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(NPR)   NPR: Will $25 billion be enough for the auto industry, Congressman Frank? Frank: Hahahahaha, no, we've got another $75 billion or so penciled in for March 09' (audio in link)   (npr.org) divider line 393
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1596 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Nov 2008 at 10:33 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-11-19 02:00:04 PM  
Mercutio74: MyRandomName: Anecdotal it may be, but the fact is the Unions hurt them. You made the specious claim that more Unions helped than hurt, I just said it was more than likely fairly even. According to a sampling of 2, it looks like a split.

But I also claimed that not all unions are created equal. How many unions are there in the US and Canada currently humming along working with management but protecting the membership? The UAW is obviously very aggressive (and/or big 3 management is very evil or incompetent), because we hear about them everytime a contract negotiation occurs.


I vote both.
 
2008-11-19 02:00:30 PM  
USP .45: erveek: USP .45: erveek: How's that "being really huge" thing working out for them?

If your point is that they should be smaller, then you may proceed to the nearest corner.

My point is that they aren't surviving very well by being huge, and you haven't explained in any way why they have to be huge.

I await another insult and no explanation whatsoever.

/Because you don't have an explanation.

Why should I have to explain common knowledge?


I expected you to just bark "economies of scale" and post another oh-so-witty picture.

Here you went to all the trouble of linking to Wikipedia. I'm flattered.

It's a funny little thing. A number of Japanese and Korean manufacturers want the bailout, too, even though they won't see a dime. If the Big Three go, the asian companies' suppliers (which also supply for the Big Three) see decreased business, and have to raise their prices.

In effect, there's already a buying pool. And there's no reason that the broken up companies can't negotiate a formal buying pool. At least if they are smart.
 
2008-11-19 02:01:33 PM  
Galen_Rasputin: Kenwhat: Bored Horde: Yeah fark em unions. Fark em workers too, they can go back to starvation wages and having the company own their children, and their children's children.

Farking common man, we need to bring back union busters and shoot people who assemble to picket.

Why are union supporters prone to such ridiculous hyperbole?

The end result of not having a union would be less wages and less benefits, not picketers being shot and companies owning children. Grow the fark up and learn how to think like a rational person.

Never worked in a dangerous non-union plant or dangerous non-union job where it could kill you and management does not care have you? Never watched a five ton piece of steel fall of a crane, squish a guy dead, and have your boss yell at you to get back to work have you? To have the damn plant not pay death benefits to the squished guy, because they try and make it his fault.

Never seen a guy get his leg ripped off by a conveyer belt system, becuase his boss ordered him underneath it to fix the damn thing even though three other guys refused.

Never been fired becuase you refused to enter a hole with out the proper safty equipment, refused to enter a burned out building, or refused to climb up something with out a safty inspection have you?

You have obviously never seen a guy drop a freaking coal temple on himself and his buddy, becuase they were orderd to cut the legs even though they knew absolutely nothing about what they were doing.

Hell you probably have never been fired for refuseing to illegally change finacial records. For refuseing to manipulate data that you are legally required to keep.

You think your labour laws will protect you? Bwhahahah! Labour laws are joke, a thin protection at best, and you can not even concieve of how desperatly big buisness wants to drive wages into the dirt.

You may think you are protected, that you can use the legal system to your advantege, but go get hurt at work and tell me how good labour protection really is. Get fired illegally and denied unemployment benefits and tell me how the system works. We need unions to protect us and I do not understand any non-management non-rich mother farker that does not want collective bargining.


ummm.. no. Breaking laws is illegal even if you non-union. Why are implying that unions (now, not in the past when they actually served a purpose) throw a blanket of protection over their employees that otherwise would not exist?

Unions drive up the cost of business and take away from the competitive market, everyone is seen the same way no matter how hard they work. Some are even looked down upon for working harder then others.

Unions are part of the problems with companies outsourcing. It is not only corporate greed, but Union greed hurting the U.S.
 
2008-11-19 02:01:50 PM  
globalwarmingpraiser: I vote both.

Seconded.
 
2008-11-19 02:07:06 PM  
wolfpaq777: i listened to it as well... you may or may not agree with what he had to say, but you know as well as i do that this fark headline is horribly misleading.


