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Thread: Union balks and $14B auto bailout dies in Senate

  1. #31
    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    So why are the unions vetoing legislation that will protect their members' jobs?
    Watch the youtube videos I posted of the UAW president explaining why the talks fell through. The union is willing to make concessions but not to Senator Corker whose state has multiple foreign manufacturers that his state has given millions of dollars to for them to locate in his state. The GOP hates the union and wants to take it down. It is not the senators place to mandate what the American autoworkers pay should be. The videos explain much better than I can attempt to explain.

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    Seems to me that the union bosses are just as greedy, corrupt and out of touch with reality as their "enemy" in the corporate boardrooms. This is not time to be trying to score political points at the expense of people's livelihoods.
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    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Seems to me that the union bosses are just as greedy, corrupt and out of touch with reality as their "enemy" in the corporate boardrooms. This is not time to be trying to score political points at the expense of people's livelihoods.
    IMO the same can be said for the senators in Washington who have an agenda against the UAW and US manufacturing. They have no problem giving money, land, paying for training for foreign company employees, infrastructure and tax breaks, all which add into hundreds of millions for foreign companies but balk at giving American companies a loan. The UAW does not support the Republican party ie. campaign funds (the UAW does donate campaign funds to democrats/those that support the union) and it's pay back time. I don't believe the UAW thinks of the company as the "enemy". But it does want the company/salary employees and all involved in the production of vehicles to be looked at (since the UAW's salary and benefits are) not just the workers on the line if wages are going to be checked. Why was Senator Corker and his fellow repbulican senators only asking for the UAW to take concessions and not demanding upper/mid/lower management wages and benefits to be looked at? The UAW already stated they would make concessions but senator Corker wants to dictate to only the UAW what HE feels is a fair wage.
    Last edited by B.C.; December 13th, 2008 at 03:17 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.C. View Post
    IMO the same can be said for the senators in Washington who have an agenda against the UAW and US manufacturing. They have no problem giving money, land, paying for training for foreign company employees, infrastructure and tax breaks, all which add into hundreds of millions for foreign companies but balk at giving American companies a loan.
    Corrupt politicians are a given, no matter what their affiliation.

    I assume that these employees of foreign companies are Americans too? A job is a job so let's not get picky who pays the wages provided they are fair. I'm sure most Americans would gladly support the US car industry by purchasing its cars if only it made a product that people actually WANT. Ultimately it's the customer who calls the shots and decides whether a company, any company, stays in business or not. With the US car industry in such a precarious state, caused mainly by its stubborn refusal to give the customers what they want, then starting to bicker over wages and conditions at the 11th hour is probably the final nail in the coffin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    So why are the unions vetoing legislation that will protect their members' jobs?
    WTF? The Union didn't "veto" legislation, Republican Senators did. Where did you come up with this? Seriously. And why are people buying this Republican talking point? Labor is only 10% of US car costs. Why not start asking why dealerships and suppliers were not asked to make concessions, eh? I mean, really, why not start complaining about greedy dealerships around the nation and their owners? Oh wait, it's easier to regurgitate certain GOP talking points that scapegoat unions because the GOP would rather organized labor not exist. Did you NOT notice that the eight most vocal Senate Republicans who voted against the bill have non-unionized, foreign car plants in their state?

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Seems to me that the union bosses are just as greedy, corrupt and out of touch with reality as their "enemy" in the corporate boardrooms. This is not time to be trying to score political points at the expense of people's livelihoods.
    Seems to me you're still not looking at the entire situation. If organized labor was really at fault for the bill not passing, guess who would be complaining in the media? The automakers. Guess what? They're not. Go find an article where the CEOs of the Big 3 are complaining about UAW's unwillingness to make concessions. I'd like to see it.
    December 12, 2008
    Government Meddling Is Bad, Except When We Do It

    The narrative Senate Republicans are going to try to spin, about the death of the automakers’ bailout, is that it was the fault of the U.A.W. After refusing to support the bill that Congressional Democrats and the Republican White House came up with, some Senate Republicans suggested that they might be willing to support a bill that rolled back U.A.W. wages to the levels earned by U.S. workers at Japanese- and German-owned plants. The union, which had already made concessions on work rules, said it would be willing to renegotiate wages in 2011, when its current contract expires, but not to roll back wages immediately. This was a deal-breaker for the Senate Republicans.

