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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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UAW

Hello everyone,
I surfed through Jon Kasse' thread on the autoworkers situation last night.
Id like to share my view of unions, since being a union man, after hearing negative remarks towards us. I think I speak for all the union people here.
GRANTED, nothing in life is perfect, especially the unions. I personally hate the politics involved .But if it were not for them, we would not be the powerful country we are today.
I grew up in Flint, Michigan, where the sit-down strike happened in 1937.My family worked for 2 generations at AC spark-plug and Chevy V8 and others. Right now they are tearing AC down as we speak, you need to feel my pain to know what Im talking about. It was the most money making plant in Flint, but GM didnt want to go in that direction. Figure that one out!!
When I think about Gm ****ing Flint like they did, id like to tell em to go screw themselves. But we cant. The repurcussions would be toooooo great throughout the world.
The big three screwed the U.S. market when they started this overseas crap intentionally. Im sure the anti-union hilbillies will tell ya it was all the workers fault and all that bull****. But thats always the first ya hear from those who never had a union. They dont know ****.
On benefits, if health care is so expensive?, go after the insurance companies. Truth is they HAVE been ripping us off for years. The big three have stock in the medical fields.$$$$$$.Please tell me what justifies medical costs raising higher than inflation???
What I see is when China going to kick all the American personel out of the country and tell us to **** ourselves.? We have your technology and your money. COrporate greed it is all it about.

Pardon my rambling off track, or was it? Been thinking all night about this and had to get it off my chest.
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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 10:15 AM
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I have said it before and I will say it again. Unions are nothing more than extortionists. When you have to pay someone or something to retain a job, that is extortion, and if it isn't, why can't you have the job until you PAY to join the union. You think these organizations do so much for you, but in essence they just screw the rest of the country. I can't remember exact $ numbers, but I heard that every vehicle GM sells that over $2000/ unit is nothing more than union mandated retirement and buyout costs. That is a staggering amount. Toyota has plants in the US that are not union and they make an excellent product. Their employees are happy and well paid.
Medical insurance is high because of a certain amount of irrevocable events that have happened. Malpractice insurance is sky high, because a bunch of whiners and law jockeys have sued and won huge settlements from insurance companies. Doctors have to pay this insurance and they pass along the cost to more insurance companies. Add to that the amount of people who do not pay for medical service, because they can't afford it and the increases keep on going astronomically.
Corporate greed is not the problem. Supply and demand is what drives all of it. How many people can you hire that will install a tire on a car correctly compared to how many can you get to engineer and design a car that the public will buy? I would venture a guess at 100,000 or more qualified to install a tire to one designer. That figure is probably low. Get over it, the unions are ruining our best manufacturing plants with their greed, and protectionism. Yes I am an uneducated hillbilly, but I own my own farm, and trucking business, so I do know a little about business and the economy.

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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 10:48 AM
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Al - I'm with on this.... but the blame needs to passed along as well. The last bastion of profit for the US auto companies is the SUV market that was cut off by the knees from gas prices and the mortgage collapse. Even foreign car companies are feeling it bad.
When I was young just out of college (in 1980) I thought all unions were worthless. I know differently now. It amazes me that most people in the south believe the negative propaganda that UAW workers make $75/hr when the truth is more like $25/hr.

The future is going to be a repeat of the past where the car companies need to re-invent themselves while teaming with the UAW for help. They will be niche companies that are capable of innovative technology that can quickly respond. Lets face it the foreign auto companies copy us, they dont lead, they follow. So they can have the econobox production in masses. Along they way more of this will go and not come back.

For most of you that bash some of the US finest built with UAW labor.
Buick is the most desirable car to own in China. Small gas engine power in Japan is dominated by Wisconsin Robin now Subaru Robin not Honda power.
Now I've run off on tangents but I agree that the UAW has the least amount of responsibility on this one.

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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:20 AM
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This whole situation is way more complicated than just Unions faults, its a coming together of a bunch of problems, the way I see it the problems are, Not in Any special Order.

1) Unions
2) Owners / Exectutives Greed and overpayment
3) Poor Marketing, Crappy Product Porfolio and Bad Management
4) Shaky Economy and Fuel Pricing
5) Over Taxation by Uncle Sam.
6) Legacy Benifits

Theirs no one thing that is causing this, its just the culmination of a bunch of factors that have been building up over the years.
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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:21 AM
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Dave you are absolutely right. The UAW is the reason why most families who work in the auto industry have descent health care, pensions, and retirement options as well as a descent wage for tedious and hard work. Jaopanese compies have chosen to build factories down south due to lower ages nd cost of living expenses as well as near zero taxes in the states where they reside.
In addition our domestic Automakers gambled on their big money makers and lost. The reality is what it is. We as country have to let go of big costly SUV's Our dependence on oil will not change over night nor will our need for it, but that does not give the right to the big three to sell vehicles that are not practicle or fuel effiecient. If they are to survive and they will they need to rapidily adjust to the fact thet fuel costs while they are low today will not or will they ever be low like in the past. Even our mighty machines will some day have to be only driven once or twice a year in the near future. While trucks and heavy duty trucks will still be needed. Most families don't need an 8 passenger vehicle when the average family in the United States is 4-5 persons. Most trips to the market or drug store are no longer than 10-15 minutes away. And why would a person drive an SUV that gets 18 MPG and they work 60 or 50 miles from home. Round trip thats a 120 miles. Yet people still do it. I got off track.
I have too much to say on a very hot topic and it's nice to see that others are voicing there concerns because like it or not if one of the Big 3 does fail the sad reality is we will all feel the pain!!!
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post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:23 AM
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- Even as Detroit's Big Three teeter on collapse, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said Saturday that the problem is not the union's contract with the automakers and that getting the automakers back on their feet means figuring out a way to turn around the slumping economy.

