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Toyota Bumps Ford in US, Topples GM in World. Why?

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posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:25 PM

posted by frayed1

I fail to see why union built cars would be crappy, the design and materials were chosen by non-union, management types, no? The cost of manufacture and therefore the sticker price could reflect higher union wages, but lousy design and crooked dealers? [Edited by Don W]

During War 2, people worked hard because it was for the defense of our country and to supply our serviceman and women overseas. Ford and GM had both waged “war” on union organizers in the mid-1930s. Several union men were killed by Pinkerton goons hired by Henry Ford and the GM management. Walter Ruether, the UAW-CIO leader had been shot in a nearly successful assassination attempt. He suffered a permanent injury to one arm which swung aimlessly at his side. (Much like Robert Dole suffered in Italy.) From anti union killings in 1937 to 1945 was barely 8 years!

Production of new cars - 1942 models with new grills - began in October, 1945. Car makers could sell every car they made because there had been no new car sales since January, 1942. Almost 4 years. People had been encouraged to save their money and because of rationing of gasoline and restricted travel, people had money “to burn” and wanted a new car as a form of celebrating the victory at war! My parents sold the car they had bought in 1941 for 1/3rd more than they had paid, and bought a house on the street car line. My father rode to work with the man next door.

There was a lot of labor unrest. The only way an employee can get back at his employer is to leave out something or not to property install something as the new cars sped down the assembly line. Sometimes men would throw wrenches into the doors so there would be a built-in rattle. Labor management problems were so bad in the late 40s and early 50s that there was a time when it was urban wisdom not to buy a car made on Monday - hangovers - nor on Friday - in a hurry to break for the weekend.

GM, Ford and Chrysler blamed poor products on the UAW assembly workers. Nobody listened to the Union explaining it was design and not assembly that made for leaks, squeaks, rattles and poor fit. The public ignored them.

By the early 60s there had been a sea change in labor and management attitudes. I have said the unions sold out. The unions became employment counselors for the companies. Of course, I'm old school. I believe any “good” union will crack skulls and break knees. Economic survival is not a parlor game. The rich will never give up anything of value to the poor without a real fight of whatever it takes. Pres. Nixon and Pres. Reagan had a lot to do with the destruction of the labor union movement in the US of A. This is why I have no regard for Republicans.

Now, when Ford and GM sell out to Honda or Suzuki, the UAW will be buried as a memory of what once was IMO, the greatest organization of people with shared interests working together for a better life, in the 20th century.

[edit on 1/9/2007 by donwhite]

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