    There are a couple of things to notice about this story. First, it has almost nothing to do with the core problems faced by G.M., Chrysler, and Ford. The wage gap between U.A.W. workers and workers at other car companies is no longer that big, and labor costs at this point account for only ten per cent of the cost of producing a vehicle. So rolling back wages was not going to suddenly make G.M. and Ford significantly healthier than they are today, and not getting those rollbacks did not materially change the economic value of the bridge loan. In other words, if you could support the loan with the givebacks, you should have been willing to support the loan without them.

    More important, having the government dictate the wages of employees—which is literally what the G.O.P. was insisting on doing—is precisely the kind of government meddling in the marketplace that Republicans normally abhor. There is no reason to think that G.O.P. senators have a greater insight into labor dynamics, the appropriate wage for Ford workers,and how labor-management relations affect productivity than the Big Three’s executives do. Yet the senators were insisting that their judgment on these matters should trump all other considerations. I recognize the logic of saying that if we’re going to offer the automakers a loan, we should have conditions attached. But those conditions should be similar to the ones any lender would attach. They shouldn’t be an attempt to have the government dictate wage levels. What’s next? Price controls?

    by James Surowiecki

    Government Meddling Is Bad, Except When We Do It: The Balance Sheet: Online Only: The New Yorker
    Ironically, having the Big 3 go under and stop their production is going to hurt the foreign automakers located in the US. Toyota makes hybrid power trains for Ford. Honda makes parts for Chrysler & GM. The Big 3 make parts for foreign automakers located in the South. Should one or all of the Big 3 fail, a large portion of the market that the these companies do in the South, sell to and buy from, are going to disappear.

    These Republican dumb asses are hurting businesses in their own states due to their ignorance. Moreover, they're continuing to kill the GOP's chances of building their party across the nation. Do you think auto workers are going to vote Republican in Michigan or Ohio in the next election?
    [youtube]kIHM7QknTAw[/youtube]

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Corrupt politicians are a given, no matter what their affiliation.

    I assume that these employees of foreign companies are Americans too? A job is a job so let's not get picky who pays the wages provided they are fair. I'm sure most Americans would gladly support the US car industry by purchasing its cars if only it made a product that people actually WANT. Ultimately it's the customer who calls the shots and decides whether a company, any company, stays in business or not. With the US car industry in such a precarious state, caused mainly by its stubborn refusal to give the customers what they want, then starting to bicker over wages and conditions at the 11th hour is probably the final nail in the coffin.
    You seem to be forgetting that it's not just the US automakers that are having trouble selling their cars, it's a world-wide problem currently.
    Will Japan's carmakers catch bailout fever?

    Posted by: Ian Rowley on November 06

    Yet more grim earnings news in Japan today. Toyota, the last of Japan’s automakers to post its half-year results, has slashed its operating profit outlook by over 70% to $6.1 billion for its fiscal year which ends in March. Given it made $5.9 billion in the six months through Sept. 30, that means it will likely make only around $200 million in the second half of the year. Toyota exec Mitsuo Kinoshita said things were so bad that Toyota has formed an “Emergency Profit Improvement Committee,” headed by CEO Katsuaki Watanabe.

    Honda, Nissan and others have already slashed forecasts, albeit by smaller margins, but citing similar problems. Among them: the U.S sales slump, high raw materials costs and, for the Japanese makers, the soaring yen.
    Of course, with no one yet projecting losses, the problems aren’t in the U.S. Big Three’s league, as Ford and GM’s results on Nov. 7 will no doubt highlight. Still, that didn’t stop Honda chief Takeo Fukui calling for the Japanese authorities to intervene to weaken the yen earlier today. Speaking at a the launch of the Honda Life, a minicar for the Japanese market, Fukui told reporters the government should step in after the yen’s recent surge against the dollar and other currencies. “Of course (the government) should intervene,” Reuters reported Fukui as saying. Fukui’s comments were before Toyota’s weak forecasts.

