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Mark Gregory

Does the UAW ever give a speech like UNIFOR did to GM

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As everyone knows GM is closing plants in the USA and Canada and moving the work to Mexico . The Union at GM in Oshawa is begging GM to keep their plant open in Canada . Here is a short video of the Unions speech . Does the UAW ever get vocal like UNIFOR in the USA .

 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/autos/gm-rejects-unifor-proposals-to-keep-oshawa-plant-open-past-2019-1.4245407

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This is one of the most asinine union rep statements I have ever read: 

 

"It may not be profitable, but it certainly wouldn't cause them any sort of deep economic harm," said (union president) Dais."

 

A blind child of 6 could see that no company could be expected to keep going without making a profit.

 

"The company also said about half of the 2,600 hourly workers are eligible for a pension. Retirement benefits include about $3,500 a month, a $20,000 car voucher, and a lump sum payment of about $50,000, said Paterson."

 

With benefits like these it's no wonder the well went dry.

I think many are blind to the fact that no matter how large a corporation is, there is still only so much money. They blame "corporate greed" but the real problem is the unions with their draconian strangle hold on corporations and their never-ending pressure for "more".

Didn't they learn anything from the bailout that initiated in '08?

Too many golden parachutes.

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1 hour ago, W_Higgins said:

One of the most objective things ever written on all aspects of a similar situation:

 

http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/04/05/366339/index.htm

 

I began ( and finished) my flying career with a company based in Allentown in 1969. Both Beth Steel and my company maintained their corporate aircraft at ABE airport. While we rented and shared hangar space with other companies Beth's hangar was the biggest on the field with the company logo writ large on it's sides. I believe there were at least 5 airplanes in their fleet including a Gulfstream 2, the most expensive exec jet of the day.

The hangar was FULLY staffed with support personnel of every kind and type. Mechanics, secretaries, flight attendants, cleaners, radio guys, even cooks and wait staff for in flight food service and the hangar dining rooms. One for hangar management and the aircraft captains another for the lesser folks.

This while the company was entering it's death throes.

What were they thinking?...................Bob

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An excellent article. I think the author is spot on.

Reminds one of Hyman Roth's comment to Michael Coleone in Godfather II:

"We're bigger than US Steel"

a bold statement in 1958.

And where is US Steel today?

A far cry from the the Fortune 500 company it was 60 years ago.

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5 hours ago, GregLaR said:

This is one of the most asinine union rep statements I have ever read: 

 

"It may not be profitable, but it certainly wouldn't cause them any sort of deep economic harm," said (union president) Dais."

 

A blind child of 6 could see that no company could be expected to keep going without making a profit.

 

"The company also said about half of the 2,600 hourly workers are eligible for a pension. Retirement benefits include about $3,500 a month, a $20,000 car voucher, and a lump sum payment of about $50,000, said Paterson."

 

With benefits like these it's no wonder the well went dry.

I think many are blind to the fact that no matter how large a corporation is, there is still only so much money. They blame "corporate greed" but the real problem is the unions with their draconian strangle hold on corporations and their never-ending pressure for "more".

Didn't they learn anything from the bailout that initiated in '08?

Too many golden parachutes.

 

Do you really think if GM paid their workers 75% less they would charge anyless for the vehicle?  Unions brought us many things the EVERY HOURLY PAID WORKER  enjoys, such as holidays, 40 hour work week even a lunch break, things that are taken for granted. I agree that if that was what he said it was pretty stupid. $3500 and if they have to buy their medical insurance is far from a golden parachute

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1 hour ago, John348 said:

Unions brought us many things the EVERY HOURLY PAID WORKER  enjoys, such as holidays, 40 hour work week even a lunch break, things that are taken for granted.

Amen brother.

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Time for a reality check....and maybe a calendar and calculator.

The 40 hour work week was initiated by Ford in 1926. ....almost a hundred years ago. Unions were needed and made necessary improvements. But then they outlived their usefulness and became bloated hogs at the trough.