"The focus has to be on the economy as a whole as opposed to a UAW contract," Gettelfinger told reporters on a conference call, noting the labor costs now make up 8 percent to 10 percent of the cost of a vehicle.

"We have made dramatic, dramatic changes and the UAW was applauded for that," he said.

Instead, Gettelfinger blamed the problems the auto industry is suffering from on things beyond its control _ the housing slump, the credit crunch that has made financing a vehicle tough and the 1.2 million jobs that have been lost in the past year.

"We're here not because of what the auto industry has done," he said. "We're here because of what has happened to the economy."

Gettelfinger also called on Congress to act quickly on a bailout plan for the auto industry, saying action is necessary before President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

He said if one automaker were to file for bankruptcy, the others may follow. He said the automakers would find it difficult to restructure under bankruptcy laws and instead could end up out of business. "Would you buy a car from a bankrupt automaker?" he asked.

The Center for Automotive Research, which receives funding from the auto industry, has warned that the collapse of the Big Three could set off a catastrophic chain reaction in the economy, eliminating up to 3 million jobs and more than $150 billion in tax revenue over the next three years.

Gettelfinger called on Congress to act quickly to provide loans to help the automakers until the economy improves and the automakers can move ahead with their plans to become more competitive.

"We cannot afford to allow to see this industry collapse. There is a real concern that could happen."

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC are seeking $25 billion from the government to get them through the economic crisis and the worst sales slump in more than 25 years. GM appears to be in the worst shape, warning that it can't borrow from normal sources.

The nation's largest automaker said it had $16.2 billion in cash at the end of September, raising the possibility that GM will fall below the minimum of $11 billion to $14 billion needed for day-to-day operations by the end of the year.

Democrats in the lame-duck Congress are pressing for a bailout of Detroit's Big Three with money from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package. But President George W. Bush and many Republicans have come out against the idea, arguing that the financial rescue package was not intended for such uses, and that a bailout would reward poor management and lead other industries to demand government handouts.

In a statement Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Democratic proposal gives automakers time to develop plans to assure their long-term viability, including meeting new fuel-efficiency standards and developing new technology.

"A restructured, competitive American automobile industry will continue to play a crucial role in our national economy and in the global marketplace," she said.


Just something i read ----copied and pasted



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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:25 AM
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What gets me is these pompous congressman complaining about the UAW's "gold plated benefit plans"! Check into what benefits you get as a member of Congress, they shouldn't be complaining about anyone else's benefits! 30 years ago working in an auto plant was a living hell, the only way they could get anyone to stick it out under those conditions was by promising a 30 and out pension and medical for retirement. Things are better today in the plants for the workers, but what about the retirees that labored away under miserable conditions for the chance at a decent pension. Now everyone wants the auto companies to declare bankruptcy so they can throw out the union contracts. The Pension Guaranty Board wil cut their pensions in half and eliminate their medical benefits. It's Ok to give $350 Billion to a buch of Fat Cats on Wall Street with virtually no strings attached, but the blue collar guy in Detroit is going to have to have his union contract thrown out in order to get any money from Washington? The Wall Street fat cats are going to get more in salary and bonuses this year than it would cost to bail out the Big 3. Doesn't seem fair!
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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:34 AM
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A good Union combined with a well managed company is one of the most symbiotic business relationships in the world.

A good Union at a poorly managed company is a recipe for disaster. This explains the situation at the Big Three in a nutshell.

I, for one, am proud to carry a Union card. I work hard. I care about the health of my company. I do my part.

If any person can make an absurd statement like "All Unions are bad" then that is a poor reflection on that person. Statements like that really highlight much of the ignorance of how Unionism came to the aid of workers during the Industrial Revolution.

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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:38 AM
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Big question isn't weather the goverment should bail out the auto industry, the question is why in the F' are they bailing out anybody????

Why should the taxpayer be responsible for this BS......... in all honesty they all need to be put in F'n jail for letting things get to this point and I mean all of them, Politicians, Execs, Owners, Bankers, Freakin every last one of them !!!!

Next in line is going to the the Federal Goverment looking for a hand out..... Opppp's they already do that every week from my F'n paycheck...... :roll:

WTF !!!! :lol:
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfree383
Big question isn't weather the goverment should bail out the auto industry, the question is why in the F' are they bailing out anybody????

Why should the taxpayer be responsible for this BS......... in all honesty they all need to be put in F'n jail for letting things get to this point and I mean all of them, Politicians, Execs, Owners, Bankers, Freakin every last one of them !!!!