    To some extent, Fukui, who isn’t against the U.S. government aiding U.S. automakers, has a point. On Oct. 27, the yen surged to 90 to the dollar and is currently at 98. Back in 2003, when it was at a relatively weak 103, Japan stepped in to ease the pain. Against the euro and other currencies the rise has been even more pronounced. And there is little doubt the speed of the current surge is painful. In Toyota’s case, analysts say a one-yen appreciation of the Japanese currency against the dollar reduces earnings by around $450 million; a one yen appreciation against the euro costs $80 million. The numbers aren’t as brutal at smaller Honda but they still have a big impact.

    Whether Fukui’s comments were well timed is another matter. As grim as things are getting for Japan’s car makers—not to mention Japan’s economy which will likely experience a recession—most analysts point out that with plenty of cash, ample fuel sippers and profits they’re in a strong position to capitalize from rivals’ woes. And at a time when GM, Ford and Chrysler are all in serious trouble, asking for help in the currency markets is unlikely to go down with customers in the U.S., Honda’s most profitable market.

    Will Japan's carmakers catch bailout fever? - BusinessWeek

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    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymeman View Post
    my the prior generation of my family was union on both sides and it's the only reason they were able to have a decent middle class wage/life. I worked in one of those plants that just made parts for the cars and between that plant and a few others they supported thousands of familes in that area. Getting into those plants for those local people is like winning the lottery, and there is nowhere else around that offers a living wage. I'm just talking about the smaller plants that make a few components of the car, not the carmakers themselves...I'm sure this is true all over the U.S. and it's pretty horrifying to me to think about what will happen to these families when these plants close because the parts aren't needed anymore. Really, really, sad.
    Yes, it is like winning the lottery. In fact when the company use to give out applications to the employees for friends or family when they were hiring, they called it a lottery. Names were pulled out of the hat, so to speak. I was never lucky enough to win one though. The head of the hiring department where I worked was selling jobs to her church members got caught and made to retire. Hopefully the economy will pick up soon.......mean while it's going to be a rough ride.

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    UAW has already made concessions. I don't recall Wall Street making many concessions when they got $700 billion.
    Some of those businesses on Wall Street went into bankruptcy. Some were bought by foreign competitors. Would the UAW be happy with either of those scenarios? I wonder if Toyota would allow the bleeding of the coffers?

    The auto industry can not be compared to the financial industry. The auto industry has been sinking for several decades. The auto industry knew what the problems were and didn't seem to care about solving them, while the financial industry sunk when sub-prime lending backfired. Granted, there were other catalysts, but that is the major one and was given life by deregulation a decade or so ago.

    While sales numbers nosedived, the UAW continued to keep, and raise, its demands. Really, the UAW is no better than the CEO's who received bonuses while running companies into the ground.

    Why not start asking why dealerships and suppliers were not asked to make concessions, eh? I mean, really, why not start complaining about greedy dealerships around the nation and their owners?
    Greedy dealerships? With prior information, such as invoice pricing, now being common knowledge, the profit per new car sold fell steadily after the mid 90s. The overhead rose.

    While every person in the auto business is in to make a dime, that does not change the fact the UAW is a greedy entity and has had its demands scrutinized for quite a long time.

    The people backing the UAW in stalling and stonewalling are asking to be unemployed.

    The more information that trickles out about this situation, the more I feel that Washington should just take over the Big 3 and rebuild the industry from the ground up, without the existence of the UAW as it is and has been in the past.