The retirement benefits for this Oshawa plant is a prime example.

$3,500 per month for the said 1,300 employees = $4,550,000 per month. That's $4.5 Million.....per month, for the rest of their lives.

1,300 $20,000 car vouchers = $26,000,000.  Yes $26 Million.

And 1,300 lump payments of $50,000 = $65,000,000. Another $65 Million.

That's just about a hundred million dollars..... in the first month alone.

It is crystal clear to me why GM is closing this plant.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, GregLaR said:

An excellent article. I think the author is spot on.

Reminds one of Hyman Roth's comment to Michael Coleone in Godfather II:

"We're bigger than US Steel"

a bold statement in 1958.

And where is US Steel today?

A far cry from the the Fortune 500 company it was 60 years ago.

 

Not to go off on a tangent but, to raise another interesting point from the article, they say that even by that time Bethlehem's fate was sealed.... yet Nucor, born out of Reo Motors, goes on to outlive them.  So, there's often plenty of other factors lurking beneath the surface that we cannot see, too.

Edited by W_Higgins (see edit history)

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9 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Time for a reality check....and maybe a calendar and calculator.

The 40 hour work week was initiated by Ford in 1926. ....almost a hundred years ago. Unions were needed and made necessary improvements. But then they outlived their usefulness and became bloated hogs at the trough.

The retirement benefits for this Oshawa plant is a prime example.

$3,500 per month for the said 1,300 employees = $4,550,000 per month. That's $4.5 Million.....per month, for the rest of their lives.

1,300 $20,000 car vouchers = $26,000,000.  Yes $26 Million.

And 1,300 lump payments of $50,000 = $65,000,000. Another $65 Million.

That's just about a hundred million dollars..... in the first month alone.

It is crystal clear to me why GM is closing this plant.

 

Ford implemented a 40 hour work week in their plants in 1926,  Efforts to get a 40 hour work week started much earlier. "August 20, 1866: A new organization named the National Labor Union asked Congress to pass a law mandating the eight-hour workday."

 

Here is another reality check where you can use your calendar and calculator.  In 2017 the CEO of Ford received an annualized pay of $17.4 million  That calculates out to $1.45 million per month.  According to the Detroit Free Press that was 199 times more than the median compensation for all U.S.-based Ford employees.  I assume those numbers would apply to Canadian-based Ford workers too.  Another way to look at it is at $1.45 million per month, he is getting about 1/3 as much money per month as all those 1300 employees who lost their jobs combined.

 

" Ford's biggest individual earner last year was former chief executive Mark Fields, who received $21 million in total compensation, or $1.1 million less than in 2016. His compensation broke down as $1 million in salary; $14 million in stock awards; $2.1 million in incentive plan compensation; $6 million in pension-related compensation and about $400,000 in other compensation.

Ford also disclosed the total compensation for its four other highest-paid current executives:

  • CFO Bob Shanks earned $6.7 million for 2017, compared with $6.3 million for 2016.
  • Executive Chairman Bill Ford earned $15.6 million, up from $13.9 million for 2016.
  • President of Global Markets Jim Farley earned $13.4 million, up from $6.6 million for 2016.
  • And President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs earned $12.1 million, nearly double his $6.7 million for 2016. "

You refer to the union workers as bloated hogs at the trough. It appears to me those workers loosing their jobs are just piglets compared to some non-union employees at the trough.

 

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11 hours ago, John348 said:

 

Unions brought us many things the EVERY HOURLY PAID WORKER  enjoys, such as holidays, 40 hour work week even a lunch break, things that are taken for granted. 

Exactly.  And now things are different.  Times change.  Industries and markets change.  

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Still while there have been some interesting opinions nobody ventured to answer the question I posed....

 

Do you think GM would charge any less for a car if the labor was less?

 

There is obviously some misunderstanding of how a pension plan is negotiated and works. 

