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The UAW and Domestic Automakers

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Comments

  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    How many several years ago was this?

    Back during the late 80's/ early 90's.

    BTW, I'm not claiming that's how it is across the company -- about that, I can't claim expertise -- but that was my experience in one facility. Definitely not a great place to work, for anyone.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Back during the late 80's/ early 90's.

    BTW, I'm not claiming that's how it is across the company -- about that, I can't claim expertise -- but that was my experience in one facility. Definitely not a great place to work, for anyone.


    That was a long time ago. Was the same way in the assembly plants. I know it is much improved in the assembly plants today but do not know about other facilities.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    That was a long time ago. Was the same way in the assembly plants. I know it is much improved in the assembly plants today but do not know about other facilities.

    I would bet that a lot of those same guys are still there, waiting for the pensions. But in any case, it struck me as more of a broader institutional cultural problem, beyond the control of the individuals (both labor and management) working there, rather than an issue to the average guy on the clock. I'm sure that having Roger Smith as chairman didn't help.

    And I guess that should raise the question: Is the company fundamentally different than it was then? I can't be sure, but based upon the decades of mediocre product and the continued willingness for some to believe that the business-as-usual attitude of pointing the finger at everyone else is an acceptable business model, I'd say that things aren't probably much better than they once were. You can't tell me that those guys who dreamed up the Cobalt as a Civic fighter have got their acts together.
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Auto news
    Delphi to delay bid to void contracts
    Move may help avert damaging strike

    February 17, 2006

    BY TOM WALSH and JASON ROBERSON

    FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
    In a move that will ease fears of a possible strike, Delphi Corp. is expected today to delay filing a motion to eliminate its union contracts, according to a person familiar with the court proceedings. This would allow the Troy-based auto supplier, operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, more time to negotiate a deal to avert a strike that would not only be damaging to Delphi, but potentially catastrophic to General Motors Corp. and send tremors throughout the industry.

    Delphi CEO Steve Miller could still file the motion before March 21, a hearing date set in bankruptcy court in New York. Miller has said Delphi might void its labor contracts if blue-collar workers don't accept significant reductions in jobs, pay and benefits. Delphi originally planned to ask the court to void its contracts in December, but has twice delayed that action.

    GM has offered to help Delphi and unions come to terms, possibly by allowing some Delphi workers to take jobs at GM, and by spending billions of dollars on buyouts, wage subsidies and other incentives for Delphi workers to accept the cost-cutting contracts.

    As they continue to talk with the UAW about how to take care of Delphi's employees, GM and Delphi officials also are intensifying talks about how to structure Delphi's business so it can emerge quickly from Chapter 11.

    All three parties say they realize that a final resolution may get more difficult as the UAW elections in June draw nearer. Political pressure likely will intensify as the UAW convention approaches, which could inflame rank-and-file passions about any changes in Delphi labor agreements.

    Delphi's six unions have formed a coalition led by the UAW and threatened to strike if its contracts are nullified -- a walkout that could quickly shut down most, if not all, GM assembly plants in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

    Delphi lost $4.8 billion in 2004. After losing $741 million in the first six months of 2005, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 8.

    Delphi says its 34,000 U.S. hourly workers make $27 an hour, which amounts to $76 an hour when benefits are added. It wants to cut 24,000 hourly jobs from its U.S. workforce and reduce wages to an average of $12.50 an hour, or $35 an hour when benefits are added.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    According to my calculations, a Delphia worker would have to live on 46% of his current income. I sure hope those workers were dilligent savers. However, if they're like the average slob, I doubt it. They're probably up to their necks in debt.

    Could I live on 46% of my current pay? Well I could, but I'd have to do without a lot of things:

    No Car Payment
    No Cable TV
    No Credit Card debt
    No other unsecured debt
    Carry significantly less spending money.

    Forget having kids and don't bother with the costly luxury of a wife or girlfriend.

    With significantly less spending money, I guess I'd have to limit my entertainment to a six pack of beer and a pizza.

