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(CNN)   UAW reluctant to assume ownership of Chrysler, GM. Cites strained relations with labor, crushing retiree obligations   (money.cnn.com) divider line 166
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9877 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 May 2009 at 2:39 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-05-20 02:40:46 PM
Be careful what you pray for.
 
2009-05-20 02:40:57 PM
Who are they supposed to file a grievance with if they own the place? Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
 
2009-05-20 02:41:12 PM
ROR
 
2009-05-20 02:42:22 PM
hudef: Be careful what you pray for.

Ramen.
 
2009-05-20 02:42:29 PM
But it appears that the union would rather be in the back seat.

Whining.
 
2009-05-20 02:42:36 PM
The UAW has farked themselves, its rank-and-file workers, and the auto industries it extorts money from 1000 times over.

They should be abolished, and all the workers allowed to represent themselves to strike the best deal, like the rest of us working stiffs do.

/glad I live in a "right to work" state
 
2009-05-20 02:42:39 PM
Can anybody succinctly explain how the unions forced a situation where semi-skilled labor was rewarded with better benefits than most professions?

I'm not saying a factory worker doesn't work hard, or that conditions might've been unbearable pre-union, but the concessions UAW got seem a tad much.
 
2009-05-20 02:43:10 PM

UAW reluctant to assume ownership of Chrysler, GM. Cites strained relations with labor, crushing retiree obligations


"... and desire to avoid work at all costs"
 
2009-05-20 02:43:21 PM
In other news, millions of Americans are reluctant to claim ownership of a Chrysler.
 
2009-05-20 02:44:09 PM
I've often wondered why anyone in their right mind would buy a product made by people who hate the company they work for.

How can you actively despise the company you work for, and still have 'pride' in what you make??

Well guess what gang (unions) the corporate you so loathe is gone, and you are stuck with the reins now.

The reins you've so desperately tried to demolish all these years.

Now whatcha gonna do?
 
2009-05-20 02:45:37 PM
I have had my popcorn popped for weeks, waiting for this story to play out. It will be a whole bunch of fun watching this. It will be entertaining on SO many levels. From the juxtaposition of union and management to a significant portion of equity being sold all at once.
Yah - the pink ironic tag is entirely appropriate here. But, so is the obvious tag.
Reguardless of what happens, I hope all involved end up OK.
 
2009-05-20 02:45:37 PM
I hate to jump on the bash the union wagon, but maybe they aren't really needed anymore. How can you make a claim to bargain for the employees when you've managed to secure 55% of the company? If anything, that just makes you a large shareholder that contracts them their workforce.
 
2009-05-20 02:46:33 PM
So - they could have the equity and the opportunity to really build something, but they want the cash now, no real interest in long term planning.

Seems about right
 
2009-05-20 02:46:41 PM
What a mess. I said before I have a friend 37K$ heavy into GMW preferred bonds. He is SOOO screwed.

The UAW doesn't want to be the 'employers'. That's good. No one else wants them to be either.
 
2009-05-20 02:46:44 PM
So, you don't feel like being saddled with the rotting corpse of what you helped kill? Imagine that.
 
2009-05-20 02:47:39 PM
well, they are being sold a shiatburger.

Given the choice to invest their assets in a nice, traditional, conservative investment vehicle or some decomposing corpse of a corporation, you can't blame them for being adverse to the latter, anymore so than you would be.

It's like saying that just because you work for microsoft you are required to buy only microsoft stock.
 
2009-05-20 02:48:23 PM
UAW would have trouble rationalizing its insane demands when it also had to try and keep the companies profitable.
 
2009-05-20 02:48:25 PM
Also:

"Let somebody else take the stock. Give us the money," Gettelfinger said at a recent press conference. "We are trading debt for equity, and what is the value of the equity? Let's be honest, it's zero today."

Awesome. I'll buy your equity for your declared value, in cash. Just let me know where.
 
2009-05-20 02:49:41 PM
It will only be a matter of 3-5 years before the Chinese cars are in the USA and then Bub bye US automakers.

Already in Australia.
 
2009-05-20 02:51:01 PM
In this day and age with all the corporate bullsh*t going on people still have the gall to blame this mess on the workers. Yes, the union isn't helping. No, its not the sole responsible party. GTFO.
 
2009-05-20 02:51:13 PM
m053486: Can anybody succinctly explain how the unions forced a situation where semi-skilled labor was rewarded with better benefits than most professions?

The Benefit the Unions got were a result of WWII in many aspects. Other economies were bombed flat. With no serious competiton until the late 1960's both side negotiated stupid contracts Ford, GM , Crystler being the only game in town pass the cost on to the consumer.

