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The UAW and Domestic Automakers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,871
edited March 20 in Ford
We're certainly in a time of transition for the UAW and the domestic manufacturers. Will there be a win-win resolution for both sides? Is there a middle ground, or is the final result going to be the end of one or more of the manufaturers, or the end of the union?

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  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I believe in unions, when they do as they were meant to and improve conditions for hard-working people. It's a start at least, before they rise up around the world and take rightful control of the means of production.

    But job banks and flexibility restrictions... that's just dumb.

    They have to make concessions in all aspects of their contract, given the current market. But if I were them, I'd make the strongest concessions in the job banks and inflexibility rules. Those don't do anything towards giving hard workers a fair deal... quite the opposite. At the same time, they can't make heavy concessions on wages and benefits. That would negate the point of their existence, and no one ever voluntarily agrees to that.

    They have in their favor the fact that transplants' wages aren't bad - it wouldn't kill the unions to drop their wages closer to those levels, unlike the ones Delphi asked for. Second, public opinion is affected by Delphi's stupid moves (in a PR sense). The news articles went like this: Delphi asks for wage cuts; Delphi gives nice golden parachutes; Delphi asks for drastic wage cuts; Delphi gets really big golden parachutes. If it looked like everybody was losing, maybe they could get away with it, but...

    ==

    On the other hand, if the UAW has decided that the Big 3 are going down no matter what, they're going to squeeze everything they can get out of them. I have a feeling that's the case.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    The news wire hasn't exactly been buzzing about the UAW since we hit Dec and are 10 days from the deadline inthe Delphi situation.

    I thought that the deadline got extended to Jan.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,871
    I thought the Dec 16 deadline was when the company was going to ask a judge to void the contract with the union. Thre was the story about the UAW objecting to the severance plan for executives.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20051123-1406-delphi-uaw.html

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  • dpatdpat Posts: 87
    The deadline was moved to Jan 20.

    story
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,871
    So they have another 6 weeks or so.

    Do they figure out a way to reach an agreement or do you think the whole thing is going to have to start from scratch?

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  • dpatdpat Posts: 87
    I think there may be a short strike, but the unions have to know that if they stage a prolonged strike, it will bring down the entire domestic auto industry. I also believe that Delphi doesn't really expect the massive wage and benefit cuts they have put forward. It's a negotiating stance. They need to have a lot to "give up" if they expect the UAW to give up a lot. (job bank, completely funded health care, veto power over plant closings, unmanageable retiree benefits) I expect the final agreement to be a small reduction in current wages, with health care premium copays added, and elimination of job banks. I expect to see massive changes in the retirement plan, even possibly going as far as changing to a defined contribution plan for new workers instead of a traditional defined benefit pension.
  • dpatdpat Posts: 87
    Agree? Disagree?

    anyone?

    for all the debate about the UAW that went on in the "can GM survive ..." discussion, this is pretty dead.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Shouting matches get a lot more participation.

    Maybe we'd only get responses to our posts if they offended someone else?
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...until the Delphi thing plays out in Jan-Feb. There are many things about the UAW that go beyond just giving blue-collar workers a shot at a middle-class lifestyle and delve instead into institutionalized laziness. On the other hand, it's obvious that many members "get it" - witness the recent healthcare concessions to GM. The next couple of years are going to be make or break times for the union.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I guess we know where President Bush stands on American Auto-Industry. All the Big 3 are asking for is a level playing field. I guess the question is..... Is that to much to ask ? If Asians and Koreans still win then damn it, the Big 3 deserve to die.

    I think American Manufactoring and other company's atleast deserves fair trade, level playing field, real currency values, etc.

    I guess President Bush doesn't want that. Perhaps the Big 3 didn't line his pockets enough ????
    Obviously Big Oil, and the Airelines did.

    Bush made it clear that he isn't going to a damn thing.

    I agree it's the Big 3's fault in many ways. They haven't made the cars people want.

    The ones that will be hurt the most will be Americans:
    The UAW active and retirees, Big 3 Management, Auto suppliers, and many other area's. I guess we will see the biggest unemployment numbers, since the 29' Crash. I guess history does really repeat itself, because Black Tuesday might make a comeback.

    I suppose president Bush slept through that Chapter in American History :cry:

    rockylee
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    If they really cared about US they would adjust the exchange rate with the Asian currencies. That didn't even get discussed with China visit by Bush. He didn't have the nerve to push it.