    What could I do to help myself? Well, a second job is the obvious answer. This is the best case scenario that assumes no major home or auto repairs or major injury or illness.
  • dpatdpat Posts: 87
    I really doublt the base pay will be cut that much. That's not what's killing the domestics. It's the benefits such as job banks and fully funded health care that are dragging them down, and that's where the big cuts will end up. Delphi's original offer is a negotiating stance, they'll move from there.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    According to my calculations, a Delphia worker would have to live on 46% of his current income. I sure hope those workers were dilligent savers. However, if they're like the average slob, I doubt it. They're probably up to their necks in debt.

    That's a better option for some than the alternative -- the export of the job abroad. Like it or not, the era of the well-paid blue-collar manufacturing worker is on its way out.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Would you agree that it's sad it has to come to that. Just take it in the rear and accept it is the solution.

    Rocky
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "Would you agree that it's sad it has to come to that"?

    Yes, Rocky, I would definitely agree that it's sad.

    To prosper in this world, our country has to respond to whatever challenges are presented. If we make too many policies to soften the effects of real-world challenges, we will be like the Europeans, and I read that their economy is going down the tubes.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I'd rather be like the Europeans than what's in store for us....The Europeans are becoming to capatalistic and allowing their country and it's wealthy to export good paying jobs like Mercedes to 3 rd world country's like Portugal. The exportation of good jobs, and the jobs being replaced are poor paying compared to the ones lost will ultimately ruin a country. Ours will be no different. The European country's like Germany perhaps will do something to fix the bleeding. Also their small economy's depend on ours being healthy. Our economy is very far from healthy.
    :(

    Rocky
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I'd rather be like the Europeans than what's in store for us....The Europeans are becoming to capatalistic and allowing their country and it's wealthy to export good paying jobs like Mercedes to 3 rd world country's like Portugal.

    Ouch. Rocky:

    -Portugal is not a third-world country. It's part of the EU, and uses the euro as currency.

    -Portugal is also in Europe -- drive across Spain and France, and you'll find yourself at the German border soon enough. When you reference "the Europeans", you need to include them!
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Would you agree that it's sad it has to come to that. Just take it in the rear and accept it is the solution.

    It's sad, but I don't know what "taking it in the rear" means to you. For me, that would mean spending my hard-earned cash on some second rate car built by a big, uncaring Detroit behemoth, when I can buy a better one that I prefer.

    I don't hate the UAW at all, and GM management helped to create a situation in which the UAW has been necessary. But they also need to wake up and realize that they are just as out of touch with reality as is management, and that both of them need to create a more competitive product if they want to survive. I fear that neither labor nor management has the vision to improve the company, and things will need to get worse before they get better.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Well wouldn't you agree that's a common problem with us as americans ???? Where is this short sightedness taught ????
    Why are we so greedy and to save a penny we might risk losing the farm ????

    socala4, never take what I say directly torwards you as a person. I love everyone on here including even you. ;)

    But I'd bet you'd agree with me, we as a society will not sacrifice today for the good of tommorow. We want it all right now, and screw tommorow and the future.

    The UAW is trying to get what's best for today and tommorow for it's workers pal. They know if they don't suck up some of the change left over on a good year, then Rick, Bill, will gladly take it in the form of a bonus. If you don't think that would happen then you'd be fooling yourself pal.

    Rocky
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Well wouldn't you agree that's a common problem with us as americans ???? Where is this short sightedness taught ????

    I don't see anything long-sighted (to coin a phrase) about spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car I don't want.

    If Detroit wants to earn my money, then guess what? They need to build a car that I want and is worth the price. If they don't, then they'll need to turn to someone else for their revenues.

