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WTF is wrong with our Senate? UAW disaster and the Big 3 BS

 
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:36 pm
Chris Dodd and Bob Casey should be looking for work. Ron Gettelfinger (United Auto Workers union President) should have been tarred and feathered for not answering questions… and basically refusing to even address the simple fact that the companies aren’t currently able to meet their obligations.

IF: the UAW was as willing as the Big 3 CEO’s to do whatever is necessary to save the companies, I would back the bailout. For as long as the UAW stands in the way; it amounts to throwing good money after bad.

IF: Idiots like Dodd don’t have the good sense to see the truth in Senator Corker’s (who made more sense than the rest of those idiots combined) wisdom; that only if the UAW concedes the simple fact that their contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on because they make the companies unsustainable; then only two things can happen next:

1. We throw good money after bad only to see it get flushed down the toilet.
2. We watch the destruction of the Auto Industry because cowards like Dodd won’t admit that the Union is the biggest obstacle; and without major concessions from them the American people won’t support a bailout (and they shouldn’t).

The idea that people who work for $10 and $20 an hour should subsidize jobs that pay $50 is beyond absurd. The Democratic leadership, and specifically Chris Dodd, needs to address this honestly or they should be run out of office. The UAW is now the biggest enemy of the United Auto Workers and its high time people recognize it.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 2,860 • Replies: 36
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Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:42 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
I believe that what we are hearing from the UAW, Bill, may be death rattles. I think the UAW is moribund and very close to expiring. It's an example of a union that simply got too big, too greedy and too corrupt for its own good too fast.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:45 pm
man, here i am agreeing with both O'Bill and Mr Andrew, it's bean that kind of weirdness today, I think I need a drink.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:49 pm
@dyslexia,
if they do it, aircraft is next...

itsa bit early for the mark, no?
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 05:11 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
you are 100% right bill, once the auto makers go bankrupt, all union contracts and retirement pension agreements become void.

but you ought to get the rest straight, no body is conceding more than organized labor to get the automobile industry aright.

http://www.freep.com/article/20081204/BUSINESS01/812040413/1014

one thing rarely mentioned is that state governments already kick in hundreds of millions of dollars to attract non-union auto plants to their locations. the funds go to increase infrastructure, education of potential plant workers and low-to no cost deals for valuable land or tax rebates to plants that move in.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 05:34 pm
When poor people make bad decisions they end up eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in cardboard boxes. Why should the American government make it any different for big shot CEO's?

hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 05:48 pm
@kuvasz,
kuvasz wrote :

Quote:
one thing rarely mentioned is that state governments already kick in hundreds of millions of dollars to attract non-union auto plants to their locations. the funds go to increase infrastructure, education of potential plant workers and low-to no cost deals for valuable land or tax rebates to plants that move in.


i'm glad you picked up on this !
many states have used taxpayer money to subsidize BMW , daimler , nissan ...
that's money taken away from domestic producers - and not just automakers .
it's unfortunate that state governments (and provincial government in canada) are allowed to use taxpayer money to prop up foreign business .
i see nothing wrong with foreign companies building plants in the U.S. and canada with their own money , but not with taxpayers' money .
similarly state governments (and provincial governments in canada) are "stealing" businesses from each other by offering them tax breaks , free land , training assistance ... are those corporations not able to operate under their own steam ?
hbg
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 05:54 pm
@Green Witch,
green witch wrote :

Quote:
When poor people make bad decisions they end up eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in cardboard boxes. Why should the American government make it any different for big shot CEO's?


i don't foresee the CEO's of any large corporations eating in soup kitchens or sleeping in cardboard boxes - even when their former companies go belly-up and the employees are landing on the street .
perhaps they won't be able to afford as many mansions any more -i'm really feeling sorry for them .
perhaps they'll have to substitute domestic tipple for champagne and scotch .
hbg
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 06:53 pm
@kuvasz,
All three CEOs basically said they'd accept every hypothetical ultimatum the Senators came up with. Dude from Chrysler even said yes if the money was tied to a merger between Chrysler and GM (which would mean his job would be first to go.) Gettelfinger (UAW President), on the other hand, wouldn't even address the idea of a pay cut. The friggin moron is living in an alternate reality.

maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 08:31 pm
@kuvasz,
What real concessions has the UAW done?

1) The auto company is now allowed to actually lay people off w/o paying them.
2) They've allowed the big 3 to delay payments to benefits, but actually haven't reduced any of these benefits.
3) All the other changes I've heard of (pay cuts, etc) only apply to newly hired employees. The employees who already worked under the old contracts kept their pay/benefits.