Horribly misleading? No. Not at all. Frank danced around it as much as he could, and even pulled out the smug indignation that he has no right to, but that's pretty much the gist of where it's headed and he admitted that much himself in his douchey, douchey way.
 
2008-11-19 02:09:36 PM  
protectyourlimbs: Galen_Rasputin: Kenwhat: Bored Horde: Yeah fark em unions. Fark em workers too, they can go back to starvation wages and having the company own their children, and their children's children.

Farking common man, we need to bring back union busters and shoot people who assemble to picket.

Why are union supporters prone to such ridiculous hyperbole?

The end result of not having a union would be less wages and less benefits, not picketers being shot and companies owning children. Grow the fark up and learn how to think like a rational person.

Never worked in a dangerous non-union plant or dangerous non-union job where it could kill you and management does not care have you? Never watched a five ton piece of steel fall of a crane, squish a guy dead, and have your boss yell at you to get back to work have you? To have the damn plant not pay death benefits to the squished guy, because they try and make it his fault.

Never seen a guy get his leg ripped off by a conveyer belt system, becuase his boss ordered him underneath it to fix the damn thing even though three other guys refused.

Never been fired becuase you refused to enter a hole with out the proper safty equipment, refused to enter a burned out building, or refused to climb up something with out a safty inspection have you?

You have obviously never seen a guy drop a freaking coal temple on himself and his buddy, becuase they were orderd to cut the legs even though they knew absolutely nothing about what they were doing.

Hell you probably have never been fired for refuseing to illegally change finacial records. For refuseing to manipulate data that you are legally required to keep.

You think your labour laws will protect you? Bwhahahah! Labour laws are joke, a thin protection at best, and you can not even concieve of how desperatly big buisness wants to drive wages into the dirt.

You may think you are protected, that you can use the legal system to your advantege, but go get hurt at work and tell me how good labour protection really is. Get fired illegally and denied unemployment benefits and tell me how the system works. We need unions to protect us and I do not understand any non-management non-rich mother farker that does not want collective bargining.

ummm.. no. Breaking laws is illegal even if you non-union. Why are implying that unions (now, not in the past when they actually served a purpose) throw a blanket of protection over their employees that otherwise would not exist?

Unions drive up the cost of business and take away from the competitive market, everyone is seen the same way no matter how hard they work. Some are even looked down upon for working harder then others.

Unions are part of the problems with companies outsourcing. It is not only corporate greed, but Union greed hurting the U.S.



Union Greed: www.thetorquereport.com

Corporate greed:
universeofluxury.com

What about the fact that it's a shiatty product that no one wants. I have never heard anyone say "I will never buy another Chevy or GMC because those damn unions drove the price up."
 
2008-11-19 02:15:34 PM  
erveek: It's a funny little thing. A number of Japanese and Korean manufacturers want the bailout, too, even though they won't see a dime. If the Big Three go, the asian companies' suppliers (which also supply for the Big Three) see decreased business, and have to raise their prices.

Meh, that's a fairly weak argument. Toyota and Honda would love to see a bailout happen because it insures the 3 have their balls in a vice as far as cost structure, allowing them to to continue to out compete neutered Detroit in the long run. The short term interests are covered by the article you provided.
 
2008-11-19 02:18:04 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: What about the fact that it's a shiatty product that no one wants. I have never heard anyone say "I will never buy another Chevy or GMC because those damn unions drove the price up."

No, because they price about the same. The profit made on each car is totally different. Toyota make a buttload on each car compared to Gm, Ford, etc. because it costs so much more to make a car with union workers. Plus I've heard the cost of paying all the retirement benefits they do negates about 2000 dollars of profit from each car sold.
 
2008-11-19 02:22:44 PM  
pd771: No, because they price about the same.

When quality is a factor, they don't price about the same.
 
2008-11-19 02:24:50 PM  
pd771: Plus I've heard the cost of paying all the retirement benefits they do negates about 2000 dollars of profit from each car sold.

Either that, or they're finding a way to shed $2000 worth of quality out of the car.

I don't claim to know one way or another, but it's likely a combination of both.
 
