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UAW walks out of GM talks, now on strike

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posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:40 PM
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As of 11am eastern time talks broke down and UAW gave the order to walk out. Apparently the two major issues are health care and hourly rate. Being a UAW rep for Lear Corp I know how heated theses arguments can get. Especially on the amount of money GM wants the UAW to give back. Just 2 years ago the international union opened up the contract and gave 1 billion dollars back in concessions. That is the single largest give back in the UAW history.

So seeing how we supply GM trucking division I am currently laid off until these guys can reach some sort of agreement. BTW GM has a 10 day supply (stock pile) before they start to even feel the pinch of the strike.

From what I have heard GM wants the UAW to get the same amount of wages that Toyota pays its people. Thats 25 dollars an hour all in. The all in price includes hourly rate, health care, optical, dental and retirement. The average GM worker is currently at a 75 dollar and hour all in rate. That is one hell of a hit. I understand we are competing against 3rd world country's but they cant in all honesty expect our workers to agree to that much of a concession with cost of living in the states the way it is, and prices keep skyrocketing.

We just finished our three year contract last year. Where we took a pay freeze, got rid of our cost of living allowance and make a 20 dollar a week premium share towards our health care. That hurt, Then they took away our OT, sped up the line so we barely get our 40 in and now they want to install 4 more robots on top of the 6 we already have. Each Bot takes away 2 jobs. Thats 8 families we will be putting out on the street. We definately have some dark days ahead of us.




posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:45 PM
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Good luck. I mean it. Labor has taken a beating during this aministration and the middle class has suffered greatly as a result.

I hope the UAW prevails and we begin to right this sinking ship.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:59 PM
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Yeah - they've taken a beating back to market rates. Tell me how the custodial worker "earns" his 75k just because he's been there for 25 years - and he can't be fired.... Or how about how the majority of the jobs are semi-skilled and that the best bolt installer is paid the same as the worst bolt installer who abuses the system, gets "sick" on a monthly basis and generally doesn't give a crap....

Unions made sense 50 years ago - today they are nothing more than extortion tools. Jobs are a privilege not a right. The noose put on companies via unions is easily dealt with today via the labor laws and public relations nightmares that would occur if workers were being exploited.

Yeah - people just want a job but they have no clue what it takes to fund and run a company. If they did - they would be the first ones to disband the union but sadly they have no clue and will run a good company into the ground and impact people down the food chain.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by UofCinLA
 


Labor unions aren't perfect, and not all of their workers are ideal employees. However, my experience with the two unions I've belonged to is that most employees are hard-working individuals who take pride in their jobs and earn their pay.

The Wal-Martization of this country has taken a toll on the middle class, pushing many families into the low-income range. While this may help provide cannon fodder for Bush's wars, the effects on the economy are just now beginning to be felt.

Our nation needs a strong middle class. Your corporate overlords won't be able to afford their summer homes and yachts without us.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by befoiled
reply to post by UofCinLA
 

Your corporate overlords won't be able to afford their summer homes and yachts without us.


Huh..?? How are they "my" corporate overlords. I have started and run my own small companies - I take care of my people. I suggest others do the same and gain some experience on both sides of the labor/management coin before commenting. It's an enlightening experience - I can tell you. It's far easier to be a drone than it is to put your cash and reputation on the line to sink or swim....



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by UofCinLA
...I have started and run my own small companies - I take care of my people. I suggest others do the same and gain some experience on both sides of the labor/management coin before commenting. It's an enlightening experience - I can tell you. It's far easier to be a drone than it is to put your cash and reputation on the line to sink or swim....


Glad you take care of your drones...er...people. Many employers, with the blessings of this adminstration, simply exploit their employees.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:28 PM
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Your corporate overlords won't be able to afford their summer homes and yachts without us.


Yes they will.Bigger and better homes,don't kid yourself thinking that you (or me,or the OP) means anything in their globally run corporations.
They will take everything away from USA and give it to Mexico first,then,they'll find someone else to do it cheaper.Never mind the quality.

To the OP : I am in Canada,and i work in a closely related field,but not directly in automotive.I'm sorry to say that here you don't get much pity if you work for any of the 3 american automakers.And that is because of the Unions.

We feel the pinch in Ontario,really bad actually,and this news is very bad for us.If no concessions will be made somehow,everybody is out to lose.Not only workers there,but here as well.

The way i see it here lately, is quality first,price after.Everyone here wants to buy japanese cars,nobody i know even considers an american anymore.
Issues are : quality,crappy customer experience,all sorts of shady dealers trying to get money from you ( I'm talking new car dealers,not used) for repairs under warranty.

We'll see how this one plays out.