    And by the way, let's remember that it is the "imports" who are building plants to hire Americans, while it is the "domestics" who are exporting jobs and reducing production. You're blaming the regular consumer, who wants value for his money, instead of the failing US companies that caused the problem.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    socala4, pal we've been through this. I guess we agree to disagree. I'm going to blame the manipulated customer who thinks is Honda or Toyota is superior to a domestic in every category. I blame currency manipulation, tax free building locations, anti-union Japanese management, No tarrifs, etc etc for allowing an unlevel playing field. The Japanese provides jobs at the assembly plants here in the states, but's it's not even close to what the Big 3 offers in both sheer number of employees, disposable income, effects on local community's. If we lose the Big 3, we as a society might as well wave the white flags and learn Japanese and Chinese since they might as well have total control. The Big 3 are part of the last legacy that made this country independent and great. I guess I should of been born 60 or 70 years ago.

    Rocky :sick:
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Both of you make your points extremely well and I appreciate your postings. Both of you make excellent points.

    In my opinion, the cars these days are much better than they were in the 60's and I think it is because of foreign competition. Cars are also very reasonably priced.

    From a consumer's point of view, there are no problems in the auto industry. There are plenty of nice cars to buy and prices are low.

    In fact, almost everything is cheap these days - clothes, furniture, and toys for my grandkids. The two most expensive products are the ones made in America - housing and medical care.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    In my opinion, the cars these days are much better than they were in the 60's and I think it is because of foreign competition. Cars are also very reasonably priced.

    Bobst, seriously cars today compared to the 60's aren't reasonably priced when you compare that time with today.
    Yes I agree foreign competition is good as long as their is a level playing field in both country's. ;)

    From a consumer's point of view, there are no problems in the auto industry. There are plenty of nice cars to buy and prices are low.

    Most really nice cars that most of us desire, are out of reach for most of us, except the wealthy like you. ;)

    In fact, almost everything is cheap these days - clothes, furniture, and toys for my grandkids. The two most expensive products are the ones made in America - housing and medical care.

    I guess if you shop at the Superstore that starts with a (W) then clothes, furniture, toys, are reasonable inexpensive. However why aren't they cheaper ???? Hell in China they make pennies per hour and therfore the goods should be significantly cheaper than they are, right ????

    Rocky
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,701
    The markup the companies take on the goods they have had produced in the East (now China comes to mind) have had much greater profits than when they produced the goods in the US. The companies with their excutives making 400X what their grunts make are profiting greatly compared to other countries where executives are paid more reasonable multiples of the grunt's rates for their golden parachute jobs.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Toyota Executives, come to mind where they don't over pay themselves and the gap between grunt and CEO is significantly closer. However some will blame the UAW and give management a free pass.

    Rocky
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    THE TRAGEDY OF General Motors

    The Detroit giant is a weird, scarred combination: a carmaker doing poorly, and an insurance company engulfed by its obligations. It's heading for a wreck -- which is why CEO Rick Wagoner has the toughest job in business.
    By Carol Loomis
    February 6, 2006: 12:09 PM EST

    (FORTUNE Magazine) - It is the instinctive wish of most American businesspeople, even those unlikely to be directly affected, that General Motors not go bankrupt. True, some people will say, "They had it coming to them." But the majority will be more practical, telling themselves that the company is so central to the economy, so sprawling in its commercial reach, that bankruptcy--"going into chapter," as restructuring folks say--is ominous almost beyond contemplation. And yet the evidence points, with increasing certitude, to bankruptcy. Rick Wagoner, GM's 53-year-old chairman and CEO, may say, as he did in a January interview with FORTUNE in his aerie of an office high above the Detroit River, "I know that things will turn around." But he cannot know that. He may not, deep down, even believe it himself.

    Bankruptcy isn't going to occur next week. But down the road--say, past 2006 --its probability is high. That point of view seems supported by the opinions of the bond-rating agencies, which troubled companies must keep informed and which become virtual insiders in their understanding of a company's finances and operations. In recent months both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have made increasingly grim statements, bald in their talk of bankruptcy and laden with doubts that GM (Research) can turn around its reeling North American auto operations, now reduced to an embarrassing market share of 26%.


    GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner

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    In that percentage lies a harrowing, and maybe intractable, revenue problem. Says one GM executive: "There's no fix for us unless we get revenues stabilized."