None of this sounds very drastic to me.
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:43 pm
@maporsche,
Quote:
None of this sounds very drastic to me.


Of course it doesn't, because you have only a superficial understanding of it and are not going to expend a scintilla of energy outside your comfort zone, to come to an informed opinion.

So let me walk you through the situation.

It is related to new two tier pay scale that forces a new UAW worker to do the same work a current UAW worker makes at a plant, but only for HALF the wages.

does that sound drastic enough for you?

http://seekingalpha.com/article/48416-gm-uaw-contract-introduces-two-tier-pay

http://www.labornotes.org/node/1037

http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/AUTO01/709260398/1148

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/05/that-was-easy-uaw-and-gm-agree-on-lower-wages-after-six-months/

1. Employment reductions in the U.S. auto assembly industry over the past three years have reduced the UAW-hourly represented workforce by roughly half. As a result, UAW monetary concessions at reasonable levels will not likely contribute substantially to solving the companies' short-rurnfinancial problems.

(Within four years, up to one third of unionized General Motors workers will be working at half the current pay scale, with sharply reduced medical benefits and without a company-paid pension plan.

Such will be the impact of the two-tier wage structure contained in the contract, signed in 2007. This historic reversion toward the type of low-wage, sweatshop conditions that prevailed in the 1930s, prior to the mass industrial struggles that gave birth to the UAW, will rapidly extend to all US manufacturing and lead to the devastation of living standards and working conditions for all American workers.

The UAW leadership is backing this catastrophic attack on its own members as the quid pro quo for GM’s agreement to hand over to the union $30 billion out of $50 billion in healthcare liabilities owed by the company to more than 300,000 retired UAW GM workers and their family members.

If the UAW is successful in pushing through similar deals at Ford and Chrysler, it will become a business enterprise controlling a healthcare trust fund, a so-called Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA), worth $70 billion, making the union one of the largest healthcare insurers in the US.

The joint strategy of GM and the UAW is to push out as rapidly as possible the older workers and replace them with younger employees who will receive second-tier wages and benefits. Some 64 percent of GM workers will be eligible to retire within five years, according to the UAW.)

the workers have ALREADY CONCEDED ENOUGH!

2. Elimination of employment security provisions are not likely to result in large savings for the companies because of the historically small size of the workforce.

3. The UAW may be required to make additional concessions for political purposes, but substantial savings will need to come from other sources.

The current controversy in Congress over a government loan to the GM, Ford, and Chrysler has evolved into a debate over corporate strategy with a large dosage of political posturing. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the wage and benefit packages negotiated between the companies and the UAW, suggesting that these wages and benefits have contributed to the current financial difficulties of the industry. As a result, it is likely that any loan by Congress to provide a loan to the Detroit 3 will likely be accompanied by a requirement that the UAW provide additional concessions.

Two points should be made here. First, because of attrition programs in 2006 and 2008, UAW-represented employment at least at GM and Ford is roughly half of what it was at the beginning of 2006. The major implication of this historically small UAW-represented employee population is that the amount of savings that can be obtained from wage and benefit concessions is modest, relative to the needs of the companies. Looking at GM, it is estimated that the company has approximately 55,000 UAW-represented employees. Assuming that current employees receive a wage and benefit package totaling $50/ hour ($28 in wages plus $22 in benefits), a 20% reduction in the package would generate a savings of approximately $1.1 Billion over a calendar year, assuming a 2080-hour year and no overtime. As GM estimated it was burning cash at approximately $2 Billion per month in the third quarter of 2008, a 20% reduction in current employee compensation would keep GM operating for two additional weeks. If one applies the 20% reduction to an estimated total hourly worker cost of $75/hour (an estimate that includes retiree health insurance payments), total annual savings are estimated at $1.7 Billion. Assuming that Ford currently employs 41,000 UAW-represented employees at compensation levels comparable to GM, savings would be $853 Million and $1.28 Billion. The basic point is that UAW concessions and attrition programs over the past 3 years have helped GM and Ford become substantially leaner companies than they were at the beginning of 2006 by reducing employment levels. There is simply not much left to be obtained from the smaller UAW-represented forces at reasonable levels of concessions.

A second, related point is that the UAW has expressed a willingness to renegotiate the employment security agreements with the GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Given the small size of the workforces, not much will be saved by the companies in eliminating these provisions and not much will be conceded by the UAW by abandoning these provisions.