    That's what it's going to take to fix the US economy and base for the FUTURE.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    The reason that the US will not adjust the exchange rate is because we import a lot more than we build now. If the exchange rate is changed imported goods would become more expensive. Cost of living would go up, people would complain, inflation would occur, FED would panic, people would complain, those in power would lose next election.

    Lot easier it say that domestic manufacturing needs to learn to compete. Who in US can complain about a company that cannot compete? We are based on the strongest and smartest survives.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    Considering that negotiations are still taking place, the governemnt should do nothing. If Bush announced some action, that would give an advantage to one side or the other.

    Harry
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... Ya know, I was going to leave this one alone ... but you're not making any sense here.

    President Bush, Bill Clinton or the Pope (past or present) have nothing to with what the company or that company does now or 10 years from now ....

    Let's be honest .. you can't produce any product nowadays unless you're competitive .. that means you can't pay someone $40+ an hour to build vehicles that are in a $20 or a $30 an hour business .. those days are over, and have been for the last 7 or 8 years.

    When the UAW had their Ford meetings 4/5 years ago, the union "negotiated" away the right for Ford employee's ability to purchase their other Ford products on the "A" plan .. that means Volvo, Jag, Mazda, etc etc -- what kind of negotiation was that.?? .. "lets cut our nose off to spite our face" - that's what that's called ..l.o.l... probably missed 45,0/60,000 purchases a year - but the UAW sure showed Ford, or rather they "showed" their members they had some horsepower - or .. what were they showing .??

    I have no problem with anybody making a good wage for their job ... but having people running around filing grievances, having employee's with hangnails getting 60% of their pay because they can't do their job (or anyone else's) is absurd ....

    Did you know that in most UAW plants they have area's that are filled with leather lounge's, TV's, books, DVD's, snack bar area's that the employee's entertain themselves in for 8 hours a day .. thats because the the UAW has convinced the Big 3 it's cheaper than putting them on Workmans Comp and cheaper than taking the daily fines, and with the big 3 that's millions of dollars a day .. but we don't know, cuz' the UAW won't allow it ...

    Believe me .. I have nothing against unions in the long hall with all of the wonderful things they have done in the past, especially with me coming from an Union town and having family and friends in the Electricians, Teamsters and of course the UAW unions ...

    But let's be real here .. when your best Union negotiation issue is "allowing" the workers to have a $7 deductible on prescriptions vs a zero figure is not negotiating .. having the workers spend an extra $125 a month to insure their wife and 3 kids on Major Medical certainly isn't the sword of Damaclese .. but the UAW sure wants their members to think it is ...

    Dealers profits have been cut back on most models by 20/40% - but still sucking it up to stay alive ... but the UAW sure wants to make sure they promote their view that they can save and promote their members ... where are they going to promote them to, the unemployment line.?

    You want the UAW to stay alive with all of it's "existing" members.? .. then start having some meetings to promote some major cost cutting, start changing some minds and not with pathetic scare tactics ... it's ok to pay for "some" of your Life insurance, it's ok to pay for "some" of your family benefits like dental work, it's okay to pay for "some" of your eyeglasses .. it's okay to pay for "some" of your major medical and it's even okay to "not" get paid $18 an hour to sweep floors ..... this program should have been instituted 10 years ago .. how many minds will they change now....??

    George Bush ....? how about George Washington.? ..l.o.l.... Rocky - we need to get you out more, you're not even in the zipcode .. that must be some aquarium you live in ....

    Terry ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    YOU: George Bush ....? how about George Washington.? ..l.o.l.... Rocky - we need to get you out more, you're not even in the zipcode .. that must be some aquarium you live in ....

    Terry

    What does George Washington have to do with anything ? Yeah he had "Horsepower" with 4 legs ! :P

    My point is Terry, President Bush could make changes to hold the Asians accountable for the undervalued currency problem. He also could be a leader and reform the language in the trade treaty's i.e. child labor, human rights, etc etc.

    The Bottom Line is president Bush is a greedy CEO, who happens to be president. If you didn't line his pockets with cash, you're not going to be helped. I trust him, about as far as I can throw him. As far as our previous president's and congress, some of the stuff they've done to my country makes me puke. I might live in a aquarium, but it does have windows.