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    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    I assume that these employees of foreign companies are Americans too? A job is a job so let's not get picky who pays the wages provided they are fair. I'm sure most Americans would gladly support the US car industry by purchasing its cars if only it made a product that people actually WANT. Ultimately it's the customer who calls the shots and decides whether a company, any company, stays in business or not. With the US car industry in such a precarious state, caused mainly by its stubborn refusal to give the customers what they want, then starting to bicker over wages and conditions at the 11th hour is probably the final nail in the coffin.
    As I said in an earlier thread about the subject of foreign coming into the states I am all for more Americans jobs regardless of who writes the checks. I wasn't getting picky about it. Lord knows we need all the jobs we can get with so many being sent overseas. It is a known fact that D3 cars have outsold all foreign competitors in the US.
    Last edited by B.C.; December 15th, 2008 at 01:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    UAW has already made concessions. I don't recall Wall Street making many concessions when they got $700 billion.
    Some of those businesses on Wall Street went into bankruptcy. Some were bought by foreign competitors. Would the UAW be happy with either of those scenarios? I wonder if Toyota would allow the bleeding of the coffers?
    They may have gone into bankruptcy, but they're entitled to apply for TARP funds. Funds that have little oversight. Even the TARP oversight board recently stated as such.
    I wonder if Toyota would allow the bleeding of the coffers?
    WTF?
    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The auto industry can not be compared to the financial industry. The auto industry has been sinking for several decades. The auto industry knew what the problems were and didn't seem to care about solving them, while the financial industry sunk when sub-prime lending backfired. Granted, there were other catalysts, but that is the major one and was given life by deregulation a decade or so ago.
    "Several decades?" Really? Do you have any proof of this? Such as an article? Because last I recall US automakers were having huge profits a few years ago when all Americans wanted to buy were large trucks and SUVs. There are far more cars on the road today than there were in 1950. So how can the industry have been "sinking for several decades?" The reason they (all auto manufacturers) are having problems now is because many people cannot get lines of credit to buy any car whether it is US or foreign. All automakers are in slump that is expected to get worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    While sales numbers nosedived, the UAW continued to keep, and raise, its demands. Really, the UAW is no better than the CEO's who received bonuses while running companies into the ground.
    Again, I'd like see an article to prove this, if you can find one. The UAW has decreased its rolls by thousands since 2000. They made many concessions back in 2005 and 2007 during their contract negotiations.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Why not start asking why dealerships and suppliers were not asked to make concessions, eh? I mean, really, why not start complaining about greedy dealerships around the nation and their owners?
    Greedy dealerships? With prior information, such as invoice pricing, now being common knowledge, the profit per new car sold fell steadily after the mid 90s. The overhead rose.
    My statement regarding "greedy dealerships" was rhetorical. If you're going to start blaming labor for the problem, why not start blaming the other pieces? As I stated and posted in the article above (did you read it?), labor is only 10% of US automaker costs. Reducing labor costs isn't going to suddenly change the scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    While every person in the auto business is in to make a dime, that does not change the fact the UAW is a greedy entity and has had its demands scrutinized for quite a long time.
    And why are those in the UAW automatically greedy? Would it not be the same to say that the Republican senators from the South (Corker, et al) are greedy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The people backing the UAW in stalling and stonewalling are asking to be unemployed.
    Where exactly in this process have they stonewalled?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The more information that trickles out about this situation, the more I feel that Washington should just take over the Big 3 and rebuild the industry from the ground up, without the existence of the UAW as it is and has been in the past.
    And Washington is now the expert on how to conceptualize, manufacture and sell cars? Really?

  11. #41
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    ^If you want to see specific articles, read the news like the rest of us and follow the information links provided. Do what others do to gain information on a subject. Research it. Google is your friend. So is the library. Pick one.

    The auto industry doesn't deserve any loans unless it can show a business plan which illustrates major changes.

    Yes, the domestic car industry has been sinking for several decades. You do understand seeing detrimental behavior, allowing it to continue, then panicking is what got the Big 3 here? When wages rise, market shares decrease, and the industry doesn't move to meet the expectations and desires of the buyers, holes are being punched into an already sinking ship. The truck and SUV market you mentioned? Honda and Toyota have made bounds in those historically US owned areas.