[edit on 24-9-2007 by Bursuc]



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:38 PM
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Good luck my union brother (except I am USW)

I have one compelling question: Why is this in skunk works?



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:39 PM
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Yeah I agree Unions aren't perfect but you just cited a few, very few at that UofCinLA. Most of my guys bust there ass and work under a M.O.S.T system. That means every movement is timed and factored in so they can get the most productivity out of each and every worker. Its obvious you haven't done any back ground check into unions and the good they have brought to the entire working class. To me it sounds as though you just regurgitated what most white collar workers have been spewing out of their mouths for the past ten years. Ive been a member since 1989 and have been actively involved as a collective bargaining and negotiating rep at the table for the last 9 years. After we gave up our concessions Bob Rossiter gave himself a 150% pay raise. If they want to compare us to Japanese plants then I suggest the CEO's make Japanese wages.

The average CEO for a Japanese company make 65 dollars and hour more than it hourly worker. The average CEO of an American company make 565 dollars an hour more than its line worker. Look at Delphi, it files bankruptcy then turns around and give its top execs huge bonuses. How can that be?

Unions are necessary especially here in Michigan. Someone has to stand up for the middle class.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 02:52 PM
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Ok dude - start a company and pay yourself 100k on 1mil in revenues. Now scale that up to a company like GM. The GM exec's make far less as a percentage of revenues than does the small company owner like me. I also only have to worry about a handful of workers and not 80 thousand of them so I expect less.

Yes - unions did great things until laws and a little thing called internet sprang up. Today is not 1950 or 1910 - things have changed. I pay my workers to do a job. I don't pay them to try and extort me, or make me lock in job security or healthcare. Those are extras I choose to give and have to, to get good employees and stay competitive. If I do something bad - I know my name will be splattered all over the net. That is was people fail to realize. Management gets it these days - they know they need high quality workers to stay in the game - what the workers fail to realize is that every shutdown like this makes the company more likely to close up shop and say screw it.

If I ran GM and owned the whole thing, I would shut the doors and walk away. What's the point. I'm an evil owner for paying someone to do a job, I'm evil when I give them more than others in terms of bene's, I'm evil if I don't give to charity and I'm evil if I make a buck for running the ship. At the end of the day, companies pay lip service to their owners and not the employees. They are there to make money, not to give people jobs. That is a luxury that comes with the territory and can easily be yanked out from under ones feet. As people say - don't bite the hand that feeds you....



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by UofCinLA
 


I'm pretty sure I wouldn't own a GM vehicle assembled by employees who just received a 60% pay cut. The problems with GM comes from the boardrooms, not the factory floor.

It is amazing to hear those who defend corporate America's exploitation of workers, or "drones," depending on which side of the fence you're on. Here is a sample of some executive salaries to compare with the overpaid workforce.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 06:33 PM
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Dude - how is it exploitation. The people that work there are paid to do a job. The perks in cheap healthcare, and seniority and all sorts of other goodies that I could never get in the high tech sector are lavished on the workers. I never got a pension either - 401k baby - I had to save for my own future and for most of my drone life I had no company match or contribution.

If you can point me to the law, right, or any other item that says I - as a business owner HAVE to employ people and pay them any more than fair market value for a days work - please show it to me now.... I pay more because I want good people. Please also point me to the same law or right that says a business HAS to stay open.... Last time I checked - there are none - the shareholders will be pissed, the suppliers will be pissed, the city and state will be pissed but at the end of the day the people really hit will be the workers. Workers who have it very good and ARE paid well for the work they do.

If you don't like the work or the pay - leave. Start your own company and make a go of it like I did. When you find that too difficult and too much work you will likely pipe down a bit and realize even though you thought it crappy it was better than the 16-18 hour days manning the helm of the ship for and uncertain profit and paycheck....

Writing this from my old hometown - Saginaw, MI (that name may be familiar to you as in Saginaw Steering Gear, or Delphi as in a GM Town) so yes I have some front row knowledge on this subject too....



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by UofCinLA
Dude - how is it exploitation...

If you can point me to the law, right, or any other item that says I - as a business owner HAVE to employ people and pay them any more than fair market value for a days work - please show it to me now.... I pay more because I want good people.


It is exploitation when the executives make 25 times or greater than the salary of workers. It is exploitation when an honest, hard-working employee can't afford to buy a house or send his or her kids to college. It is exploitation when corporations like Wal-Mart get around the feeble overtime laws by declaring many of their workers "associate managers" for an extra 25 cents an hour. The list is endless.

The laws of the land most certainly work in the corporations' favor. You don't "have" to pay people more than the fair market value but you are morally obligated to pay a living wage allowing the "American Dream" for any honest worker. Anything less is...well...exploitation.