With foreign competition entering the market and annoyed consumers the position became untenable. Now they are totally farked.
 
2009-05-20 02:52:17 PM
Honestly, this is one of the most amusing articles I've read all week. Even the UAW realizes that they couldn't deal with themselves and run a profitable business at the same time.

/not saying Chrysler is profitable
//just sayin' the UAW knows they can't make it better
 
2009-05-20 02:52:32 PM
IrateShadow: I hate to jump on the bash the union wagon, but maybe they aren't really needed anymore. How can you make a claim to bargain for the employees when you've managed to secure 55% of the company? If anything, that just makes you a large shareholder that contracts them their workforce.

Unions are still needed as a counter balance, but they need to operate as the businesses they are.
 
2009-05-20 02:52:39 PM
The one thing really annoying me is that I may be in the market for a new vehicle and the press is talking about GM/Chrysler offering THOUSANDS off of List Price. I didn't want to buy from UAW shops again, but... damn, that could be too good to pass up.
 
2009-05-20 02:52:49 PM
JohnCarter: ... but they want the cash now, no real interest in long term planning.

Seems about right


This.

/Applies to both the union and management.
 
2009-05-20 02:53:23 PM
FTA: "I see it as a major problem for the UAW," said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "They didn't intend on owing a failing company. They want to remain the workers' bargaining agent, not their employers."

Being a capitalist, this makes perfect sense to me. The Union obviously needs an antagonist to unite the workers against.

OTOH, how would a socialist view this? I mean, what about the revolution where the workers unite and overthrow the capitalist system to gain ownership of the means of production? Who do they think should run things? They've made it clear that they don't trust the executive management...

/some perspective, please?
 
2009-05-20 02:53:41 PM
Employees reluctant to assume ownership?

meetschmitt.typepad.com

DISAPPOINTED
 
2009-05-20 02:55:10 PM
"We are trading debt for equity, and what is the value of the equity? Let's be honest, it's zero today."

0 > -|x|
 
2009-05-20 02:55:15 PM
tedbundee: Yes, the union isn't helping. No, its not the sole responsible party. GTFO.

I don't think anyone is saying they are, but you really have to wonder what their motives are when they gain a majority stake in the company and they respond, "Who, whoa, whoa. We don't want to be management. We want to be mad at management."
 
2009-05-20 02:55:51 PM
You know, may be that Communism thing makes sense. UAW now seems to know what responsible bargaining is. They just would not do that when they were not the bosses.
 
2009-05-20 02:57:48 PM
Too bad the name "British Leyland" is already taken. Or was, anyway.
 
2009-05-20 02:58:35 PM
Perfect "Ha! Ha!" for their gift from the administration: Give the UAW preference over secured creditors, disrupt years of bankruptcy law and get an ownership stake in a dying company as their prize. Ta-da!
 
2009-05-20 02:58:37 PM
I kind of figured this is what Obama was going for...
 
2009-05-20 02:58:42 PM
crazytrpr: Unions are still needed as a counter balance, but they need to operate as the businesses they are.

In some places they are, but this appears to be a case where the union became too big for its own good.
 
2009-05-20 02:59:52 PM
markie_farkie: The UAW has farked themselves, its rank-and-file workers, and the auto industries it extorts money from 1000 times over.

They should be abolished, and all the workers allowed to represent themselves to strike the best deal, like the rest of us working stiffs do.

/glad I live in a "right to work" state


Because labor rights were so well respected without unions. Having 12 year old children working 60 hour weeks in coal mines was a good thing.

Thank the unions. They are the reason you have the pay and benefits you have. Especially if you are not in a union.
 
2009-05-20 03:00:13 PM
FTA -

"Let somebody else take the stock. Give us the money,"

UAW should be dissolved for that kind attitude. DIAF.
 
2009-05-20 03:00:27 PM
The unions weren't the only problem but they were/are a major part of the problems and perhaps the single biggest one. Without the residual blame game, and someone else having to try and figure out ways to oppose them suddenly the UAW can't tell the automakers how to operate better than the management can? Who would have thought.
 
2009-05-20 03:01:05 PM
m053486: Can anybody succinctly explain how the unions forced a situation where semi-skilled labor was rewarded with better benefits than most professions?

I can't really do the situation justice, but I'll give it a try.

The UAW/CAW use(d) something called Pattern Bargaining, meaning that the Collective Agreements struck between union and company (GM/Ford/Chrysler) shared certain similarities for things like wage increases, benefits, etc. It made some sense - the work and workers were pretty much the same between various companies and plants.