    The Toyota comment confused you? Do some research on its labor and practices.

    Labor has to shoulder some of the blame, whether the UAW likes it or not. No one is blaming everyone who works in the industry, but the UAW has leveraged wages which are quite high when considering the work required. Compare the non-union wages to foreign competitor wages and UAW wages.

    It seems as if you have taken personal offense to the UAW being pointed out as a contributing factor to the failure which is now the US auto industry. When you are reading the numerous articles which have been written in the last several weeks, keep an eye out for the amount of money which is owed the UAW in January 2009 and the comparison of wages.

    Republicans are greedy. So is the UAW.

    Obviously Detroit isn't an expert either, considering they are falling to the Japanese.

    Even though this may piss off auto workers, I'm going there. For any unskilled labor position to be compensated at the levels the UAW has managed to obtain is ridiculous. Look at the Toyota and Nissan plants and the wages for comparable positions.

    I support assisting the auto industry. What I don't support is throwing billions of dollars its way with little supervision, low regulation, and indications the same money-draining activities will continue.

    The UAW is willing to watch almost three million people go into unemployment just because it despises one man? No job or pay cut? The option seems very damn clear. What seems to be the true issue is the UAW doesn't want to give up any ground and jeopardize it's strength.

    It is not just the cost of currently working UAW member which should be analyzed. Retirement packages should be reworked as well. Every aspect should be streamlined.
    Last edited by RevellingInSane; December 15th, 2008 at 08:24 AM.



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    my buddy works at toyota on the line, he makes the higher end vehicles.. he makes about 60 grand a year, with good benefits. I think that's a reasonable salary for what he does. He works hard, too. He rarely ever misses a day. He worked hard, saved up his money, and bought a house and a car with his partner this last year.

    He doesn't earn 100K a year on the line, and probably never will.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  13. #43
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    ^If you want to see specific articles, read the news like the rest of us and follow the information links provided. Do what others do to gain information on a subject. Research it. Google is your friend. So is the library. Pick one.
    I'm asking you for articles to see if you can back up your position. Clearly you can't. Facts don't matter to you, only hyperbole does.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The auto industry doesn't deserve any loans unless it can show a business plan which illustrates major changes.
    Clearly you didn't watch the auto hearings with the Senate and House committees either. Because the automakers were willing to eliminate car lines, still close plants, even the CEO of Chrysler said that perhaps his job should go away. Far, far more than financial companies had to do before they got several hundred billion dollars with no strings attached.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Yes, the domestic car industry has been sinking for several decades. You do understand seeing detrimental behavior, allowing it to continue, then panicking is what got the Big 3 here? When wages rise, market shares decrease, and the industry doesn't move to meet the expectations and desires of the buyers, holes are being punched into an already sinking ship. The truck and SUV market you mentioned? Honda and Toyota have made bounds in those historically US owned areas.
    Yet again, you can't even prove your own assertions. You say the car industry has been "sinking for several decades." Yet you offer nothing--NOTHING--to back up your own assertions. The car industry isn't sinking. If it was sinking, foreign automakers such as Toyota and Nissan wouldn't be making parts for US automakers. The whole industry is intertwined. "When wages rise, market shares decrease..." WTF? Wages of GM workers are comparable to those at Toyota plants.
    Hourly wages for United Auto Workers laborers at General Motors Corp. factories actually are almost equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp. at its older U.S. factories, according to the companies. GM says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78 per hour, while Toyota says it pays about $30 per hour.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AUTO_WORKERS_PAY_GLANCE?SITE=RIPRJ&SECTION=HOME&TE MPLATE=DEFAULT
    See, an article to prove what I'm talking about. Is it really so fucking hard? So, RIS, is it that you don't think GM auto workers shouldn't be able to make a living unlike Grimm's friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The Toyota comment confused you? Do some research on its labor and practices.
    Who wouldn't be confused by nonsensical statements. "Bleeding of the coffers" is financial hyperbole. Now you're talking about labor? But, really, why are you unwilling or unable to back your own statements?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Labor has to shoulder some of the blame, whether the UAW likes it or not. No one is blaming everyone who works in the industry, but the UAW has leveraged wages which are quite high when considering the work required. Compare the non-union wages to foreign competitor wages and UAW wages.
    As I proved above, UAW wages are comparable to those of foreign automakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    It seems as if you have taken personal offense to the UAW being pointed out as a contributing factor to the failure which is now the US auto industry. When you are reading the numerous articles which have been written in the last several weeks, keep an eye out for the amount of money which is owed the UAW in January 2009 and the comparison of wages.
    Since you brought it up, why the reason for your vehemence against the UAW? What have they done to you? Does their members not living in poverty create some sort of problem for you?