    Nonetheless, Wagoner and crew must also deal with the full range of GM's problems, and they add up to a Hummer-sized load. The company lost $8.6 billion last year, burning up billions of dollars in North America, earning too little back overseas. Its product mix in the U.S., heavily weighted toward trucks, pickups, and SUVs, is on the wrong side of gas prices. It has a finance subsidiary, GMAC, whose majority interest it needs to sell to keep that business healthy and itself in cash--and so far, no buyer has emerged. It is inextricably entangled in the bankruptcy of its biggest supplier, Delphi. In that imbroglio, as in countless others, it is up against a formidable and sometimes militant union whose ability to accept the full reality of GM's problems is not assured. The company is even under investigation by the SEC for accounting sins, as yet unrevealed.

    And gravely, it is burdened by health costs, which it supplies for a population bigger than Detroit's--that is, for a total of 1.1 million employees, retirees, and dependents. Its thriving Japanese competitors, such as Toyota (Research), pay health benefits for their U.S. active employees and dependents too. But Toyota does not have GM's retiree health burden, a mountain that at year-end totaled an unfunded $64 billion and that, in annual effect on the bottom line, adds about $1,300 to the cost of every car and truck GM makes in the U.S.

    Wagoner is exultant that he and the UAW gruelingly managed last year to make a deal that, if blessed by a federal judge, will cut GM's unfunded liability by around $15 billion and pare cash outlays as well. But that will still leave Wagoner facing a colossal competitive disadvantage. The cost is not his fault. Rather, it is a legacy dumped on him by CEOs of decades ago who gained a certain amount of wage restraint from the union--and labor peace for their own terms of office--by granting retiree health benefits that had neither large, immediate cash costs nor, under the accounting rules then applying, much effect on the bottom line. Today, with health-care costs exploding and the accounting rules stiffened, this mess has come home to roost. It is the problem, says Wagoner (almost certainly giving too little weight to his shortage of revenues), that more than anything else "affects the future viability of GM."

    In character, today's GM is a weird and painfully scarred combination of businesses. It is a car company doing poorly, and it is an insurance company engulfed by obligations way beyond its ability to pay. Such an enterprise probably cannot escape bankruptcy. The securities markets flash their warnings with regularity. The prices of GM's bonds have fallen severely, and its stock plunged in December to below $19, the lowest price since 1982. In early February the stock was $23. Were it not for GM's dividend, $2 annually, the price would surely be lower than it is.

    Is there anything optimistic to say? Well, it is important to remember that giant auto companies have been turned around before. In 1980, aided by $1.5 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. government and his own pitchman routines on television, Lee Iacocca brought Chrysler back from the abyss. Nearly 20 years later Carlos Ghosn, an improbable mixture of Lebanese blood, Brazilian birth, French education, and American business experience, grabbed tight hold of Japan's sinking Nissan Motor and restored it to industry prominence.

    Yet these rescue jobs surely pale in comparison to what it would take to turn around General Motors, this giant so large that in the FORTUNE 500's first half-century it ranked No. 1 on the list in 37 years. (In our last list it was No. 3.) One Wall Streeter deeply familiar with the company recently stated the challenge starkly: "I would say that turning GM around is a harder logistical and managerial task than the invasion of Iraq."

    This same Wall Streeter is not kind to the GM generals charged with the rescue job. Describing the company as a "sclerotic bureaucracy," he says a good remedy might be firing the top five people and replacing them with outsiders. A less acid form of criticism has been laid on by the camp of Kirk Kerkorian, whose Tracinda Corp. owns just under 10% of GM's stock. In January, Kerkorian's advisor Jerry York, a turnaround veteran himself (at Iacocca's Chrysler and Lou Gerstner's IBM), gave a long luncheon speech at the Detroit auto show that accused GM's executives of lacking "urgency" and "sense of purpose." York's reason for growling: Kerkorian's losses, about $172 million of them realized at this point, with the rest--another $223 million--sitting as unrealized losses on his books. York and Wagoner have talked about York's going on the GM board, but--as of early February, at least--they had not had a meeting of the minds. Maybe, one might guess, the Kerkorian camp has wanted both b
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    both board representation and complete freedom to sell its stock.

