Being an anti-union advocate probably won't do me any good in this tread, so I will only engage this once. Unions in this country have taken the roll of imposing (or forcing) companies to do things that are not good for business. If the teamsters would allow the "free market" to work freely without influence then you wouldn't see job cuts by the thousands. Look at GM and Ford as the example in this. They have made it near impossible to hire entry level production workers without spending near $20 an hour as the wage. When you look at pension plans (That are designed by employers. Then redesign by the union) the pension would ultimately run a profitable business into the qround. As much as liberals and unions hate the "evil Wal-Mart" fact is they run a company that is profitable because unions haven't ruined it. As soon as unions get their foot in the door at Wal-Mart expect prices of ALL goods to go up significantly (as much as 25% in some cases). Unions used to be there to protect the worker from wrong doing from employers. Now, they impose rules to the employer. Remember this if you remember anything at all. When you work for any company you are hired as an employee. When you join a union the union believes you work for them first- not the employer. It's the employers job to give. The employer should have the right to hire and fire based on the performance of the employee. If you are part of a union and your performance sucks then the employer can't simply fire you. Why is this important? Because your lousy performance is now costing everyone that buys a product from your employer to pay higher prices because you suck at your job and the employer can't go out and replace you with someone that doesn't suck.
Modern unions bear no relationship to the unions of the era of labor strife. Early unions did not tolerate lazy and incompetent members in their midst. Today unions not only protect featherbedding but they encourage it. Today we see the spectacle of people earning 6 figures while working on a semi-skilled job. The idea that some knothead who couldn't finish high school can earn twice what a teacher earns is plain stupid. In GM's case thousands of employees are paid to stay at home. Add in the fantasy pensions and you have a real recipe for disaster. No company can remain in business having to deal with such unions. Not that the company management doesn't bear equal responsibility for the sad state of affairs. They thought the American domination of the auto industry would last forever. They obviously were wrong.
Private companies can't operate like govt entities. They can't just steal the money they want at the point of a gun barrel. They go bankrupt.
The irony here is people are jumping on the union as this evil entity and probably don't have any first hand experience in it.
Yes, there are problems with some people who abuse union membership. Is it the majority, I doubt it.
GMs problems are not caused by unions. They have financial problems for several reasons, one big one is the cost of health care. That could end if this country established some sort of national health care for all, not just the elderly, and controlled the costs like other industrialized nations. The other reasons are more complex, but it all comes down to the proper allocation of money.
This old horse has risen up in the past, but the real problem for GM and Ford, wasn't the union workers, it was management. That got exposed after Ross Perot became GMs largest shareholder. He shocked the hell out of management.
Meanwhile, management at Harley will probably threaten to build a plant in some third world country where the people get paid crap, don't have any bargaining rights or health care and the PR machine will continue to call it the great American company.
If you want to really understand what's going on do some bonifide research. That means going way beyond the daily newscasts that are manipulated by PR firms. The American middle class is getting squeezed constantly while the upper tier continues to rake in the dough.
Actually, private corporations, particularly the large transnational corporations try to control markets through the IMF and World Bank, and have been extremely successful due to their large campaign contributions.
Last I heard, Harley is no where near bankrupcy. I can't help but wonder what kind of concessions managment will make in their employment packages.
Bad management take cues from all around and setting aside the fact that both companies (Ford and GM) are trying (in vane) to correct the ship- the unions will not bend from what they believe is the standard. The standard they set in the first place. As far as executives are concern- they made it to the top of the ranks by being smarter than those before them. They earned it, they paid the price in an earlier life to get to where they are at. Anything that is said to disparage that is smply wealth envy. We all want the money but some spout names at those that get it. I make $60k a year and aspire for $250k a year. Am I mad at those that make more? No. I want more and will aspire to be those that make it. I will EARN my way, but not on the backs of those that believe they deserve it simply because the unions set up a system that allows an employee to think that the job they hold (the employers job) is theirs or the unions not the employers. If you're not smart enough to advance in life then why do you think that your job should be protected because of your own ignorance? If you settle you will loose. Always reach for the next rung or be left behind.
I'm not sure what campaign contributions have to do with the IMF and World Bank. None of the officials are elected. (I'd rather not get into the evils of the IMF except to mention that Newt Gingrich was driven from office only after he had the temerity to try to do something about the IMF's depredations. This should give some clue about who really runs things.)
While I find many of the compensation packages of executives of some corporations to be disgusting I still don't think that paying the semiskilled 100K a year is particularly a good idea either.
As far as HD goes there's interesting stuff on exec compensation here.
Something's wrong with this picture. H-D's stock is booming, as are their profits. Is H-D afraid they are going to run out of wealthy patrons so they are hedging their bets? Seems to me that H-D is running hard on the greed model of business.
there is so much "fat" in most labor contracts that if the union leaders worked w/ the companies the average worker would be barely affected. offering 5 different forms of health coverage is just one example. how else could ford motor SAVE money by paying thousands of workers NOT to come to work? at my job, you should hear some of the more "pro labor" guys ***** about having to do the job they where hired to do. it's a chore to get some people to even show up to work. never mind the fat pensions they'll receive.
The problem with GM was and is the product. You can complain all you want about wheeny H-D engines, certain people still feel strongly about H-D. It has attraction. I have one. But who the hell feels the same about Lumina? Where is the GM product people crave desperately? Where the hell is the Big American Brawny GM V-8 rear wheel drive?
Curiously, I recently read a ten year old Car & Driver, another example of the fulfilling life I´m leading, (May -96, p. 20, column by Brock Yates "Will Lisa confuse camshafts with Miss Clairol?") there was a story how GM hires people from consumer product marketing positions as brand managers. This particular chica, Lisa, was marketing Cool Mint Listerine and then hired as the Pontiac Grand Am brand manager. The GM´s marketing operation stated "The product is only one piece of the marketing chain".
So did BMW hire some baby powder/asswipe marketeer as the brand manager of their 300 series ten years ago? See the results.
Seems like you have illustrated one of the reasons why manufacturors move from the North to the compartively impoverished South, or to Mexico, or overseas. Engine assember?! Give me a break. Of course I want the job done well if I'm going to be riding the thing, but assembling an engine ain't exactly rocket surgery (I've done it a few times myself, and my cam bearings never failed).
The problem is not that their wages are being "slashed" now; the problem is that they were being paid 27 bucks an hour and change for a job that requires about fifteen dollars worth of intelligence/expertise.
Don't forget that for about every 80 or 100 union guys on the floor of the plant, you have one union "steward" who is an otherwise regular laborer elected to the post by his fellows. Under contact, he gets paid his regular company wage to come into the company's plant and sit in an office that the company provides and file grievances against the company. Unions have been fleecing large firms for decades. If they're so altruistic, looking only to the rights of the "little guy" why do they routinely accept payments from Wal-Mart to not try to unionize? Because low-wage wal-Mark workers wouldn't contribute anything significant in dues to the UFL-CIO, that's why. If they care so much for the "little guy" why do they have strike wages of $250ish/week (on average) but spend billions on political advertising?
The notion of 25-year union veterans (hacks) getting the "no-work" or "no-show" jobs is not a part of the mafia myth.
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