    I guess I should be like everyone else, "like a cow going down the conveyor belt waiting to be slaughtered" and do or say nothing. :P

    Terry, I have traveled around this great country. I however am not going to take the path to the conveyor belt. I'm going to take the opposite path the other's are taking when the road (Y's)

    Well besides that, the rest of what you said I can somewhat agree with. ;)

    Rocky
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Did you know that in most UAW plants they have area's that are filled with leather lounge's, TV's, books, DVD's, snack bar area's that the employee's entertain themselves in for 8 hours a day .. thats because the the UAW has convinced the Big 3 it's cheaper than putting them on Workmans Comp and cheaper than taking the daily fines, and with the big 3 that's millions of dollars a day .. but we don't know, cuz' the UAW won't allow it ...

    Do not want to get in the middle of this one but I have been in a lot of UAW assembly plants and never saw a room like this. Sure you were not down the street in a private business? All the "free" time areas I have been at at plants are usually a big open area, a bit grungy with a lot of newpapers. Also the cafe food was marginal as food goes.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... I've been to quite a few myself .... Chryslers Jeep plant in Toledo, Fords Atlanta plant, Dearborn, Avon/Lorain, the Brookpark 1 and 2 plants, Charlotte, Parma GM plant, Lordstown, Bowling Green and the ol' Arlington Hts plant in Texas .... other than that .....

    If you want to be specific .. the plant #1 is used for what they call: TWC (Transitional Work Place) and thats used for those they pay a 40 hour week for instead of keeping them home and paying all those high dollar WC fines for ... in the meantime they kick-back, read the mags, do some lunch, watch a little Jerry Springer and play some TW games (Tiger Woods) ... not to be confused with GW (Guaranteed Workplace) .... so what else would you like to talk about.?



    Terry.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .. ** could make changes to hold the Asians accountable ..... **



    Accountable for what ....?? .. accountable because we "allow" the UAW to cost you and I money ..?

    I guess you were asleep in business 101 ...



    Terry.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Did you know that in most UAW plants they have area's that are filled with leather lounge's, TV's, books, DVD's, snack bar area's that the employee's entertain themselves in for 8 hours a day .. thats because the the UAW has convinced the Big 3 it's cheaper than putting them on Workmans Comp and cheaper than taking the daily fines, and with the big 3 that's millions of dollars a day .. but we don't know, cuz' the UAW won't allow it ...

    I've been to quite a few myself .... Chryslers Jeep plant in Toledo, Fords Atlanta plant, Dearborn, Avon/Lorain, the Brookpark 1 and 2 plants, Charlotte, Parma GM plant, Lordstown, Bowling Green and the ol' Arlington Hts plant in Texas .... other than that .....

    If you want to be specific .. the plant #1 is used for what they call: TWC (Transitional Work Place) and thats used for those they pay a 40 hour week for instead of keeping them home and paying all those high dollar WC fines for ... in the meantime they kick-back, read the mags, do some lunch, watch a little Jerry Springer and play some TW games (Tiger Woods) ... not to be confused with GW (Guaranteed Workplace) .... so what else would you like to talk about.?

    I guess I misunderstand your first point. You said most all UAW plants have some area's that are full of leather chairs and union members sitting in them all day. Now I think what you are saying is that of all the UAW plants you have been at one has a room like this that is for the UAW folks that are laid off and get 95% pay for doing nothing. My fault. I really read what you said as most UAW plants have some kind of extravagent relaxing room the workers use.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    How is the UAW costing you and I money ? .....If your a buisness owner, then yeah they might cost you more money. If a UAW plant is in the area that's providing good paying jobs to the area. Yeah, you might have to pay your help a little more to retain them. My point is, I just don't see where the UAW directly affects you pocketbook, without being a buisness owner.

    I like I said before, belong to a union (not UAW) and don't see how I being a member of one hurts anyone else. :confuse:

    Rocky
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    The UAW and other major unions raised the price of goods for us (US) to buy through the last few decades. Throw in a little union political corruption affecting the country's politics as well as the unions' own politics (wonder what happened to Hoffa?) and you have a regular TV show there.

    Every time I bought something produced by a union that had unreasonable demands (remember the 90% pay for laid-off workers? remember can't close plants with 10 years notice or something like that?) it has raised the cost of the automobiles, in this case. That has now come to bite the workers on the rump. They're probably going to play Delta pilots as they get their wages lowered. Trouble is they drove their own companies for whom they worked into noncompetitive positions vs. the currency enhanced, no pension problem, no health care high cost import cars.