    That could have been a problem because GM's general counsel sent a memo last May to a sizable layer of GM executives telling them--for reasons he left quite vague--that they should refrain throughout 2005 from either buying or selling the company's stock. The prohibition, which still hasn't been lifted, is highly unusual because insiders normally have "windows" of time in which they can legally trade. In this instance, perhaps the insiders' deep understanding of GM's problems simply makes it unfair, and therefore also legally perilous, for them to be trafficking in its stock.

    Wagoner, in any case, hotly disputes anybody's notion that GM lacks a sense of urgency. There's a "boulder hanging over our heads," he says, and it's causing the place to accelerate product introductions (like new models of its star Silverado and Sierra pickups, racing into showrooms soon) and otherwise operate with "breakneck speed." No doubt thinking back on GM's 98 years of existence--and to the pantheon of Alfred P. Sloan, Charles Kettering, and lesser gods--he strikes a poignant personal note as well: "Nobody's got a bigger stake in this than I do. I have this little sort of burden of history. I'm not going to be the guy that doesn't get this company going in the right direction."

    If energy alone could do it, Wagoner might pull it off. Once a basketball player at Duke, he is tall and broad-shouldered, strong enough in fact to be at least metaphorically matched to the massive corporate weight he carries. A GM-er for the 29 years of his working life and CEO since 2000, he was in shirtsleeves as he talked to FORTUNE in January. Surrounding him were the usual suspects, miniature models of cars. He was animated to a degree that amazed one of his public relations people, who wasn't sure she'd ever seen him quite so expansive. And on his mind was the whole of the GM scene, including the need to keep growing in China, to build great products, to keep that boulder off his head.

    Naturally, boulder evasion means that GM is deeply and broadly into cost cutting: It is closing plants to kill its excess capacity, terminating many thousands of people, negotiating with the UAW to free itself at least partially from the nearly un-American JOBS bank, in which laid-off union members get paid for not working. How many people are in the JOBS bank? Analysts ask that repeatedly and are refused an answer, probably because GM thinks nothing can be gained by hanging a number out there that Wall Street and the press can beam their attention on. But Sean McAlinden, chief economist of the Center for Automotive Research, thinks there were 5,200 employees in the JOBS bank at the end of 2005. He figures the annual cost of each to GM is at least $100,000.

    Globally GM is once again striving to take advantage of its huge scale to reduce engineering and parts costs (it has paid lip service to this goal before). In the U.S. it can't easily cut brands----dealer franchise laws make that almost impossible--and that's a vise, because the eight brands it sells (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn) are a big crowd for a 26% market share. At the least, the company is working to wedge Pontiac, Buick, and GMC into the same dealerships----under the same "rooftops"--and to sell within them, for instance, only one minivan model rather than two. GM's sales and marketing head for North America, Mark LaNeve, calls the cutting of each independent dealer a "little soap opera," in which entrepreneurs, in some cases with kids they expected to inherit their business, give up their turf by inches.

    Perhaps most important for cost cutting at GM, Wagoner has just put a renowned chopper, Frederick "Fritz" Henderson, 47, into the job of chief financial officer. Henderson, a mustachioed and candid speed-talker, came from GM's European operations, where he reduced (though didn't eliminate) losses and got to be known as Chainsaw Fritz. He considers cost cutting an unending battle and approvingly cites the "continuous improvement" that is an integral part of the Toyota culture. In another example of non-arrogance, Henderson listened at a luncheon table, taking notes, as Jerry York gave his January speech. "He's a major shareholder," said Henderson later. "It's important that we listen to him." But he scoffed at York's claim that GM is blind to the depth of its troubles: "I'm in crisis mode and have been for years."