2008-11-19 02:25:07 PM  
USP .45: erveek: It's a funny little thing. A number of Japanese and Korean manufacturers want the bailout, too, even though they won't see a dime. If the Big Three go, the asian companies' suppliers (which also supply for the Big Three) see decreased business, and have to raise their prices.

Meh, that's a fairly weak argument. Toyota and Honda would love to see a bailout happen because it insures the 3 have their balls in a vice as far as cost structure, allowing them to to continue to out compete neutered Detroit in the long run. The short term interests are covered by the article you provided.


Considering that I was addressing your "economies of scale" blather, it's not a weak argument, and you haven't said why you think it is. Instead, you change the subject to regulation.

So we've got a bare assertion followed by a red herring.
 
2008-11-19 02:30:25 PM  
metroatlrecruiter:

Union Greed:

Corporate greed:

What about the fact that it's a shiatty product that no one wants. I have never heard anyone say "I will never buy another Chevy or GMC because those damn unions drove the price up."


No idea what your trying to say.. is it that corporate greed is more greedy the union greed? okay..

How do unions help? By making the regular employee more money and better health benefits holding the companies hostage demanding salaries that cripple smaller businesses from competing? Why do unions boycott and threaten companies that don't use them if their work is so much better then it should be reason enough buy, use union.

How does paying someone $80 help them or GMC? GMC is laying people off because they are going under. The $48 dollar employees will still be able to feed their families.

What does the unions do with all the Dues? They expect workers to strike and picket at a moments notice no matter what bills the worker has. Why would I want to destroy the place that I am working at so I could get treated exactly the same as the people that work 1/2 as hard and get paid the same as they do?
 
2008-11-19 02:33:27 PM  
erveek: Considering that I was addressing your "economies of scale" blather, it's not a weak argument, and you haven't said why you think it is. Instead, you change the subject to regulation.

So we've got a bare assertion followed by a red herring.


I'm sorry my argumentative fallacies are getting in the way of your ludicrous point that "being big hasn't worked out for them" when as far as a timeline is concerned, it has. Feel free to make a case for smaller, inherently less efficient car companies based on Ford/GM/Chrysler's time spent in business vs. being out of business.

I'm interested in your next segment, Why Every Plane Should Be Its Own Airline: Because This Year It Hasn't Worked Out for Them
 
2008-11-19 02:34:33 PM  
Money is so easy to spend when it's not yours.
 
2008-11-19 02:38:46 PM  
How about: Let them fail and spend the $25 billion buying their assets from the receivers and converting the plants to build wind turbines. Hire back GM employees at a reduced rate, but give them an equity stake in the new company. Give GM pensioners a tax-free lump-sum payout.

Probably still cheaper.
 
2008-11-19 02:44:30 PM  
Just nationalize the big 3 outright by buying them. At current stock prices it would take maybe 7 billion or so. Then put some government employee GS-15 executives in charge to run them. Congress can then indulge its penchant for micromanaging without the pretense that these are any longer private enterprises.
 
2008-11-19 02:46:45 PM  
USP .45: erveek: Considering that I was addressing your "economies of scale" blather, it's not a weak argument, and you haven't said why you think it is. Instead, you change the subject to regulation.

So we've got a bare assertion followed by a red herring.

I'm sorry my argumentative fallacies are getting in the way of your ludicrous point that "being big hasn't worked out for them" when as far as a timeline is concerned, it has. Feel free to make a case for smaller, inherently less efficient car companies based on Ford/GM/Chrysler's time spent in business vs. being out of business.

I'm interested in your next segment, Why Every Plane Should Be Its Own Airline: Because This Year It Hasn't Worked Out for Them


So, do you reject the argument that we can't let them fail because they are too big? Because like it or not, that seems to be the position our government has saddled us with. And that argument seems to imply that if a company can get large enough, the taxpayers are obligated to pay for its failure. And once we're doing that, the whole free market ideology goes out the window. And that being the case, it seems fair to ask why we would allow companies to get that big to begin with. I'm not arguing for this, but once these conditions are posited, I don't see the argument against it.
 
2008-11-19 02:49:37 PM  
unyon: Let them fail and spend the $25 billion buying their assets from the receivers and converting the plants to build wind turbines.

