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Well, Mike, if you want to say that the problem isn't with the unions, it's with the cars, then I say, "Who's building the cars?" GM's (and the Big 3 generally) have earned their reputation for inferior quality over the last four decades partly from poor matierial quality, true. But squeaks, rattles, leaks, and sloppy fit-and-finish don't come from the robotic paint booth, they come from the guys doing the assembly. You know, union guys. The ones making 75k, free health care and 90% pensions for doing a semi-skilled 30k job.



It's not the problem that workers abuse their union membership. The union abuses union membership by writing contracts that force membership for all new hires, and that force the company to auto. deduct dues from the paychecks of all workers, even those that don't want to belong. This is extortion (something to which unions are no stranger) and amounts to a tax on wages roughly equivalent to FICA.
 

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The Toad
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Remember the Air Traffic Controllers strike? The union reps sued and got their jobs back! The excuse was that promoting an illegal strike was part of their job description. I could go on and on about abuses of union reps...including ones who act as spies for management and purposefully blow valid grievance cases by "losing" all the paerwork.



Jimmy Hoffa could tell a few tales about the mob and union pensions.



Then there are the independent truckers who literally get shot at whenever the Teamster's strike.......



Notice that whenever they are given a chance the people who work for Japanese auto plants in the US always tell the unions to fock off.
 

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The problem is that corporations can shape and influence market forces to a much greater degree than workers can. And I am a libertarian...It really still is a feudal system. Who is to judge what is a 15/hr job and what is a 27/hr job? If Harley gets concessions, am I going to get a cheaper bike, or is it more money to line the pockets of the execs? Compromise will be needed, but sooner or later, we are going to be a country that produces absolutely nothing. When China and India become the dominant economic forces in the world, we won't even have the brain trust anymore, just a bunch of consumers that do not produce anything. Kind of like a European country, but without all the bennies and holidays.
 

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Right you are. And if the brand manager turns out to be a moron, or indeed if the whole policy of hiring from outside the industry turns out to be a bad idea, guess what? you can fire him! Not so an incompetant factory worker. My brother works for the phone company in D.C. A fellow worker in a union truck backed into a phone pole, knocking it OVER! Phone service was out three blocks in both directions, including to an annex building of the Dep't. of Interior. The $175,000 truck was totalled. The pole landed on and totalled two passenger cars. Was he fired? Nope. He was put on paid leave for three days pending investigation (at the company's expense). As part of arbitration between the company and the union (arbitration at company's expense) the guy was suspended without pay for ten days, the incident would be on his record, to be expunged two years thence on condition of good behaviour going forward. This would prevent him from being promoted (a pure nothing since the guy had already topped-out on the pay scale) for about two years. Finally, the results of the guy's drug test following the wreck would be labelled "inconclusive" and expunged from his employment record immediately.



Later, the company received a grievance filed by the union to get the guy's backpay for the ten-day supension. Company caved. The fellow is now a union steward. My bother reports this is more than common; it's the standard order of business between the C.W.A. and Verizon.



If this were the military, he'd have been convicted of dereliction by a court martial. If he were, God forbid, a company suit, he'd've been fired, and then sued for the damage he caused. He certainly would never work again driving. In the school system, if a school bus driver dings another car, they will never drive a school bus again, and rightfully so, given the prescious cargo. But if it's a union guy, well, gee whiz, he's being oppressed by the Man, pass him a beer! Unions will the end of this nation as a manufactoring power.
 

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Company earnings up, so they cut employee compensation? Maybe the employees should all go buy Japanese bikes and ride them to work. LOL!!!

They could just tell their bosses they couldn't afford the Harley's anymore. LOL!
 

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Go ***** yourself! Anti union s***** is normally self serving and socially inept. They can be usually found on websites but it's too bad it's this one. I would suspect that you don't work for a living and probably don't ride either.
 

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Don't forget the other problems of ugly cars and crappy quality. We had an Astro van where a suspension component (I forget which one) broke twice. Thank God my wife was only moving at a couple of miles an hour when they broke as the wheel literally collapsed.



Oh, and after the executive launches the third world country plant he'll get nice bonus again.
 

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Re: IT'S A THIRD WORLD, AFTER ALL

So basically, Harley is telling its workers to join the workers of the Third World in embracing a lower standard of living or else Harley-Davidsons will be BUILT by workers in the Third World.
 

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Well said, especially with regard to the feudal system. I supect that what the lords of the land are hoping is that the lack of bennies and holidays (or indeed any social safety net) will encourage a dog-eat-dog continuing development of brain trust. So that we continue to still have some of the smartest, but they would also be some of the toughest (mentally). 'Course, this could just produce a brain trust that isn't so much tough as vicious.
 

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It's just a matter of time until the white collar jobs get outsourced too. I hope there's a Walmart on every corner by then. They can compete with the rest of us for a Job. I'm guessing it won't pay much. Market forces, market forces.....
 

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CEO of Exxon got 400 million bucks when he retired. This was one of the guys that had the brainy idea of cutting the crew in half on the Exxon Valdez, and putting a drunk in charge of it. The second mate, who was running things, had been up more than 36 hrs at the time. He saved Exxon a hell of a lot of money.
 

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Re: IT'S A THIRD WORLD, AFTER ALL

The one thing Harley can't do is offshore. I suppose some small percentage of parts is non US made but Harely means made in the USA. Period. That is what has made them the phenomenon they are the last two decades, or a big part of it. In that sense they are a prisoner of their success. There is not a single US company who literally can't offshore, except them.

This in turn has made the union strong. Strong companies used to mean strong unions, till offshoreing.

The relatively high labor costs Harely has are reflected in their price. Being a borderline Harely hater I never never never point out or ***** about how expensive they are. I'm as happy as could be that some few workers can make a decent living for a money making company here in the US. While Harley wallows in it's American-ness I don't recall them playing up much that they are supporting American families by paying decent wages. Such talk is verbotten in corporate America, especially Wall Street.

Wall Street despises American workers. They are disgusted with non company men making a decent wage. It's Harely's 'investors' who are demanding wage concessions.
 

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Another company gets on board with the Federal Reserves vision for America's Future!

1. Health Care, Health Care, them peons don’t need no stinking health care! They need to tip over and make room for those that got no clue what a good life looks like.

2. The American Retirement dream; a cardboard refrigerator shipping container, nice spot under a viaduct with a view of the freeway, a tin cup, and no cheap wine.

3. The peons been having way too much fun for way too long!



 
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