    In all that GM is doing, there is a bleak awareness that no companies have ever turned around because of cost cutting alone. The essential partner is revenue growth--and as those losses in market share show, that has been the crucible for GM. In product design, it lost the magic long ago. "They need irresistibility and head-turners," says one car buff, "and they haven't had them." The man now on that case is product-development boss Bob Lutz, 74, who, after retiring from Chrysler, was hired by Wagoner in 2001. Tall, elegantly dressed, and outspoken, he is treated like a rock star at auto shows, often attracting more attention than his cars. At the Detroit show in January, touring GM's space with reporters, he was pleased to point out classy-looking car interiors--"some of GM's used to be grotesque," he said--and a level of fit and finishes that he judged superb. A reporter needled him: "Bob, I miss those bad fits, those gaps, that you had a while back. I used to store my quarters for tolls in those."

    Lutz--and all at GM--are plainly battling the past, when many buyers gave up on its vehicles and turned to foreign cars. Today, GM has an enormous perception problem: a belief by too many U.S. consumers--particularly in the East, West, and some of the South, which pretty much leaves GM hugging the Midwest--that it doesn't make cars as reliable as those of foreign producers. That was indisputably true once. The current evidence, though, is mixed: Consumer Reports, a bible for many carbuyers, rates GM's improvements as "inconsistent" and ranks most of its cars as also-rans; J.D. Power, however, a leading arbiter of quality, gives many of its cars top grades. Meanwhile, GM people haul out comparison charts showing, for example, that a Chevrolet Malibu outdoes Toyota's Camry in just about every performance rating going, yet costs $2,640 less. Customers shrug their shoulders and keep on buying Camrys--their memories are long, and their motivation for returning to GM small.

    The gist of GM's sales problem is summed up by Don Freda, a suburban New Yorker who has run an independent auto-repair shop for 52 years. What, he is asked, do you think about the quality of GM's cars these days? "They're very good," he answers. "They don't break like they used to." Then, immediately, "But nobody will buy them."

    So it's no surprise that GM has been the impresario of incentives since 2001, when it immediately followed up 9/11 by launching the ince
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    imidazol97: Oh maybe the Honda and Toyota plants in the area will hire the out-of-work GMers. Heh, heh. They wouldn't even employ them when they built the plants decades ago because they are afraid of getting prounion people into their workforce.

    Of course Honda and Toyota wouldn't employ former GM workers. Those companies didn't reach their present position by being stupid...
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Hi George,

    Great article! Someone else posted the link a few days ago and I read the entire article. It was very understandable.

    If you find any more like this, please share them with us.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    I subscribe to Fortune and found the article very intersting. What suprised me the most was the side not that showed all of the times and years GM has been on Fortune's cover regarding its problems. The first time was in the late '50s.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Of course Honda and Toyota wouldn't employ former GM workers. Those companies didn't reach their present position by being stupid...

    I would think most of the UAW workers wouldn't want to work in a "sweat shop" where the workers are threaten with their jobs every day and have to brown nose to get a fair raise. I for one, been there, seen that !!!!!

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060221/AUTO01/602210396/1148-

    I feel sorry for these folks. 90 days and your job disapears. :cry: GM/Delphi should copy Ford and start offering "buyouts" to it's older workers so they don't have to go to the Job Banks.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    rockylee: I would think most of the UAW workers wouldn't want to work in a "sweat shop" where the workers are threaten with their jobs every day and have to brown nose to get a fair raise. I for one, been there, seen that !!!!!

    Honda and Toyota do not run sweatshops. They run operations where production is taken seriously, and workers are expected to do their part (by showing initiative, a dirty word to many unions) to produce a quality product. This type of operation may be a shock for UAW workers, who respond with epithets such as "sweatshop," but customers obviously like the product.

    Incidentally, if you think GM plants where the UAW represents assembly-line workers are a blue-collar meritocracy, where virtue and hard work are the sole basis for rewards...well, that certainly differs from the GM plants that I've read about. People working in union shops have to brown-nose as much as anyone else to get ahead.