    And since you're saying the UAW is owed money in January 2009, why don't you pony up an article to prove it. Perhaps the rest of us would like to read it. Why won't you back your own assertions RIS?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Republicans are greedy. So is the UAW.
    How is the UAW greedy? Because they want their workers to NOT live in poverty? Is that what greed is now?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Obviously Detroit isn't an expert either, considering they are falling to the Japanese.
    Hello? Japanese cars aren't selling in the US market either. Like I said above, the credit markets are still in bad shape. Many people can't get loans to buy cars if they want to buy one. Buying a car is the second biggest purchase a person will make after the home. Since the housing industry is falling like a rock, of course the next domino would be the auto industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Even though this may piss off auto workers, I'm going there. For any unskilled labor position to be compensated at the levels the UAW has managed to obtain is ridiculous. Look at the Toyota and Nissan plants and the wages for comparable positions.
    UAW make ridiculous wages? Where are you getting this? They don't make ridiculous wages. As I cited above, UAW earn wages comparable to those of foreign auto manufactures in the US. So, people being able to earn a living wage doesn't matter to you, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    I support assisting the auto industry. What I don't support is throwing billions of dollars its way with little supervision, low regulation, and indications the same money-draining activities will continue.
    And yet the bill in the Congress had more supervision and regulation than the financial bailout and was for far less money. And as I stated before, the auto makers were willing to make huge concessions such as still closing multiple plants and eliminating product lines by receiving tax payer money.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    The UAW is willing to watch almost three million people go into unemployment just because it despises one man? No job or pay cut? The option seems very damn clear. What seems to be the true issue is the UAW doesn't want to give up any ground and jeopardize it's strength.
    "because it despises one man?" What ARE you talking about? The UAW made concessions to the automakers. They were willing to make concessions. And why is it that only the UAW has to make concessions. Why don't suppliers and dealers have to make concessions too? They are part of the auto industry too, lest you are still unaware of that fact. Moreover, how exactly would the government, or more specifically the Republican Senators from the South, know better to determine auto worker wages than those currently in the industry?

    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    It is not just the cost of currently working UAW member which should be analyzed. Retirement packages should be reworked as well. Every aspect should be streamlined.
    Oh, is that's what it's about for you? Putting the grandmas and grandpas of the UAW on the street, eh? You DO realize that that there are more retirees because work was not as automated in the past than it was today, right? Which means it required more workers in the past than in the present to assemble a car. The foreign automakers don't have those costs because they didn't have plants in the US at the time.

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Of course there are no articles which show the UAW's greed is a direct contributor to the failure in the auto industry is impossible.

    The articles at the end of the post paint a picture of just why the UAW is a godsend for its members and a detriment for the industry as a whole, financially speaking. Billions going to UAW-controlled trusts, the contracts being hammered out even as the companies were showing decreasing sales and profits. Foreign automakers managing to keep their costs lower, yet pay more in wages, and provide acceptable benefits?

    If you had been following the auto industry and its trends for more than the last two months, you would know the SUV/truck boom was a temporary upswing and the foreign competitors have been steadily gaining ground for decades.