In conclusion, obtaining additional concessions from the UAW may have large political benefits in the current climate. The financial benefits to Detroit 3 from such concessions, however, are not likely to substantially contribute to resolving their short run financial problems.

Yet to look at it another way I don't see anyone asking Detroit 3 stockholders to concede anything, nor did I hear a single remark that AIG's stockholders do the same during their bailout. its only blue collar workers who get asked to give up concessions not investors nor management.
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:53 pm
Cheers, Bill. I agree with you.

The government has no business showing favoritism or buy in to the private sector. That is expressly forbidden by the Constitution because if they were to do so, then they could/would pass laws that would favor themselves in competitive environments. What they have done in the financial sector already is a high crime.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:57 pm
Also, what a colossal waste of time to make those CEO's funking DRIVE to D.C. Sure the planes may put up a bad front, but ****, these guys are paid to work 24x7 and draw huge salaries. Their time is extremely valuable.

Think if you were a visor salesman. How much would you do/pay to get a half an hour with a Big 3 CEO? I'd be willing to bet your entire yearly expense allowance, x10.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 05:15 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
john galt said
Quote:
All three CEOs basically said they'd accept every hypothetical ultimatum the Senators came up with. Dude from Chrysler even said yes if the money was tied to a merger between Chrysler and GM (which would mean his job would be first to go.) Gettelfinger (UAW President), on the other hand, wouldn't even address the idea of a pay cut. The friggin moron is living in an alternate reality.


The only frigging moron living in an alterative reality is you billy because you don't even know that the UAW already conceded one half their new workers' salaries over the new 2007 GM/UAW contract and accepted severe concessions on retirement and health benefits over a year ago. As I stated, within four years, up to one third of unionized General Motors workers will be working at half the current pay scale, with sharply reduced medical benefits and without a company-paid pension plan. that means line workers hired since last year won't be making $28/hour but $14/hour, and at a job that you would likely be unable to do on your best day.

You know what bugs me about your posts on this thread, other than your cluelessness about the real working world of heavy manufacturing? It is that you look down your nose and show no empathy for guys who do a job of extremely hard physical labor and danger you could never do for a single day without it breaking your body.

That's the reality.

Now. please son, go do yourself a favor, read up on a subject before you shoot your mouth off about how others are frigging morons.
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:02 pm
@kuvasz,
kuvasz wrote:

john galt said
Quote:
All three CEOs basically said they'd accept every hypothetical ultimatum the Senators came up with. Dude from Chrysler even said yes if the money was tied to a merger between Chrysler and GM (which would mean his job would be first to go.) Gettelfinger (UAW President), on the other hand, wouldn't even address the idea of a pay cut. The friggin moron is living in an alternate reality.


The only frigging moron living in an alterative reality is you billy because you don't even know that the UAW already conceded one half their new workers' salaries over the new 2007 GM/UAW contract and accepted severe concessions on retirement and health benefits over a year ago. As I stated, within four years, up to one third of unionized General Motors workers will be working at half the current pay scale, with sharply reduced medical benefits and without a company-paid pension plan. that means line workers hired since last year won't be making $28/hour but $14/hour, and at a job that you would likely be unable to do on your best day.
Laughing Kuvasz you demonstrate your ignorance further pretty much every time address me. WTF does new hire starting wages have to do ANYTHING? Newsflash to the terminally obtuse: If the Big 3 doesn't get help; THERE ISN'T GOING TO BE ANY NEW HIRES. If the UAW doesn't compromise A LOT MORE; the American people aren't behind a bailout. It is the CURRENT contracts that are part of the problem and they won't be worth the paper they're written on without Government help. You apparently live on the same planet as the Gettelfinger idiot... What part of heading for bankruptcy under the current contracts is confusing you?

kuvasz wrote:
You know what bugs me about your posts on this thread, other than your cluelessness about the real working world of heavy manufacturing? It is that you look down your nose and show no empathy for guys who do a job of extremely hard physical labor and danger you could never do for a single day without it breaking your body.
WTF makes you think I can't do a day's hard labor? (Let alone factory work, you friggin idiot?) What makes you think you know anything about me? Your ridiculous assertions mostly serve to demonstrate your own inadequacy; because you can't handle your end without resorting to unfounded ad hominem. You’re pathetic.

kuvasz wrote:
That's the reality.
On what planet is that reality, moron? On this one; the UAW is going to have to agree to substantial compensation package cuts or the American public is not going to want to bail their collective ass out. On this planet; rational people understand that he who earns $10 and $20 an hour shouldn't be forced to subsidize he who makes $50 for the same work. You wouldn't know reality if it jumped up and bit you.

kuvasz wrote:
Now. please son, go do yourself a favor, read up on a subject before you shoot your mouth off about how others are frigging morons.
Don't son me, you self-important fool. You talk down to people as if you know what you're talking about, while your every word proves that you do not.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:09 pm
@kuvasz,
kuvasz wrote:

Quote:
None of this sounds very drastic to me.