And what does that do to existing factories, companies, and employees already meeting demand for wind turbines?
 
2008-11-19 02:50:25 PM  
USP .45: I'm sorry my argumentative fallacies are getting in the way of your ludicrous point that "being big hasn't worked out for them" when as far as a timeline is concerned, it has. Feel free to make a case for smaller, inherently less efficient car companies based on Ford/GM/Chrysler's time spent in business vs. being out of business.

I'm interested in your next segment, Why Every Plane Should Be Its Own Airline: Because This Year It Hasn't Worked Out for Them


I'm sorry you can't back up your assertions and then get all snippy when you're called on it.

Lack of explanation regarding economies of scale duly noted.

Also noted:
A claim that length of operations proves efficiency of large corporations over smaller ones. Non sequitur, if only because large corporations get government bailouts while small ones are allowed to fail.
Wrapping the whole thing up with a cute little reductio ad absurdum regarding airlines.
 
2008-11-19 02:52:18 PM  
generaltimmy: databit: Feature creep.

The bailout was meant for the mortgage industry, it has now gone to banks in general (I know, banks do martgages) but now it is creeping over to the auto industry.

Nice.

General Motors Acceptance Corporation is a financial arm of GM. There si Daimler Chrysler Financial Services so it is not that big of a stretch for a politician.


I lent my brother $100 last month. Where's MY bailout!?
 
2008-11-19 02:52:50 PM  
unyon: How about: Let them fail and spend the $25 billion buying their assets from the receivers and converting the plants to build wind turbines. Hire back GM employees at a reduced rate, but give them an equity stake in the new company. Give GM pensioners a tax-free lump-sum payout.

Probably still cheaper.


See, the problem is it's not the government's job to fix failing businesses. It isn't the taxpayers job to bankroll it. Too bad we set an example with the Bank bailout.
 
2008-11-19 02:56:21 PM  
If unions are so great why are mobs so heavily into them?

I guess they must just be altruists at heart.
 
2008-11-19 02:58:25 PM  
someonelse: So, do you reject the argument that we can't let them fail because they are too big? Because like it or not, that seems to be the position our government has saddled us with. And that argument seems to imply that if a company can get large enough, the taxpayers are obligated to pay for its failure. And once we're doing that, the whole free market ideology goes out the window. And that being the case, it seems fair to ask why we would allow companies to get that big to begin with. I'm not arguing for this, but once these conditions are posited, I don't see the argument against it.

I reject the argument because if they were left alone and unfettered, they wouldn't be failing to begin with. "They're too big to fail" is just a lie told by those with an interest in seeing a fundamentally failing business stay afloat by any means necessary. Remember that this article is in the politics tab, not business.
 
2008-11-19 02:59:24 PM  
erveek: I'm sorry you can't back up your assertions and then get all snippy when you're called on it.

Lack of explanation regarding economies of scale duly noted.

Also noted:
A claim that length of operations proves efficiency of large corporations over smaller ones. Non sequitur, if only because large corporations get government bailouts while small ones are allowed to fail.
Wrapping the whole thing up with a cute little reductio ad absurdum regarding airlines.


Well done. We still don't know what your point is.

It helps to not lead with a question.
 
2008-11-19 03:02:37 PM  
potee: thenateman: How much have they penciled in for the airlines?

I think they just set up an automatic monthly debit on the national bank account when it comes to the airlines, like a cable bill.


In fairness though the airlines have paid back their loans with interest to the government. It only cost the employees their pensions up to half their salaries but they can at least survive. It was a good thing too otherwise the airline unions would have done the same thing. It is funny that many corporate and cargo and fractional pilots make more than airlines pilots. Most don't have a union which is amusing. Except for the big cargo companies but those pilots tend not to biatch because they know what they are getting themselves into.

That being said if you broke the UAW then the horror that the US automaker employees might make the something like 80000 (note this estimate includes their benefits )the US workers get for making foreign cars in America. I knew a GM worker who drank on the job and slept two hours a day and then biatched about not getting paid his fair share. That is the mentality we would be propping up a GM if we bail them out.
 