    Is it so fucking hard to see the UAW's greed may very well lead to massive layoffs? Is it so fucking hard for you to understand every American taxpayer has a damned right to demand full disclosure if it is our money which will keep these companies afloat? If the pay and perks are seen as excessive and it is our money on the line, taxpayers have every right to support representatives who demand pay cuts and trimming all around. We should not be on the hook because private contracts between UAW and auto companies were the golden egg for the union and the companies who agreed to them can't pay their bills without help.

    In reference to the article you linked, did you fail to see that Toyota's costs are much less, while their average paid wage is higher than even the mighty union? Don't for one minute even try to assert the UAW's demands being met doesn't drive up the costs. That is where the problem lies. Thirty dollars an hour for an labor position is steep, regardless of who else pays it.

    Americans as a whole are struggling. Again, I have no problem with assisting the auto industry. What I don't want my money going to is perks, bonuses, VEBA, and the like. Take a cut now to get the companies which provide auto jobs on track, then try to siphon them. Don't expect the taxpayer to be as compliant as the Big 3.

    I have nothing personal against the UAW, although it seems as if you are personally offended when someone points out that over the years, that union has acquired pay and benefits which far exceed the type of work being done. It is still labor.

    See the links below? Read to your heart's content. Don't you dare tell me I didn't read anything and am making this up. I have been following this industry for a long time and those who have saw this coming a lot longer than a year ago.Now you can cease your baseless accusations of lying and hyperbole. Maybe the Toyota reference will eventually swoop down low enough to get caught in your hair. Higher satisfaction, higher wages, lower costs, no union. Maybe Detroit should take notes.

    If the Big 3 really want to save the industry, regardless of pleasing the UAW, finding ways of getting rid of the old and coming in with the new, at lower rates, is always an option. In this case, it might be a damn viable one. If government takeover is what is needed to keep the automobile industry alive in this country, even if it means making the UAW a invalid, so be it.


    UAW Losing Pay Edge: Foreign Automakers' Bonuses Boost Wages in U.S. Plants as Detroit Car Companies Struggle: aftermarket News

    The Canadian Press: UAW, General Motors say new pact makes labour costs competitive

    Workers wages the straw that broke the automakers' backs - Autoblog

    UAW Boss Avoids Question on Health Concessions | workforce.com



  15. #45
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    Big Three battle comes down to party politics
    Senators carping about tax subsidies should look at plants in their backyard
    COMMENTARY
    By Ed Wallace
    Business Week
    updated 2:34 p.m. CT, Mon., Dec. 15, 2008

    In the ongoing power struggle between Republicans and Democrats, Detroit is the latest, and possibly the bloodiest, battleground. And because it is a battle of ideologies with no apparent connection to pragmatic economic reality, the matter of whether the U.S. auto industry survives takes a backseat to which party gets its way.

    That's because the two parties see the fate of Detroit as a watershed moment, the kind of event that could potentially redraw the political landscape forever. By refusing to bail out General Motors and Chrysler, Republicans see a way to end the last vestiges of unionism in America and the unions' longtime backing of the Democratic party — a political base the Democrats will fight tooth and claw to save. If neither side can win — if they destroy the American automobile industry in its entirety and if in doing so they set off a chain reaction that turns out to be the last straw for our shaky economic system — they don't care.

    How can that be? Simple party politics. Because if these individuals bring down the American economy by destroying Detroit, they'll simply walk away from the disaster saying "It was the other guy's fault."

    Somewhere along the way this debate seems to have overlooked the fact that Detroit, for all its blunders, is still a viable economic engine, providing jobs to millions and creating some of the world's best cars. For example, the best-selling vehicle in America, even in this downturn, is still Ford's F-Series truck, and second place goes to the Chevrolet Silverado. Even the Dodge Ram continues to hold a strong position in the Top 20 vehicle list, while sales of the Toyota Prius are down substantially with the fall-off in gasoline prices. (We assume that the Prius is the type of car the left wants Detroit to build.)

    And speaking of Japanese cars, I hate to point out the obvious, but car sales in Japan are lower today than they were 15 years ago, down over 30 percent just last month. Yet you won't see the heads of the Japanese auto companies on the carpet in front of their government officials, being drilled with questions like, "Why don't you build cars the public wants to buy?"