    Unions, of course, are big on seniority, which often means that a worker has managed to hang around longer than anyone else. Why seniority should be the sole basis for plum assignments is beyond me...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,701
    The article says GM had to decide to close OKC or Moraine OH plant. They chose OKC. But at the Moraine plant they're being told that the third shift is gone in 60 days or so and the plant will be closed by 2008, but..... they can negotiate to produce a new product. That probably translates "if you give us a low enough labor cost, we'll put something here at the plant."

    So GM really is closing both plants???

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    I think it is just a timetable issue. I think both are history.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    They both built the midsize SUV's. OK built the XL long wheelbase which GM decided to stop building due to the much nicer new Yukon which overlaps with the XL. Also the new Enclave type vehicles will be coming out which also will take away volume from the full size SUV, midsize SUV XL and regular Midsize SUV. The Rainier and Saab versions will also be killed next year. Also GM has decided to not re-engineer the vehicle for 2008.

    http://www.cars.com/go/news/Story.jsp?section=news&subject=recent&story=120805st- oryaAN&referer=&aff=national

    So there will be a much lower need for the midsize SUV's. That being said GM sold about 370,000 mid size SUV's last year. That is about 3 shifts of work. So, if I look in my crystal ball I would say with the new vehicles, the dropping of the XL, the minimal redesign and the general downward trend of trucks that one plant could run the truck at 2-3 shifts if needed and meet demand.

    The truck was/is built at Moraine and OK (now closed). So the bottom line is that GM still needs one plant to run the vehicle. Why would they move the production somewhere else especially since the new vehicle will be basically the same? Well with all the downsizing and the new contract coming up production may start gong to the most efficient plants. How efficient is Moraine?
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Rockylee,

    Just to let you know you just can't walk off the street and get an hourly job at TOYOTA,HONDA,MERCEDES, Etc. like you could at GM or Ford in the past three decades. Hell, they have tougher testing criteria than the domestics have even thought of requiring. (Even a character background check is a part of it.) Oh, yes as for education criteria it is a more than being able to read the application form and do basic math. A slanted opinion. NO! Realize that the bar for employment and the requirements for the auto industry has markedly changed. If you don't realize that you really do or WILL have a problem .
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I think it is just a timetable issue. I think both are history.

    I doubt it. What makes you think so? I realy doubt GM will just drop a truck that can sell at least one plants worth of profitable volume. See my last post.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,701
    "The announcement comes as union leaders are negotiating with GM on securing work for the plant after production of the sport utility vehicles now made there ends in 2008."
    -from Dayton Daily Nothing.

    The talking heads on TV last night made it sound like the plant will be closed in 2008. This quote sounds a little more like company posturing for concessions.

    How efficient is the plant? I don't know the answer to that. They just added a large painting plant adjacent to the original plant at city or state expense a small nubmer of years ago. The plant is about 25 years old, IIRC.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    This is a case where I HOPE you are VERY RIGHT and my opinion is very wrong !
  • manegimanegi Posts: 110
    Rocky

    I respect you opinion (even though we do not agree), but I do have to correct factual misstatements...I have visited Toyota's plant in Aichi (the mothership; they actually have guided tours of the facility). It is spotless, you could eat from the floor, but what was impressive that each worker on the line has the right to stop the assembly line anytime - Considering that this line was assembling Lexus GS series, the cost of such stoppage would be tremendous. But Toyota trusts its unionised employees not to do it.

    Also, this plant is more than 25yrs old, yet has one of the highest productivity amongst Toyota plants, despite more modern technology in use at newer plants (in the US).

    No, did not look like a sweatshop to me. And the way the employees were almost breaking down in a jog to keep the line moving (keep in mind, they can also stop it) indicated that the motivation is very high.