2008-11-19 03:08:03 PM  
pd771: metroatlrecruiter: What about the fact that it's a shiatty product that no one wants. I have never heard anyone say "I will never buy another Chevy or GMC because those damn unions drove the price up."

No, because they price about the same. The profit made on each car is totally different. Toyota make a buttload on each car compared to Gm, Ford, etc. because it costs so much more to make a car with union workers. Plus I've heard the cost of paying all the retirement benefits they do negates about 2000 dollars of profit from each car sold.


So taking your argument at face value, you're saying that GMs sell just as well as Toyotas do here in the states, GM is just in trouble because the unions eat away their gross margins? It has nothing to do with the fact that people aren't buying as many GM cars as they are Toyotas?

Plus, aren't a lot of Toyotas made in the states now....aren't some of those employees part of a ....union?
 
2008-11-19 03:12:11 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: pd771: metroatlrecruiter: What about the fact that it's a shiatty product that no one wants. I have never heard anyone say "I will never buy another Chevy or GMC because those damn unions drove the price up."

No, because they price about the same. The profit made on each car is totally different. Toyota make a buttload on each car compared to Gm, Ford, etc. because it costs so much more to make a car with union workers. Plus I've heard the cost of paying all the retirement benefits they do negates about 2000 dollars of profit from each car sold.

So taking your argument at face value, you're saying that GMs sell just as well as Toyotas do here in the states, GM is just in trouble because the unions eat away their gross margins? It has nothing to do with the fact that people aren't buying as many GM cars as they are Toyotas?

Plus, aren't a lot of Toyotas made in the states now....aren't some of those employees part of a ....union?


actually no the foreign car companies workers are not represented by unions to my knowledge.

Oh yeah and by the math that the GM exec gave today GM will be back begging for money in march because they burn through almost 4 billion and month. Ford and Chrysler seem to be fighting hard because they don't want GM's shiat flow into there company. Ford said they more than likely would not use the money. GM is supposed to use 18 billion of it.
 
2008-11-19 03:12:48 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: It has nothing to do with the fact that people aren't buying as many GM cars as they are Toyotas?

Consider the fact that union costs dig into what could be spent on better quality, better designers, better innovations, etc, resulting in Toyota selling more cars because they exceed in those areas.
 
2008-11-19 03:19:20 PM  
I respect what unions did in the early 20th century but what have they done lately besides drive up labor costs and force their own jobs to countries where things could be made cheaper?
 
2008-11-19 03:21:12 PM  
ILoveBeer3000: I respect what unions did in the early 20th century but what have they done lately besides drive up labor costs and force their own jobs to countries where things could be made cheaper?

Even without unions, how could you compete with labour that costs less than the even the previous minimum wage?
 
2008-11-19 03:23:27 PM  
Mercutio74: Even without unions, how could you compete with labour that costs less than the even the previous minimum wage?

Toyota has many plants in the US that pay well. They just don't pay insane amounts like GM.
 
2008-11-19 03:25:39 PM  
Mercutio74:
Even without unions, how could you compete with labour that costs less than the even the previous minimum wage?

Yeah, I see that with clothing and household goods in sweatshops in Asia, but cars? It just seems outdated.

Maybe I'm wrong. In my state, SC, unions are generally looked upon in disgust. We don't have the mines, but we do manufacture tires, cars and textiles.

From second-hand knowledge, just mentioning a union at those plants gets you ostracized. And this is coming from others who work at the plants with no complaints but the repitiveness of the job.
 
2008-11-19 03:25:49 PM  
To reply to beechpilot, USP .45 and pd771 at the same time....

I seriously don't know about the union workers at Toyota, I can't find anything solid one way or another on that. I know that UAW is pushing for the Toyota plant in KY where the Camry is made.

To respond to the quote about union costs cutting into the automaker's ability to offer better design, better quality and lower cost....why didn't we see anything like this when GM was destroying the market during the SUV hype of a few years ago? Why are they so far behind the market if they're number one?

I understand they're in trouble, but blaming their trouble on unions is like blaming the titanic sinking on the passengers.
 
2008-11-19 03:28:31 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: I understand they're in trouble, but blaming their trouble on unions is like blaming the titanic sinking on the passengers.