    What's amazing is that Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is such a huge critic of using taxpayer money to bail out Detroit. Amazing because the state of Alabama has provided hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to lure foreign auto companies to build factories on its soil.

    Of course, when Alabama gave Mercedes-Benz $253 million to build a factory there, or about $168,000 per job created, that was considered a good thing. When Honda considered building a new factory there, that was worth $158 million, and Hyundai's Southern site choice forced the state to cough up $234 million more. Again, these were considered wise investments because the promise was that they would create more jobs for the chronically underpaid Alabama workforce. However, in the summer of 2003, Mercedes brought in Polish workers on questionable B-1 work visas to expand the factory because they could be paid far less than the local workforce.

    So you had Alabama gifting state tax dollars to Mercedes' factory, only to discover that some of the jobs it created went to much cheaper labor imported from Eastern Europe.

    Look at Senator Bob Corker of (R-Tenn.). The former mayor of Chattanooga was one of those responsible for winning the new Volkswagen factory at a cost of $577 million in tax incentives. Moreover, Tennessee got that factory only because Alabama offered the Germans a mere $385 million.

    Mississippi paid $284 million for a new Toyota plant; Kia got $324 million from Georgia. Texas had to fork over only $133 million for Toyota's Tundra plant in San Antonio, while Tennessee gave $197.6 million not for a new Nissan factory but simply so Nissan would move its American headquarters to Nashville. There are other factories — BMW in South Carolina, Nissan in Mississippi, and so on — but you get the point.

    The Republican senators from these states see no problem whatsoever with paying to bring new automobile production to their states, and the media always quotes them gloating about how smart it is to spend that type of money because it creates jobs.

    The reality is that there's no end to the tax largesse handed out to some of the most successful car companies in the world. And you know their names: Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. The fact that many of these companies' brand-new, state-of-the-art American plants — nonunion plants, low cost-benefit plants — are also struggling seems to have escaped the notice of these same elected officials and the media.

    Mercedes recently offered a buyout to its entire workforce in Alabama, and Hyundai has never gotten its Alabama factory up to full capacity. Toyota will not use its upcoming Mississippi factory to build its Highlander SUV, and Nissan is converting its factory in that state to build commercial vehicles. Toyota has been forced to shut its Texas truck plant because of scanty orders for the new Tundra, and so on. So Senator Shelby's statement that Detroit "doesn't innovate. They're a dinosaur," while his partner Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) brags about the "very large and vibrant automobile sector in Alabama," doesn't exactly ring true.

    So we find that nonunion, low-cost, state-subsidized, state-of-the-art auto plants in America are having their fair share of problems, too. But according to Senate Republicans, the only part of the American car industry that isn't working is in Detroit.

    Other governments aren't being so stingy — or mercenary. Sweden gave $3.5 billion to stabilize both Volvo and Saab on Dec. 10. Volkswagen has applied to tap into the bank bailout fund set up by Germany for that nation's troubled financial system — our Treasury and Fed may be compelled to offer similar help. And China just lent Chery Automotive $1.5 billion to continue operations.

    That's right, other industrialized countries around the world will be stepping in to ensure that their own automobile industries will still be working when whatever financial downturn we are looking at is finally over. Moreover, they understand that the world's economy is precarious right now, so they aren't demanding that corporate jets be sold, they aren't demanding new business plans to save the individual companies, and they aren't publicly embarrassing the heads of Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, VW, Nissan, Renault, and others by demanding that they explain why their profits and sales have dropped suddenly. In the rest of the world, elected officials understand serious downturns in the economy and that the automotive industry is cyclical in nature.

    As for Congress, shame on you for playing politics when so many jobs and, in many ways, the future of American manufacturing is at stake. But then again politics is all you know. Maybe you should let American carmakers get on with what they know how to do: build cars.

    Copyright © 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved.

    URL: Big Three battle comes down to party politics - Autos- msnbc.com

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