trini

OSHAWA PLANT CLOSING TODAY

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The CP 24 Toronto news announced the Oshawa  GM plant making its last vehicle today December 18 (today) I would not want to be one of those workers at the plant today. My heart goes out to them.  I know what it is to be unemployed.

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You are somewhere between 10 and 50 years too late. GM quality has been a joke for that long. I'm surprised they managed to keep suckering the public as long as they did but even the diehard GM fans have abandoned them for better makes.

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It is difficult to say whether it is the workers to blame or the company. A company is good only as the people who runs it.

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I think I know what Trini is saying...regardless of who is at fault, it's difficult to see a lot of people lose their jobs. And to see the North American auto industry decline further. Not a happy day.

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3 hours ago, R W Burgess said:

You can blame the US Government for a lot of this.

 

I feel the Canadian Government has a play also but it does come down to Company desires and plans.

Here in Windsor, Ontario, Canada GM had a Transmission Plant for years and 20 years ago the rumour was that it would be closing. The Company slowly kept reducing product after automating half the plant with robotics till the announcement was made for a closing date just like Oshawa.

 

What has seldom been mentioned here is the fact while the exchange rate between US and Canadian dollars was high (Canadian averaging 35% less value than US) increasing US investment in Canada, the costs of Labour (Unions), negotiated benefit plans, taxes (both corporate and property once the incentive negotiated property tax relief term had expired), an International Border which likely was higher costs than shipping In Country, export fees/charges, all lessened the profitability bottom line... which Companies feel obligated to exec bonuses and stock holders annual dividend's.

 

I can say loosing that plant (along with other Companies here) has changed the business climate over the 45 years of living here and has effected many, many lives, both employees of GM, the supporting parts suppliers and service industries as would be expected from that closing down decision. 

 

Should FCA ever decide to close the Van Plant and move it to the States (or off shore...?) Windsor will be the new Flint, Michigan....

IMG_0587.thumb.JPG.e029567fbf8f5e32830d87d3d386efea.JPG  

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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About five years ago a friend of mine who was hired to install some electronic gadget to automate engines on an assembly line had everything in place. It worked fine while he and management were testing it. The following day it broke  down. He was called to repair it. When he checked he found certain critical points of installation were deliberately shifted making the machine not falling in place. A deliberate sabotage by workers to frustrate automation. It was done twice. So much for that . 

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Yes I believe the government should shoulder a lot of plants closing like this. But ultimately that fault is ours for being the silent majority. How many times have you (like me) said those “damn politicians” then done nothing about it. How many times have you said “they just want to be in Congress to make money off the taxpayer” ( like I have) then done nothing about it. 

I’ve made a major change recently and started writing my senators and reps (they are NO LONGER suppose to be Republicans  or Democrats after elected, they are supposed to be ALL the people of the state representatives) every time I bitch about what is going on in DC. It takes a lot off time I know, but if I’m going to complain it’s my responsibility to do something about it. Write! Vote! 

I believe term limits would stop a lot of this and that is something I have become very involved with. Find that one thing that really boils your blood and act on it. Not just once but hold their feet to the fire and maybe just maybe things may get better. 

 

Time to get back in the garage, the beast needs some tender care, and I need to release the stress factor. 

Have fun

Dave S 

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7 hours ago, dei said:

What has seldom been mentioned here is the fact while the exchange rate between US and Canadian dollars was high (Canadian averaging 35% less value than US) increasing US investment in Canada, the costs of Labour (Unions), negotiated benefit plans, taxes (both corporate and property once the incentive negotiated property tax relief term had expired), an International Border which likely was higher costs than shipping In Country, export fees/charges, all lessened the profitability bottom line... which Companies feel obligated to exec bonuses and stock holders annual dividend's.

GM Canada does not pay into the health care plan so that is also a big saving. Plus after age 65 the government covers most of your drugs plus kids glasses so GM is again off the hook.  But how can you compete with $3.50 an hr. with no benefits. GM only has one small engine and one non union assembly plant left in Canada.

GM is almost out of Canada so that leaves them more time to clear out US plants next.

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

 Plus after age 65 the government covers most of your drugs plus kids glasses so GM is again off the hook. 

 

Hmmmm?

I will preface this statement by relating that I worked for the General for years.

 

I don't want to politicize this thread too much, but in my view the answer (like the elephant in the room) is quite obvious.

I've always had difficulty getting a grasp on the ideology that once a person works for a company and then leaves or retires, they somehow become the eternal responsibility of that company, like corporate offspring, .....ad infinitum.

I mean, didn't the company get "off the hook" as soon as they consented to pay an agreed upon wage (with whatever attaching benefits prevailed) for the agreed upon period the worker was in the company's employ? 

I know an argument can be made on the principle that "One gave 20 good years of their life" to the company, but what if, after retirement, that individual goes on to live for another 20, 30 or even 40 years? Where should the company's obligation end?

Unsustainable contracts between corporations and unions brought about the collapse and bail out of the American auto industry only a decade ago. However, as the recent strike at GM Pennsylvania shows, the UAW has an extremely short memory.