No, the unions and management together are to blame. The problem now is they are the one who even now expect pay raises when the companies are mere months from failing.
 
2008-11-19 03:34:42 PM  
Boy, that trillion dollars we spent in Iraq sure is looking good right about now.
 
2008-11-19 03:36:01 PM  
USP .45: erveek: I'm sorry you can't back up your assertions and then get all snippy when you're called on it.

Lack of explanation regarding economies of scale duly noted.

Also noted:
A claim that length of operations proves efficiency of large corporations over smaller ones. Non sequitur, if only because large corporations get government bailouts while small ones are allowed to fail.
Wrapping the whole thing up with a cute little reductio ad absurdum regarding airlines.

Well done. We still don't know what your point is.

It helps to not lead with a question.


It is my assertion that large coporations which are considered "too big to fail" should be bailed out and then broken up into smaller corporations which can fail without causing economic catastrophe.

Otherwise, companies take the bailout money, do nothing to alter their business practices, and soon require another bailout because they're "too big to fail."

I asked for reasons why this is a stupid idea, because it kinda sounds simplistic, and there should be something wrong with it that I'm just not seeing.

You offered nothing other than insults, logical fallacies and vague references to economies of scale. It is my suspicion that you can do no better.

The answer to "Why is this a stupid idea" is not "WHAT A STUPID IDEA!"
 
2008-11-19 03:37:17 PM  
ILoveBeer3000: Mercutio74:
Even without unions, how could you compete with labour that costs less than the even the previous minimum wage?

Yeah, I see that with clothing and household goods in sweatshops in Asia, but cars? It just seems outdated.

Maybe I'm wrong. In my state, SC, unions are generally looked upon in disgust. We don't have the mines, but we do manufacture tires, cars and textiles.

From second-hand knowledge, just mentioning a union at those plants gets you ostracized. And this is coming from others who work at the plants with no complaints but the repitiveness of the job.


Ok, fair enough for car manufacturing, sure.

As far as the disdain for unions, I guess it depends on your personal history. I've belonged to exactly one labour organization and it's working pretty well for me (and the other members in that guild). But then, my union is run fairly reasonably.

I can't speak as to whether the SC workers are simply working for well managed corporations or whether they've just been told to hate unions (in much the same way that a percentage of Americans would benefit from universal health care, but still hate and fear it).

Now what's really at issue in this particular situation is why did GM choose to blame the union instead of, years back, sitting down with them, doing the math, and realizing that they were a couple of bad years away from extinction? And, if they did, why did the union not inform the membership of this dire situation so that a solution could be arranged? To suddenly now say it's the union that caused it is not only disingenuous it's a criminal understatement of just how out of touch with the market GM has become.
 
2008-11-19 03:37:45 PM  
pd771: metroatlrecruiter: I understand they're in trouble, but blaming their trouble on unions is like blaming the titanic sinking on the passengers.

No, the unions and management together are to blame. The problem now is they are the one who even now expect pay raises when the companies are mere months from failing.


The problem now is they are the ones who even now expect a government welfare check to bail their company out when they are mere months from failing and don't have a plan to change any of their shiatty business practices/quality/customer service issues.
 
2008-11-19 03:41:30 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: The problem now is they are the ones who even now expect a government welfare check to bail their company out when they are mere months from failing and don't have a plan to change any of their shiatty business practices/quality/customer service issues.

There is plenty of blame for management, but how are they supposed to cut costs before they fail? They can't cut Union workers salaries without expecting a strike. They can't fire employees without expecting a strike. Changing practices will take time they don't have. Cutting wages could make them profitable now. The UAW has said they want higher wages and better healthcare soon. They can't do that and survive, even with a bailout.
 
2008-11-19 03:45:35 PM  
pd771: metroatlrecruiter: The problem now is they are the ones who even now expect a government welfare check to bail their company out when they are mere months from failing and don't have a plan to change any of their shiatty business practices/quality/customer service issues.

There is plenty of blame for management, but how are they supposed to cut costs before they fail? They can't cut Union workers salaries without expecting a strike. They can't fire employees without expecting a strike. Changing practices will take time they don't have. Cutting wages could make them profitable now. The UAW has said they want higher wages and better healthcare soon. They can't do that and survive, even with a bailout.