    And the managements of all 2.5 companies greatly helped with their ineptitude in negotiations as well as in management.

    Having toured a GM plant 15 years ago roughly, I saw the workers who slept, played games. I did NOT see a leather-chaired lounge with a bar and TV set and computer games. Note: that plant has been razed. I believe the work went to a plant in NY and somewhere else. This was a plant where one of the (then) overpaid workers sold compressors he stole by slipping them out the dock somehow. Poetic justice. Now if only management could receive the same justice they have brought onto the workers, with help from the Unions.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    The UAW has been running ads to try to cut off a bill by Boehner of Ohio to require better funding of pension plans and to require higher payments by companies to support the federal bailout (us) corporation. I have not seen the ad even though it's supposed to have run in the Springfield market (Dayton).

    Is the UAW cutting off its nose to try to help its face?
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    The UAW knows that if those pension bills pass, no major company will be able to afford to have a pension plan. Doesn't sound too good for workers, does it? To add salt to the wounds, the federal bill would force companies with "junk" ratings (i.e. GM and Ford) to pay even MORE money than regular firms (the "kick them when they're down" clause). Ford might be able to take it, but GM is already teetering on the border of bankruptcy. You think the GM pension plan would make it through a GM bankruptcy? Neither does the UAW.

    Personally, I think the old social contracts of yesteryear (pensions, social security) are not going to be able to survive the brave new world of the future (high health care, globalization). Better to give everyone 401K's and/or pension "accounts" (i.e. here a set amount of money in your account every month).
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree with that 100%. It's sad that a person can't work someplace for 30 yrs. and retire. I think having ordinary people retrain every 5 yrs or so, is ridiculous and unamerican. :mad:

    Rocky
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Just a follow-up: Verizon announced yesterday that they are freezing their current pension benefits at their current level (which basically makes it worthless for anyone under 55). And they're in good financial health. Death nell of the pension plan, anyone?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I thought company paid pension plans were gone except for the big three!

    401's are all that will be left soon. With the new government requirements coming all US companies will be dropping the pensions as fast as they can. The rules are too restrictive and suck away too much cash from the bottom line.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    Wonder what upper management's pensions and rewards setups look like... anyone know?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    First what is "upper" management?

    Management at GM could be a foreman on the line at 6th level or it could be the chairman.

    Lets assume you are talking about the unclassified level which is above the 8th level. An 8th level will be normally a college grad with a bunch of college grads under him (6th, 7th or 8th). He/she has a company car that is considered part of his job to drive and evaluate. They are qualified for a bonus based on his level/salary and may in a good year hit $7500? Not sure but maybe about 10% of their salary. (All levels are eligable but have a lower percentage of salary available). So that is the 8th level.

    The next levels are unclassified (unless a technical 9th) and are considered management. A much larger portion of their income is bonus. Their base salary is maybe 10% to many multiples more than the 8ths. (Wagoner makes I believe about $2,000,000 base salary but it drops off quickly after that, the people working for him make about $750K base). This info is in the annual reports. The bonus percentage is based on a few factors-How well the group they work in does relative to helping the company make money, individual performance and overall company profitabity.

    All the above is the similar for any large company.

    In a very good year an unclassified can make from 50% orf their salary to double or more of their salary depending on their unclassified level. The person really responsible for the company (Wagoner) can make double (see the annual report). Those at lower levels have a smaller percentage possible.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    On one hand, I don't see where it's a problem for UAW members to start covering a portion of their health insurance costs ... most employees have to do this; why should they be any different?

    OTOH, I have a cousin whose husband has worked for GM for 20+ years. He started out in Tarrytown, NY (I think they made the "dustbuster" minivans there). When that plant was closed down they moved to Oklahoma City, where they've been for the past 10-15 years. That plant, to my knowledge, has made the Malibu/Cutlass and now produces the Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender.

    Guess what? Now the OK City plant is slated to be closed, and it looks as if they will be moving again, this time to Moraine, OH -- if he is even able to transfer.

    I feel bad -- they've established a nice life for themselves in OK -- one daughter went to school at OSU while the other daughter is still in grade school. Now they have to uproot themselves and move again.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    But how many companies transfer their hourly work force from city to city and pay all expenses? I know it is common to move the salaried.
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