    So the point is, Toyota is used to dealing with unions. It is just that they dont trust UAW....wonder why....
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Yeah the test is to see how dumb you are to want to work in such conditions. If you pass the test like my college educated friend who took the test in San Antonio, then your not going to get called back for that final interview. However I guess in your opinion that most of the UAW members are dumb. Senority is a reward to older workers and their loyalty to the company. I guess you think "brown nosing" your boss should be the requirement for getting dibs on good job assignments. This is why it rarely happens in a union shop, because it won't get you anywhere unless you want to become a supervisor. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Why do you really think they are moving the plants over here ????? To make more money, because they can work american people like slaves. Yes the conditions in Japan are much better. The Japanese unionized worker I can support because he/she is doing a excellent job, and isn't getting raked through the coals like it's american counterparts. Toyota Corporate guys gotta be laughing at the legal slavery that they got americans doing. :confuse:
    I guess it's a payback for the 2 bombs ;)

    Rocky
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Rocky give me a frame of reference so I can really understand your comments-age for instance. Were you born before we lost JFK ? Be honest.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...like for a job at a Toyota or Honda plant? Do they expect you to have a master's degree in engineering and mathematics and pay $12 an hour? It reminds me of an ad I saw for a graphic designer where they expected you to know just about every computer graphics application in the world and wanted to pay only $11 an hour! Shoot, I make that at my little part-time job working alongside high school dropouts and illegal immigrants.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    :cry: <- OMG LOL...I can barely type now.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Rocky give me a frame of reference so I can really understand your comments-age for instance.

    I'm 27, born in 78'

    Were you born before we lost JFK ? Be honest.

    I thought JFK, was spotted with Jimmy Hoffa, Elvis, in RIO :D

    Rocky
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Lemko,

    I just retired and I'll tell you something. The credentials I had were the "norm" in our group. Multi-state registrations as a PE, MBA and numerous certifications over the years and 35 years experience. The guy who took my place has all these (except for experience), works for 60% of what I made, is 30 years old and is working on his Doctorate.
    Oh yes, he is not native born, is very smart,creative, dedicated and works like there is no tommorow. His attitude on education is absolute. THAT is the future. The manufacturing industry just wants a piece of it. The world is changing.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    So you had an illegal alien take your place. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Unions, of course, are big on seniority, which often means that a worker has managed to hang around longer than anyone else. Why seniority should be the sole basis for plum assignments is beyond me...

    Same problem with nurse's unions. My cousin used to be a nurse, but the young nurses (with less than 10 years seniority) could only get night shifts, so she was working like 10PM - 6AM. She eventually just quit and gave up nursing to do something else. And they wonder why there's a nursing shortage.

    The unions need to give up some of their sacred cows (free health care, strict job classifications, same pay for all, seniority rules) and join the rest of the American working force.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I think the biggest nail in the UAW's coffin are those stupid work rules..that define what every union worker can and cannot do. for example, in the GM/Framingham, MA plant (closed) there were 124 sepeate job desciptions, with elaborate rules of who could perform those tasks. there was even a job for a union member to drive the completed cars off the line, and into the transfer lot! If you work for a non-union transplant, you will be expected to rotate jobs, so you can learn more and be a more productive worker for the company. In the UAW mode, they want youy to become LESS capable-so that more union jobs can be generated. and don't forget-as a UAW member, you pay high dues to a union management that pays itself lavish salaries..it is hard to distinguish the corporate fat cats from union fat cats.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,701
    lWhat kind of setups have the Union leaders voted for themselves?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • lemko,
    at the tundra plant in indiana, you go through a process with an employee 'supplier' so to speak. you will go through fairly extensive testing, several times. if hired, you are employed by the employment firm, at the manufacturing plant, until the time you become an employee of the manufacturer, which could be quite while. hourly wage generally runs $16-$18/hr, to start, plus benefits, which would make the wage more than double, probaly closer to triple the hourly rate
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Rocky,
    The person I am talking about came here when he was 10, became a naturalized citizen thru his parents. He attended Cal-Tech and did damn well. No, he is NOT an illegal alien.
    He is an AMERICAN !
This discussion has been closed.