For decades, General Motors and Ford had a huge market share and were large and in charge. The money from vehicle sales always kept rolling in and the UAW was able to keep inching things up every couple years when the CA's were up. Basically, the conditions were always favorable to squeezing the companies a little more to get a little extra for UAW employees.

The huge hourly wages, pensions and benefits talked about in the media just didn't happen overnight. They are all a result of many bargaining sessions and compromises reached over the preceding decades - and because of Pattern Bargaining with the Big Three, the UAW members at each company enjoyed similar wages/benefits/etc.

Most salaried and hourly professions do not have union representation, thus there is no opportunities for wage/benefit/pension increases beyond what you can negotiate for yourself. True, there are some professions that are very well compensated (Michigan State Coroner, welding specialists, etc.), but they are the exception, not the rule.

When you have tens of thousands of people (UAW/CAW) being represented at the bargaining table it carries a lot more weight than one guy haggling with the boss over a yearly raise.

Again, this is a very complex human resources/financial mess that I can't do justice to. But I think you can get the gist of it.
 
2009-05-20 03:01:10 PM
The unions have spent a alot of time and effort in telling us how management does not no what the are doing and how they should listen to the union. I guess if the unions are openly admitting that they are unwilling to make a real effort to save the company and their jobs, then maybe that should be the opinion of the government.
 
2009-05-20 03:01:35 PM
Thank you UAW for taking down our most successful industry of the 20th century one brick at a time.

/just bought a VW
//love it!
///will never by an American piece of crap car again...
 
2009-05-20 03:01:39 PM
Of course not, a parasite requires a host to live.

Unsuccessful parasites draw so much blood that they kill the host and thus themselves.
 
2009-05-20 03:01:41 PM
Faced with having to run a real business instead of a shakedown, and actually taking responsibility for the benefits they provide their members, union leaders run like hell in the other direction.
 
2009-05-20 03:02:27 PM
who didn't see this coming?? Huge conflict of interest if you are both the boss and the workers' representative...
 
2009-05-20 03:04:47 PM
From the crash tests that I've seen, I'd rather have a Chrysler than a Chinese car.

But then I just bought another Honda, so I'm good for the next 10 years or so.
 
2009-05-20 03:05:22 PM
Goodfella: Because labor rights were so well respected without unions. Having 12 year old children working 60 hour weeks in coal mines was a good thing.

Thank the unions. They are the reason you have the pay and benefits you have. Especially if you are not in a union.


Says a member of the UTCDO #204.

/United Trite Cliché Dusters Off
 
2009-05-20 03:06:05 PM
crazytrpr: m053486: Can anybody succinctly explain how the unions forced a situation where semi-skilled labor was rewarded with better benefits than most professions?

The Benefit the Unions got were a result of WWII in many aspects. Other economies were bombed flat. With no serious competiton until the late 1960's both side negotiated stupid contracts Ford, GM , Crystler being the only game in town pass the cost on to the consumer.

With foreign competition entering the market and annoyed consumers the position became untenable. Now they are totally farked.


And the health care costs, which are paid by the governments of foreign automakers, and are paid by the automakers themselve in the US. This is the 800 lb gorilla that not too many want to talk about. Universal healthcare in the US eliminates this significant competitive advantage.
 
2009-05-20 03:07:26 PM
DrakeLabatt: When you have tens of thousands of people (UAW/CAW) being represented extorting by threatening to walk out en masse at the bargaining table it carries a lot more weight than one guy haggling with the boss over a yearly raise.
 
2009-05-20 03:07:42 PM
hudef: Be careful what you pray prey for.
 
2009-05-20 03:07:45 PM
hodaka: boss and the workers' representative...

This is actually mandated in heavy industry in Germany. One-third of the seats on the board are reserved for representatives of the unions.
 
2009-05-20 03:08:41 PM
crazytrpr:
Unions are still needed as a counter balance, but they need to operate as the businesses they are.


No, no they are not. Current federal legislation prevents the problems that unions were founded to abolish a hundred years ago. There are no more mandatory 14 hour days, there are no 8-year-olds getting maimed while working on still-moving machinery, there are no twenty-five-cents-an-hour manufacturing positions in the United States. The UAW ensures that even unskilled positions in US Auto plants are making anywhere from twice to five times the actual value of the labor, not including the lavish benefits packages.

Unions are a relic from a time when American manufacturing labor was cheap, unskilled, and predominately immigrant. The only thing labor unions do now are increase the cost of manufacturing, thereby eliminating any competitive advantage US firms may have against their foreign counterparts, and this is especially true with Transport Manufacturing.

/I am an Economist. Labor unions prevent equilibrium from being reached in the labor market.
 
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