So then what's the solution? Why do they need our help in the first place?

GM has been moving more and more assembly plants to Mexico while Toyota and Honda are moving here. I haven't seen the price of GM cars assembled in Mexico go down now that they're all of a sudden spending less money on that pesky union labor....nor have I seen the prices of Toyotas/Hondas made in the US go up.

You can't tell me that the unions are bankrupting the automakers here in the states, if that's the case, wouldn't that have happened well before now? How long have unions been involved with domestic car manufacturers?
 
2008-11-19 03:46:39 PM  
USP .45: someonelse: So, do you reject the argument that we can't let them fail because they are too big? Because like it or not, that seems to be the position our government has saddled us with. And that argument seems to imply that if a company can get large enough, the taxpayers are obligated to pay for its failure. And once we're doing that, the whole free market ideology goes out the window. And that being the case, it seems fair to ask why we would allow companies to get that big to begin with. I'm not arguing for this, but once these conditions are posited, I don't see the argument against it.

I reject the argument because if they were left alone and unfettered, they wouldn't be failing to begin with. "They're too big to fail" is just a lie told by those with an interest in seeing a fundamentally failing business stay afloat by any means necessary. Remember that this article is in the politics tab, not business.


Fair enough. You are saying that if the union was out of the equation entirely, the Big 3 would not be failing. I don't know if that's verifiable or even a reasonable assumption, given the wastefulness and piss-poor decision making we've seen from these companies. But let's assume it is. The Big 3 auto execs knew what to expect from the UAW, and they failed to adjust for that. That's still tremendously bad management, no?

However, I think what the auto execs are claiming right now is that the current economic situation is putting an extraordinary, like once-in-a-lifetime, strain on them. They are not claiming the unions broke them, because as much as they'd like to get rid of the unions, they know full well that they can't go before Congress and claim that they were suddenly taken by surprise by the cost of union contracts, after having dealt with them all along.
 
2008-11-19 03:47:32 PM  
pd771: There is plenty of blame for management, but how are they supposed to cut costs before they fail? They can't cut Union workers salaries without expecting a strike. They can't fire employees without expecting a strike. Changing practices will take time they don't have. Cutting wages could make them profitable now. The UAW has said they want higher wages and better healthcare soon. They can't do that and survive, even with a bailout.

Well, the UAW has to face their own mortality.

And if the management comes with a tit for tat proposal, like say, we'll liquidate the company jets (and invest the money in the company) and everyone flies coach but the workers have a health benefits freeze for 12 months... that kind of thing and go down the line trimming fat and temporarily reducing wages, well the UAW wouldn't be able to politically turn that down, would they?

In any case, at somepoint the UAW will have to take a long hard look at the reality of the whole thing and decide whether they want to go out with a whimper or try and help out.
 
2008-11-19 03:49:13 PM  
Did anyone listen to these hearings, btw? I got to catch some of them on the radio during lunch, it was not pretty for GM.
 
2008-11-19 03:50:34 PM  
Mercutio74:
Now what's really at issue in this particular situation is why did GM choose to blame the union instead of, years back, sitting down with them, doing the math, and realizing that they were a couple of bad years away from extinction? And, if they did, why did the union not inform the membership of this dire situation so that a solution could be arranged? To suddenly now say it's the union that caused it is not only disingenuous it's a criminal understatement of just how out of touch with the market GM has become.

Yeah, I guess I view the bailout of the US automakers like I view subsidizing US farmers, what's the point?

If you have to take money from the government to run your business then maybe you are in the wrong business. And why do the rest of us that do manage our fiscal situations in a productive manner have to foot the bill for the failures?

I hate that fellow Americans are losing jobs but I think keeping the victim of the epidemic of the plague that is infecting us all alive is not best for the whole of the country.

As far as unions go, I'm just ignorant on the matter. I just figured we'd gotten: OSHA, the weekend, the 40 hour work-week, child employment laws, etc., so what else is there? But, like I said, I've never worked anywhere where a union might make sense.
 