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They would charge whatever the market bears.  If they could afford to charge less while making more money and growing the business, they would.  I see no connection that should exist between what the execs make and what the workers make.  If a person doesn’t like their job, then get another one.  There are plenty out there.  If execs upset workers, they will have trouble keeping them, thus increasing costs.  It all balances out, if a company desires to continue its operations and wants to keep good workers.  Instead of worrying about what another person makes, I worry about myself.

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Posted (edited)

I think the main reason Ford went to the 8 hour workday was so he could run 3 shifts and have an efficient workforce 24 hours a day. The end result was a 40 hour work week which we enjoy today but I think it’s foolish to believe that Henry did that as a humanitarian goodwill gesture.

Unions walk a fine line of standing up and saying No to management when it’s time to do so, sometimes the consequences are severe like plant closures but workers deserve certain rights and if we relied on crooked politicians to decide what and when to mandate these rights, then we would all be in trouble. 

Companies rarely give their workers more than required by law, sadly often times it’s less.

Edited by Modeleh (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

 Instead of worrying about what another person makes, I worry about myself.

 

I can see that..

 

 There are many dynamics to labor relations. GM's move really is not a labor related event. Sometimes we forget realize that plants become obsolete and for many reasons from environmental laws, taxes, and the price of real estate and price of utilities. It is more cost effective to build a new plant then to renovate an old one. However it is easier to blame labor cost, while it is a contributing factor, there is less and less manual labor jobs involved in automotive assembly  

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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"crooked politicians" :lol:

 

The American labor movement has been rife with corruption almost since inception. And, according to Unionfacts.com:

"....it is still plagued by rampant corruption, embezzlement, racketeering and influence from numerous organized crime organizations. From penny-ante theft to multi-million dollar embezzlement schemes, labor leaders continue to violate the trust of the members they claim to represent."

 

Hardly paragons of virtue for the down-trodden worker.

 

Here is a good read. It's a link to the list of the top ten union corruption stories of the year. Everybody's union reps are there; the UAW, Longshoremen, Boilermakers, etc.

http://nlpc.org/2018/01/18/top-ten-union-corruption-stories-year-8/

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7 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

I can see that..

 

 There are many dynamics to labor relations. GM's move really is not a labor related event. Sometimes we forget realize that plants become obsolete and for many reasons from environmental laws, taxes, and the price of real estate and price of utilities. It is more cost effective to build a new plant then to renovate an old one. However it is easier to blame labor cost, while it is a contributing factor, there is less and less manual labor jobs involved in automotive assembly  

So you take the time to minimize everything I said into “I can see that” and then make a general statement that has nothing to do with your concern that nobody answered your original question?  

 

In any case, everything you said after that makes complete sense and opens the discussion to a million other things.  Things beside my point that businesses who treat their employees poorly suffer because of it.  

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40 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

Instead of worrying about what another person makes, I worry about myself.

 

If every worker had that attitude, and there had never been any unions formed, the majority of workers in this country would probably be working for minimum wage.  Companies love to pit worker against worker when it comes to giving out pay raises. They don't want you to know what your co-worker makes because they fear you might want a raise. And yes, if a worker doesn't like that they can go somewhere else but they shouldn't have to do that just to earn a decent wage and provide for their families.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

 

If every worker had that attitude, and there had never been any unions formed, the majority of workers in this country would probably be working for minimum wage.  Companies love to pit worker against worker when it comes to giving out pay raises. They don't want you to know what your co-worker makes because they fear you might want a raise. And yes, if a worker doesn't like that they can go somewhere else but they shouldn't have to do that just to earn a decent wage and provide for their families.

 

I don't disagree with that, but in the current time, there are so many good paying jobs out there that we have the option to feel that way.  If the job market was different, I would probably feel different.

 

Of course, I am incredibly grateful to be living in this time and not when it was different. 