Of course it doesn't, because you have only a superficial understanding of it and are not going to expend a scintilla of energy outside your comfort zone, to come to an informed opinion.

So let me walk you through the situation.

It is related to new two tier pay scale that forces a new UAW worker to do the same work a current UAW worker makes at a plant, but only for HALF the wages.

does that sound drastic enough for you?
Laughing Not even ******* close to drastic enough, you idiot. These people are all going to have close to NOTHING COMING if they take counsel from morons like you and Gettelfinger. Jobs that don’t exist pay substantially less they’re accustomed to.
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 07:26 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
Son, you sound like a 19th century slave owner. I actually gave you more credit.

But you remain with you head up Ayn Rand's Objectivist ass.

You are so clueless about the struggle of the working man in America that you don't even know that Gettelfinger had to cajoul the UAW's rank and file just to accept the contract. Gettelfinger is a CONSERVATIVE union leader who sold the rank and file down the river.

The auto companies will be freed of any obligation to fund the healthcare of union retirees, and the UAW bureaucracy, headed by Gettelfinger, will seek to secure its own financial future and vastly increase its income by directly imposing cuts on the benefits of UAW retirees, while overseeing the destruction of the wages, jobs and benefits of active and future workers.

This is the essence of the contract at GM locals across the country. The contract is the culmination of decades of betrayals carried out by the UAW and the transformation of the union into a right-wing bureaucratic apparatus utterly hostile to the interests of autoworkers and entirely unaccountable to them.

The UAW has moved from an organization for the defense, even in the most limited sense, of workers’ needs, but rather now is an instrument of, by and for a privileged upper-middle-class social layer that shares in the exploitation of the workers who are trapped within the union and compelled to pay dues into its coffers.

The result of the GM contract is that it is going to mark the beginning of the end for the concept of good, high-paying manufacturing jobs...with job security.

and that, good, high-paying manufacturing jobs...with job security, has been the basis for the expansion of the middle class in America over the last 70 years and raised the living conditions of every American, even for you, but you are so screwed up about your objectivist persona you are blind to it.

BTW, billy you are so stupid that you cannot even recognize that Gettelfinger by his past behavior is on your side. That's the reason you ought to shut your pie hole because everything you have just written is based upon profound ignorance of the real world. Get off of Galt's plateau and get your hands dirty, you might grow a soul if not a brain.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 08:22 pm
@kuvasz,
kuvasz.....once again, these concessions that the UAW has made will not help TODAY! What concessions have CURRENT employees made?
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 08:49 pm
kuvasz, Fred Flintstone is nibbling on your ribs.
0 Replies
 
Always Eleven to him
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 08:56 pm
@kuvasz,
Kuvasz wrote:

Quote:
Such will be the impact of the two-tier wage structure contained in the contract, signed in 2007. This historic reversion toward the type of low-wage, sweatshop conditions that prevailed in the 1930s, prior to the mass industrial struggles that gave birth to the UAW, will rapidly extend to all US manufacturing and lead to the devastation of living standards and working conditions for all American workers.


Kuvasz also wrote:

Quote:
The result of the GM contract is that it is going to mark the beginning of the end for the concept of good, high-paying manufacturing jobs...with job security.
and that, good, high-paying manufacturing jobs...with job security, has been the basis for the expansion of the middle class in America over the last 70 years and raised the living conditions of every American, even for you . . . .


Kuvasz is spot on in this respect. How do you think that the UAW has negotiated each new contract? It has started with one of the Big Three and has, in the past, believed that what it could get from one of the Big Three, it could get from the remaining Big Two. Recently, though, management started using that strategy -- the concessions that the first of the Big Three got from the UAW, the other Two would also demand. If that mentality continues, the scenario Kuvasz posits will indeed come to pass.

This is beginning to sound like covert union "busting" because federal laws prevent overt union busting. Do we really want to return to the inhumane sweat-shop, rule-by-fear days?
 

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