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 11:59 AM
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I am not a fan of unions at all

I think that once there was a place for unions but with labor laws being what they are today there is no longer..

people complain all the time about jobs going over seas and it is because the companies can not compete with union overhead I mean lets face it these are factory workers nothing more nothing less if they have a degree they need to use it for something else if they don't have the drive to find something else then who's problem is that. all in all the days of making 75K a year for factory work are over.. I buy foreign cars for this very reason to help the process along (I also hold stock in GM and Ford it was cheap right)

I am sure that I will get flamed beyond belief for this post but only because you guys are on strike right cause if you were at work making a living you wouldn't be here to flame me


Later
GEO



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by geocom
I think that once there was a place for unions but with labor laws being what they are today there is no longer..


The need for unions, like everything else, is cyclic. Union membership is at the lowest since 1900. In 1958, when private sector union membership was at its height at 39% of the workforce (source), a blue collar worker could afford to raise a family. Today, with membership at roughly 8%, the opposite is true. Many hard-working families cannot even afford health insurance, much less a house or the ability to send their kid to college.


people complain all the time about jobs going over seas and it is because the companies can not compete with union overhead I mean lets face it these are factory workers nothing more nothing less if they have a degree they need to use it for something else if they don't have the drive to find something else then who's problem is that. all in all the days of making 75K a year for factory work are over.. I buy foreign cars for this very reason to help the process along (I also hold stock in GM and Ford it was cheap right)


The companies can indeed compete if the executives weren't making 50 times (or more) what the workers are. Outsourcing is a sell-out to squeeze extra profits for those who are already wealthy. It weakens our country, makes us dependant on imports, and widens the gap between the rich and poor.

When you think about it, our nation was probably at its strongest when union membership was at its highest. Every American willing to work was afforded a chance to live the "American Dream." This is certainly not the case today.


I am sure that I will get flamed beyond belief for this post but only because you guys are on strike right cause if you were at work making a living you wouldn't be here to flame me


I am not on strike but I fully support the UAW brothers and sisters that are. Their cause is just.

I certainly won't flame you for your opinion either. I just think you should hear another view - a view from a hard working American - not that of Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Rielly or any of those other self-serving puppets of the far right.



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 11:47 PM
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I have been on the other end I was at one time about 15 years ago a union member so I have the inside view on that just in case anyone was wonderin it was 777 machinist and aerospace..

I do appreciate though that you took the time to read something that you disagree with and respond cordially

wanted to mention also that I don't like any of those puppets that you mention never even listen to them in fact can't stand Hannity at all makes my blood boil


all opinions aside you seem like a stand up guy not that you need my approval just giving credit where credit is due..


Best of Luck with your cause

GEO

[edit on 9/25/2007 by geocom]



posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 04:48 AM
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It's over before the paint was dry on the picket signs.....


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Negotiators from the United Auto Workers union and General Motors reached a tentative agreement on a deal early Wednesday to end a two-day old strike by 73,000 workers, according to the union and the company.

Terms of the agreement were not immediately available, but the statement from the company said the deal does include the establishment of a union-controlled trust fund that will assume responsibility for future retiree health care costs from GM (Charts, Fortune 500), the nation's No. 1 automaker.
The UAW strike at GM could be over as soon as Wednesday after the No. 1 automaker and union reached a tentative agreement.

Getting agreement for that shift of costs, estimated at more than $50 billion, was the key bargaining goal of the talks for GM.

Source



posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 02:26 PM
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Well, I work in a research and development facility where UAW workers are part of the work force and I have mixed feelings about its usefulness.

There are good things and bad things.

To the OP dont take this the wrong way but so what you have to pay a little more for health care!!!!!! Welcome to my world!! Try $620/month and that is without a cost of living allowance. I work with UAW guys and I hear them complain all of the time how the union is getting screwed...Yea try to force that down my throat when you invite me over for a cookout at you $200k home with your new F350 in the driveway and 2 Harley D's in the garage. Whatever man. Come visit my world where I have an education, drive a $500 car, live in a run down rental property w/o benefits!

My billing rate is $28/hr...I see 23 of that. That does not include my health care. So yes it can be done.

You need to realize how much the unions have protected your butts for a lot of years and finally you are starting to see a little of the pain the rest of us are experiencing out here in the real world.


A lot of us didn't have the opportunities to walk into a place right after highschool and get a decent paying job...Now a college degree is needed to work in just about any field that is going to provide a decent living for your family.


And in reply to befoiled and the Wal-mart thing...open your eyes. The only reason Wal-mart is so successful is because we allow it to be. How many times a week do you shop there? I personally find myself paying a little more at mom and pop shops. (when I can) It is a lot more convienent and that is what we want because as a society we are pretty lazy.



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