And, just in case you haven't been following the negotiations, the new contract includes:

 

-$11,000 signing bonus per member

-Performance bonuses

-Two 3% annual raises

-Two 4% lump sum payments

-And no change to their already stupendous health plan.

 

Now GM has announced the closure of 3 American factories.

You don't need to hold a degree in economics to understand the connection between these incidents (inclusive of the Oshawa plant). Simple elementary school arithmetic will suffice.

 

They need a more economic way to produce the product, which gives a limited amount of choices:

1-Simply charge more for the product (difficult without a monopoly)

2-Cut corners on quality of the product. (quick loss of customer faith in the product)

3-Find a more efficient way to build the product

  (A) Cheaper labor force

  (B) Automation

4-Find a new location not hindered by the current issues

 

Again, simple elementary school arithmetic will give the answer.

 

 

 

 

ostrich.jpg

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The pension plan was supposed to be self funding. When it started in the early fifties workers and the company put in a certain amount of money each month to build up an investment fund. When those first workers started retiring in the sixties and seventies, they typically lasted a year and a half to two years before they died. And all the money stayed in the pension fund. Which was invested when the stock market was about 1/10 what it is today. Where did all that money go? It seems to have vanished. The company took it. How they could do that, legally, I don't know. So now they have a pension obligation with no funding. Except they palmed it off on the union and the government when they went bankrupt 10 years ago. If the pension fund had been honestly run and not looted there would be plenty of money.

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In some respects the American system is still run like the wild west. The Canadian Teachers Pension is run by the teachers and they have a huge pension fund and massive investments All companies/ employees  pension funds are tightly regulated by the Federal Government against companies pillage. Pension contributions are tax free. It is taxed only when the individual collects on retirement depends on the individual total income threshold  for taxation.  We elect people to govern us . Democracy is the election of the few crooks by the naïve majority.

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It is being implied that American companies can raid pension funds, no they can't. It is a violation of Federal law.

 

The UAW leadership has embezzled money from the pension funds, an estimated $300 million, so far, and several are being investigated/indicted for those infractions.

 

It sucks that those plants are closing and I feel for the employees and their families, especially at this time of year. I think the real story here is, it is 2019 and we are discussing the present US automotive industry. I myself have been trying to/pretending to run a business for the last 20-some years and I can attest, it is not an easy thing to do, it's good times and bad times. The fact that after almost a hundred years of the unions on their backs and they still survive is a testament to the brilliant leadership of these companies.

 

Someone asked "Where did the money go?"... I could spend a few hours outlining how and where it went. Like putting people on medical for months at a time at full pay without a doctors slip, Jobs bank,paying people to stay home, buying out contracts, some received as much as 60 grand, people with only a few years were given new cars to opt out of their contract. It's a miracle any of these companies still exist. I know one guy, that worked on the steel track at the Rouge, he had a coffee stand set up, yes he was an employee of the mill and ran his own coffee shop in the plant. Another one at GM tech, spliced in to the phone lines in the underground pipe chase and was running a real estate office.

 

Someone mentioned above about employees sabotaging tooling, they absolutely do that, I had it happen to tools I designed and built for the line. It's frustrating, luckily management knows what is up and doesn't blame the toolmakers when the evidence was that the tool was intentionally damaged. What precedes that is they simply refuse to use it, as it usually resulted in fewer man hours, but once the company wrote it in to procedure, they had no choice or get written up, that is when they would damage it and render it inoperable or claim some ergonomic issue, wrong angle of a handle or some nonsense. The best fix for any tool we delivered was a simple one, change the operator.

 

-Ron

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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Another distinction of Oshawa Assembly is that was the oldest GM Assembly plant in operation.  Not that it was old and outdated but it was the oldest site.  It actually pre-dates General Motors as McLaughlin started operations there as a partnership with Buick, then Chevrolet built cars there prior to being merged into GM in 1918. Flint Assembly, built in 1947, is now the oldest assembly site for GM.

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6 hours ago, Stude Light said:

Another distinction of Oshawa Assembly is that was the oldest GM Assembly plant in operation.  Not that it was old and outdated but it was the oldest site.  It actually pre-dates General Motors as McLaughlin started operations there as a partnership with Buick, then Chevrolet built cars there prior to being merged into GM in 1918. Flint Assembly, built in 1947, is now the oldest assembly site for GM.

They tore down the original Oshawa North plant in stages over the years. Now has a Costco, court house, post office depot on the next block and then construction  of some sort on the last block. Car plant that just closed was built in 53 and 12 years ago was updated to the most modern and only flex plant GM had. 

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An old joke around Ontario was, if you're down on your luck and feeling sorry for yourself.., be thankful you're not a Ford dealer in Oshawa!

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Do you remember the most violent "union" ? The one with two horse's heads ? The leader is still  missing  after 40 years. 

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Think of Conrad Black when you think of pension funds going into some ones pocket. Then think of Dominion Foods or Massey Ferguson pensioners.

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On 12/20/2019 at 10:27 PM, trini said:

Do you remember the most violent "union" ? The one with two horse's heads ? The leader is still  missing  after 40 years. 

Do you mean the one featured in "The Irishman"?

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The Teamsters. Hoffa is still missing and he was replaced by his son who is a lawyer but never worked a day in his life in the trenches.????  

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