Next in line is going to the the Federal Goverment looking for a hand out..... Opppp's they already do that every week from my F'n paycheck...... :roll:

WTF !!!! :lol:

i was watching on tv last night they had called an emergency meeting of the big 3 ----- the Ceo/ president of GM had used the companies multi million dollar jet to fly in :? ---SELL IT --- and watch how many multi million dollar commercials are on the super bowl ---- they need a restructuring --they need to take the profolio they have and improve on it !!! they need a new business plan before they get a hand out


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post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:47 AM
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:evil: I think it's funny that those $hytheads in congress have the nuts to call the Big 3 CEO's out on how to handle money.....They are like drug-addicted bartenders at an AA meeting!

TJ
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post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 11:58 AM
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UAW member for 13 years and manager for 3 in the same plant. When I started I was told I had to join the union and pay them a$50 initiation fee then 2 hours pay per month. Needed the job so I stayed. I have always been a self motivated worker who tends to be a stand out. This I soon learned was a no no in the union shop because it makes other lets say unmotivated workers look bad and since they are your brothers and sister you don't want to make them look bad. Soon you start looking around and notice how little work most of your so called brothers and sisters are doing or how much time they waste trying to screw the company out of money with the overtime racket. You begin to think why the hell should I work as hard as I do when the lazy azz next to me ain't doing diddly and making just as much as me. Granted there are good hard working union members out there but this line of thinking is contagious. Well then along comes contract time and you see problems arise and delays happen that normally don't and of course you don't point fingers because you then are harassing the union member. Then you all gather at the union hall that your dues have payed for and talk about the outrages demands the company that hired you is asking for when they want to stop paying wages for hours NOT worked. Then they have the audacity to want to put an end to inverse layoffs - how dare the even say that. A call to arms is heard and soon you find your azz on the sidewalk holding this sign on a stick that reads bla bla bla. You do discover it blocks the winter wind against your face pretty well while you stand there watching other people who want your job go in and do the job you once had. So as time goes by the company gives proposals to the union leadership that oddly enough is never brought to the members because in their self proclaimed great minds its not even close to being acceptable - did I mention that at the time I was head of the election committee and know this to be illegal ? Anyway into the 6th week of sidewalk loitering we find out the retired brothers and sisters in this great club they call the UAW have made their own agreement with the company and it has nothing to do with current members. Well for the next 4 weeks not a one retiree is seen on the sidewalk supporting their brothers and sisters in the great battle against the rotten company who hired you and now doesn't want to pay you for hours you didn't work. In the 10th week of freezing your azz off on the sidewalk for $200 bucks a week we get word - O a proposal we can vote on - yaa - as the great leaders gather in the hall your dues payed for they tells us how hard they fought for us and comb over each line of the proposal - hmm wait a minute as I raise my hand and ask where all the gains we had in the first proposal went :?: Again I am told of how hard the great ones fought for this proposal and though its not the best we should be thankful to the great ones for fighting so hard for us. You see they have our best interest in mind and thats why they couldn't be on the sidewalk with us as much as they wanted to because they were working hard for us elsewhere. So back to work the following Monday with less than before ( much less ) and the knowledge that for every year that follows I will have to pay more out of pocket for everything. Still owning that self motivated spirit I stand out enough to be offered a very good job in management and soon find out all the details of the other side of the sidewalk. I did not intend to write this much about this but I will end by saying that the unions keep everyone down to the level of the worse member. As for blame for the current mess? I blame both - the union for asking for so much and the 3 for giving so much when they both knew it was not sustainable forever.
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post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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I hear ya 500, and everyone else for that matter. Thats what I hate the most is the politics.I bounch from job to job, since im in construction. its worse, beleive me.
We are damned with them and damned without them in a nutshell. Both parties are guilty for sure.
People think they dont make much now, lets see their checks if the unions go under. Trickle effect.
Damn!, in need a drink now. Lets go take the corporate jet to that cool pub I like in london!!
Al
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post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 02:04 PM
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Our location is union and gets 21.50 an hour and great health care. Another one of our locations 40 miles away is non-union and makes 10.50 an hour. No consider the fact that I'm a garbage man and think about which location you would rather throw trash all day for. I guess it depends on the company if union is better or not but the company I work for will obviously bend you over if your not.

I should add though that our situation is a little different then most. The city mandates that you have to be union to provide any kind of public service.
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post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:12 PM
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There is no way to deny that corporate greed and politics is one of the biggest reasons for what this country is experiencing. Let's just take a look at the joint venture between politians and corporate executives of most manufacturing in this country called NAFTA or CAFTA or pick any unfair trade law. If unions were so wrong, so bad, so invovled in extortion...then these exec's wouldn't lobby for these laws.
Unionism is about fairness and equality for ALL people. It's about people fighting together for the good of all. Unions have been in human rights actions since there conception. Fights for civil rights, a real living wage, healthcare for all, etc. While I understand that not all unions take the same stand on every issue, there is a basic "unionism" they all share.
Don't blame the folks who decid to stand together to try to better their lives.
Greg - Proud UE member
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