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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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UAW: Hypocrites?

Autoworkers swallow a bitter pill
As union workers are forced to make big sacrifices, a tough job that used to promise security and the American dream becomes a lot less appealing.
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By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: May 29, 2009: 11:27 AM ET

chart_union_concessions2.gif
CNN GM Special
CNN's Ali Velshi and Christine Romans explore the rise and fall of the U.S. auto industry -- and where it might go from here.
Detroit's Youth: Stay or go?
Detroit's Youth: Stay or go?
The young people of Motown have a tough choice: Go where the jobs take them or stick around Detroit and tough it out.
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DETROIT'S DOWNFALL

* GM stock falls below $1
* Autoworkers swallow a bitter pill
* Chrysler fate in judge's hands
* GM bankruptcy still likely despite deal
* Visteon files for Chapter 11

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- There was a time, not very long ago, when getting a job on the production line at a big automaker meant an instant ticket to the American dream, even for someone with little formal education. Not anymore.

"The minute you signed the paper, you were instantly vaulted into the middle class," said Mike Smith, director of Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library in Detroit, named for the founder of the United Auto Workers, the union that represents auto workers.

A shrinking paycheck. As the auto industry undergoes a sea change, the government has demanded that Chrysler and General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) bring their labor costs in line with foreign competitors operating non-union factories in the U.S.

Today, an entry-level autoworker in a "non-core" position will make $14 an hour, compared to the $28-an-hour "base rate" others make, according to a summary of Chrysler's contract agreement.

Workers' benefits have also taken a hit.

"Workers coming in will have good benefits and a good wages but not necessarily what they were 20 or 30 years ago," said Smith.

Anemic health care. New UAW employees will pay a much larger portion of their health care expenses and once they retire, carmakers won't pay for it, according to information from the Center for Automotive Research.

Fewer medical procedures and drugs will be covered and, under new agreements, Chrysler and GM retireees won't have dental and vision care covered.

Eroding unemployment benefits. As GM and Chrysler restructure, the UAW has agreed to give up salary protections that had cushioned laid off autoworkers.
0:00 /02:46Coming to U.S.: GM's Chinese cars

These protections had allowed factory workers to get their full pay, or close to it, even after they had been laid off. Workers could stay in the so-called "jobs bank," with pay, until they'd either returned to work or turned down job offers from the automaker.

Under new deals with GM and Chrysler, factory workers will receive much less money when they're laid off. Senior workers will only be protected for up to one year, according to a summary of recent UAW contract changes.

Roots of the union. The UAW was started in the 1930's and, at first, was aimed at improving working conditions and curbing abuses on the factory floor, Smith said.

Before an auto workers' union even existed, Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) unilaterally decided to begin paying its factory workers $5 a day starting in 1914, more than double the prevailing wage at the time, according to the book "Wheels for the World," by Douglas Brinkley.

The reason Ford agreed to pay that high wage was that workers wouldn't stay on the lines very long otherwise. Every year, automakers had to hire and train many times the number of workers they actually needed to staff production lines, as workers quit or simply stopped coming to work.

The work was mind-numbing at best, deadly at worst, especially at Ford which pioneered the use of assembly lines.

"In 1916, Highland Park might have a few deaths, a few hundred limbs lost," said Smith, talking about Ford Motor Co.'s first big, automated factory.

Still, potential workers flocked to Detroit to work in Ford's plants looking for those big paychecks. Those who were accepted were subjected to strict background checks and agreed to have their homes routinely inspected by Ford staffers to be sure they were living decent, clean lives.

Although Henry Ford bitterly resisted unionization when the time came, the $5 day offered a preview of what was to come. Ford wages eventually slipped back into line with the rest of the industry while workers demanded safer working conditions.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:28 PM
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:45 PM
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I think they recognized that it 50% of what they had was better than 100% of jack shit.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 04:56 PM
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Hell, they're getting 17.5% of the company after resctructure, with the future option on another 2.5%...

So let me get this straight, one of if not the biggest problems for GM is now going to have the 2nd largest stake in the company behind the US treasury and the Obama machine...does anyone else see a problem with this????