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

It seems to me that labor unions performed a valuable function for a long time in the US, then they got hijacked with the wrong philosophy: the workers always benefit even if the company suffers catastrophic failure. I believe that Studebaker produced nowhere near as many cars as Ford or ever had the profit, but still paid higher wages because they couldn't negotiate with the unions like Ford could. As I understand it, this helped Studebaker go under (among other things.)

 

Of course, there's always another side to everything. I don't know what GM will be paying it's Mexican employees, but many companies have plants in Mexico, and BMW is among them. I've read that the BMW plant and some other company's plant (Ford maybe?) pay their line workers under $3 per hour, and they have a cap on the pay of not much more than that. The cap is part of an agreement that got them to build their plant in Mexico in the first place. So a person in Mexico can work at the BMW plant for $3 per hour (again, as line workers)...or migrate  (legally or otherwise) to the US and work as a janitor or in fast food  for $10...or more.

 

The popularity of Mexican plants among manufacturers is only partially derived from the low labor cost. Mexico's other attractive feature is that it's right next door to the richest consumer nation on earth. So a pertinent question is, "what does a corporation that received a lifesaving 13.4 billion bailout loan (and an additional 5 billion for GMAC) from the American taxpayer just ten years ago owe the American worker today?"

 

That's kind of a moral question, but I suspect that GM isn't viewing it as such. It's a complicated dilemma. They can't pay the kind benefits they are, but they still owe something to America. I understand this is a Canadian plant, but if they're also closing plants in the US, the argument still applies.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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Bailouts were not free money. In the case of CitiBank the government received a substantial equity stake in exchange. And that equity stake was sold for a significant profit.

Government banks $15 billion on Citigroup bailout | Fortune

In the case of GM the equity stake was sold for a net loss, but probably could have been held onto longer for a profit.

 

 

Government sells last of its GM shares - USA Today

 

U.S. taxpayers no longer own any of automaker General Motors. The Treasury sold the last of its remaining 31.1 million GM shares today. It started with 500 million shares in 2010.

The taxpayer loss on the GM bailout is $10.5 billion. The Treasury department said it recovered $39 billion from selling its GM stake, and had put $49.5 billion of taxpayer money directly into the GM bailout.

 

 

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The taxpayers lost $10.5 billion because of those loans and GM survived because of these loans. Whoever's fault that was, it's not hard to figure out who got the better of that deal.

GM has to make a profit. That's the way business works. On the other hand, if their business decisions are perceived as cold, impersonal and devoid of loyalty by the public, then the consumers' buying decisions of American vs. Japanese may be the same. I've read that one of the corporate cultural differences between American and Japanese car makers is that the Americans are more mercenary, with top executives migrating to the competition if the pay is good enough. OTOH, Japanese executives tend to be more loyal to one company. Some American car buyers admire that. The Japanese have a few plants in Mexico, too, but, according to this article, the "most made in America cars" are the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/09/16/made-in-usa-ford-fiat-chrysler-cars/90484950/

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)

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Sad to hear of car plants closing.  All the ones in Australia are gone and everything is imported.

 

I know nothing about the plants in the US ( except they made great cars in the 30's thru to the seveties) but a friend sent this to me the other day which amazed me.    Some of you may have seen it

 

 

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:41 PM, Bhigdog said:

 

I began ( and finished) my flying career with a company based in Allentown in 1969. Both Beth Steel and my company maintained their corporate aircraft at ABE airport. While we rented and shared hangar space with other companies Beth's hangar was the biggest on the field with the company logo writ large on it's sides. I believe there were at least 5 airplanes in their fleet including a Gulfstream 2, the most expensive exec jet of the day.

The hangar was FULLY staffed with support personnel of every kind and type. Mechanics, secretaries, flight attendants, cleaners, radio guys, even cooks and wait staff for in flight food service and the hangar dining rooms. One for hangar management and the aircraft captains another for the lesser folks.

This while the company was entering it's death throes.

What were they thinking?...................Bob

A big tax write-off!

 

Craig

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