2008-11-19 03:53:44 PM  
ILoveBeer3000: As far as unions go, I'm just ignorant on the matter. I just figured we'd gotten: OSHA, the weekend, the 40 hour work-week, child employment laws, etc., so what else is there? But, like I said, I've never worked anywhere where a union might make sense.

Lol... well, I can tell you as someone who's union managed to talk the industry down from a 14 to a 12 hour day, there are some uses. If you're dealing with "leave no penny unpinched" types, it's good to have some collective bargaining power. Also, it helps to have the numbers to get a decent health care plan and to make sure that everyone's getting a proper cost of living increase every year.
 
2008-11-19 03:54:11 PM  
Mercutio74: Now what's really at issue in this particular situation is why did GM choose to blame the union instead of, years back, sitting down with them, doing the math, and realizing that they were a couple of bad years away from extinction?

Oh, it's not fair to say it was all the unions fault, but the Unions are certainly a major player. The fact that GM has changed with the market is a big part of it. However, the Unions are a roadblock to any change right now if the company is smart enough to try and save itself.
 
2008-11-19 03:55:44 PM  
Mercutio74: Lol... well, I can tell you as someone who's union managed to talk the industry down from a 14 to a 12 hour day, there are some uses. If you're dealing with "leave no penny unpinched" types, it's good to have some collective bargaining power. Also, it helps to have the numbers to get a decent health care plan and to make sure that everyone's getting a proper cost of living increase every year.

Which union are you a part of? Remember, unions are like businesses; there are good and bad ones. UAW is the worst of the worst.
 
2008-11-19 03:56:51 PM  
pd771: Which union are you a part of? Remember, unions are like businesses; there are good and bad ones. UAW is the worst of the worst.

Director's Guild of Canada. And I definitely agree, the tone the union sets in terms of aggressiveness makes all the difference in the world.
 
2008-11-19 04:01:00 PM  
ILoveBeer3000: Mercutio74:
Now what's really at issue in this particular situation is why did GM choose to blame the union instead of, years back, sitting down with them, doing the math, and realizing that they were a couple of bad years away from extinction? And, if they did, why did the union not inform the membership of this dire situation so that a solution could be arranged? To suddenly now say it's the union that caused it is not only disingenuous it's a criminal understatement of just how out of touch with the market GM has become.

Yeah, I guess I view the bailout of the US automakers like I view subsidizing US farmers, what's the point?

If you have to take money from the government to run your business then maybe you are in the wrong business. And why do the rest of us that do manage our fiscal situations in a productive manner have to foot the bill for the failures?

I hate that fellow Americans are losing jobs but I think keeping the victim of the epidemic of the plague that is infecting us all alive is not best for the whole of the country.

As far as unions go, I'm just ignorant on the matter. I just figured we'd gotten: OSHA, the weekend, the 40 hour work-week, child employment laws, etc., so what else is there? But, like I said, I've never worked anywhere where a union might make sense.


Look at it this way - Let's say Toyota moves into your town and you go to work for them. They give you a salary of 25 dollars an hour with a healthy retirement plan, full benefits, and 2 weeks of paid vacation per year. You sign your contract, and go to work. It's a great job, you've been there for a year and all of a sudden your boss comes in, calls a meeting and says that in order to increase profit, they need to cut everyone's wages down to 20 bucks an hour and get rid of your benefits package. Your choices are either to take it or quit your job. Unions help you have a say in situations like that.

Also, didn't the UAW come to several agreements with GM regarding pay cuts and cuts in benefits during the last two years? I don't think they pushed for raises during the initial downturn, I think they're asking more for stability. If I'm wrong, my bad, but I seem to remember something in late 07 about the strike ending with the UAW agreeing to a few cuts.
 
2008-11-19 04:04:22 PM  
metroatlrecruiter: Also, didn't the UAW come to several agreements with GM regarding pay cuts and cuts in benefits during the last two years? I don't think they pushed for raises during the initial downturn, I think they're asking more for stability. If I'm wrong, my bad, but I seem to remember something in late 07 about the strike ending with the UAW agreeing to a few cuts

The agreed to create second tier workers, people who made less because they were just hired. But the older employees got to keep their wage and benefits, which was something like $73 an hour.
 
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