workers against low wage countries will please the companies. I find it laughable that GM gets so excited about selling 100K buicks in China. Back in the hey day selling 600K buicks was not uncommon here in one year. The difference was of course GM was being a good neighbor and positively contributing to the national economy.
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 81
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 12:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cambrian- one of the economic realities I'm refering to is the globalization of the economy. Its driving down wages here, driving up wages in China and other places. Globalization is here to stay. One can fight it and have no job because your not competitive or put a plan in place where in the short term one might have to accept lower wages and benefits but with some promises given to the rank and file that will benefit them over time.
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Mthouston
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Username: Mthouston

Post Number: 816
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

One can fight it and have no job because your not competitive or put a plan in place where in the short term one might have to accept lower wages and benefits but with some promises given to the rank and file that will benefit them over time.



And what corporation is going to do this when it knows it can just head overseas for its cheaper labor?
I think what your going to see is the corporations moving its production from one third world country to another, in a bid to maximize profits.
The mantra of Globalization .
I can always find cheaper labor.
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 83
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 12:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mthouston- great point, that is a possiblity. what do you suggest? Management is going to make the decisions that's in their best economic interest and they hold most of the cards.

It we think along the lines of the traditional union management model I don't think there is a satifactory answer, thats why its time to change that model and think outside the box.
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Ltdave
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Username: Ltdave

Post Number: 42
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 10:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"quote" one might have to accept lower wages and benefits but with some promises given to the rank and file that will benefit them over time "quote"

like in the late 70s when Chrysler gave up what amounted to somewhere near 25% in pay only to have to threaten strikes CORPORATION wide 2 contracts later in order to be back on par with their counterparts at Ford and GM? as far as giving up concessions, as soon as the managers and supervisors give up a few shekels...

david
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 84
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 11:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ltdave- speaking from the framework of the traditional union/management relationship concessions won't cut it. It's just a temporary band-aid that won't last.I'm talking about a new way of doing business. For example maybe Michigan needs to be a right-to-work state, or employees at the big three should be paid based on the overall strength of the particular company they work for and not because the other companies are getting the same. Or there should be a true profit sharing agreement with the workers. Or maybe the Japanese style company union model is one to adopt.

I'm sure there are smart people that can come up with ways to keep business in Michigan and keep people employed.

What we are doing now will insure that fewer people will have jobs, and companies will continue to leave the state for more favorable conditions.

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