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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 06:57 PM
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So let me get this straight, one of if not the biggest problems for GM is now going to have the 2nd largest stake in the company behind the US treasury and the Obama machine...does anyone else see a problem with this????
Now they would be striking themselves.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 09:59 PM
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Now they would be striking themselves.
Yeah, you're gonna see a new attitude out of the UAW now that the shoe is on the other foot LOL...... but i'm sure that the corruption and cronyism will still be in place.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 07:33 AM
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This whole deal is set up to be an utter failure.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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They refused to make adjustments to their contracts when GM was trying to be profitable, but when they take control it's "Sorry yall, cuts had to be made."
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 04:13 PM
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CEO Obama and CFO Gettlefinger.......

My next car, and every future car, will be a Ford.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 04:31 PM
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I never thought I would consider Honda or Toyota "American built", but I will give my money to them (or Ford), before buying GM or Chrysler.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 04:41 PM
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They refused to make adjustments to their contracts when GM was trying to be profitable, but when they take control it's "Sorry yall, cuts had to be made."
You are aware that the UAW pretty much made the same concessions to Ford, right?

Also, you are very much mistaken if you think the UAW is in control, or taking control of GM or Chrysler. The UAW isn't getting ANY stock in these companies. The Health Care fund is getting that stock instead of cash. The fund is going to sell that stock as soon as it can because it needs cash. The UAW is getting a board seat at each company but that's it.

It seems to me that folks on this message board keep piling onto the UAW and completely ignoring the fact that the UAW has been giving back pay and benefits to the big three since all the way back in 2005. While the UAW certainly deserves some of the blame for what has happened, the majority of it rests with piss poor management and the credit crunch. The fact is that Ford would be in the same boat as GM and Chrysler if Alan Mulally hadn't had the foresight (or luck) to secure a shit load of credit before the crisis hit. If GM had done that, we wouldn't be talking about bankruptcy right now.

Now putting all that shit aside.

What really bothers me about this is that the entire bankruptcy system has been corrupted here. In a normal Chapter 11, the UAW (or its health care fund) wouldn't get jack shit. The security bond holders would get paid first, not the Feds. It is like fuckin bazarro world.

Another thing that bugs me is that GM and Chrysler are going to come out of this with very little debt when compared to Ford. They are going to have a competitive advantage. Fiat is coming out of this smelling like a rose. They pretty much got control of Chrysler for nothing.

I also get the feeling that when it comes to Chrysler, we are going to be doing this again in just a few years. That company is a POS that should have been allowed to die in chapter 7.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 08:44 AM
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CEO Obama and CFO Gettlefinger.......

My next car, and every future car, will be a Ford.
So the Corvette buy was like buying a Michael Jackson CD produced before he was labeled as a kid toucher? Still affords you the ability to listen to 'Billie Jean' while maintaining principles and being able to say 'yeah, that guy is a freak, but I didn't know that when I listening to Thriller!"

I'm with you

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 10:56 AM
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CEO Obama and CFO Gettlefinger.......

My next car, and every future car, will be a Ford.

Not sure how they'll be able to compete with a government owned and ran car company. The US government controls taxes, fuel economy, emission and safety regulations.

Obama can dictate that Ford build cars capable of floating for 20 minutes and that will protect the occupants from land mines while getting 45 miles per gallon and having zero emissions.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:26 AM
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So the Corvette buy was like buying a Michael Jackson CD produced before he was labeled as a kid toucher? Still affords you the ability to listen to 'Billie Jean' while maintaining principles and being able to say 'yeah, that guy is a freak, but I didn't know that when I listening to Thriller!"

I'm with you
Bought it used. Didnt help GM one bit
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:52 AM
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This whole deal is set up to be an utter failure.
Quoted for truth.

Our government needs our help, they have an addiction. Our government is addicted to our money. Since they always have our best interest at heart it's time we return the favor. We need to have an intervention, for the governments own good of course. It's just irresponsible for us to let people with a known money addiction continue to handle our money. Lets have an intervention now so we can help these sick individuals.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 01:20 PM
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Bought it used. Didnt help GM one bit
I'm with you. I'll buy up to 09/10 as long as the build date says 05/

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 01:30 PM
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I'm with you. I'll buy up to 09/10 as long as the build date says 05/
Well, I m sure they have come down in price in the last few days.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 01:37 PM
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I have no doubts.

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
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"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams


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