UAW employees officially on strike...

11 am deadline wasn't reached, GM employees across the country (including Powertrain) walked off the job shortly after 11 am.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070924/BREAKINGN...

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signs appearing for employment in new automobile factories in foreign countries and will I be reading about massive layoffs in the auto industry here in America? I hope this strike is not the last nail in what once was a vital area of productivity for our country.

bill

Amazing! Here you have an unprofitable company that pays healthcare for 5 retired former employees for every employee who is active, and now the active employee goes on strike because he wants "Guaranteed Job Security".

Hey there's no federal law that says a company must pay healthcare to its former employees. If your current workforce is on strike, you might as well as give them something to strike for and eliminate retirement healthcare benefits as well as their jobs.

I'm sure they can use that money to re-train a brand new better, faster, cheaper workforce that is respected by the growing number of Americans who drive Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. In addition, I'm sure they probably can allocate some production outside the country to release some back pressure on inventory contraints.

The UAW worker has finally lost the sympathy of the average American worker. Give me a break, they strike for "Guaranteed Job Security" and complain about healthcare co-pays in today's market. The UAW is simply out of touch!!

guys saying that America would be better off with everyone making $9.00 an hour and crappy health benefits. You'll probably think differently once the company you work for puts one over on you.

The U.S. is performing poorly whereas the other parts, Europe and Southeast Asia are performing better.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

If American companies costs are drastically reduced with overseas production, then why are the prices of their products still increasing? Oh yeah, more money in the pockets of the executives. It's simple, the rich and educated want to keep their "club" exclusive....shame on anyone else for wanting a decent enough wage that they can support their family without neglecting it by working three $9hr jobs at 75 hours a week. After all...making American workers be away from home 75 hours a week to just get by...hasn't had a negative impact on the American family has it? You bet it has!

I think the strike will be seen as a huge misstep by the UAW IMO.

The American auto industry is not stable. Many in MI are sweating. They're seeing their property values decline, their kid's college tuition isn't going down. And now their union decides to walk out.

For the individual this hurts.

Also:

The average US worker makes $16.50 per hour. The average Chinese worker makes $.50 per hour. Something will eventually give whether we like it or not.

MikeyA

MikeyA

chinese worker makes $.50 per hour. And our chidren are paying for it with high levels of lead paint and who knows what they're putting in the food we get from there.

The other differences are the age of the work force between the companies, the companies have different pension compensation packages.

It would behoove the UAW and company to meet to over the come the obvious differences between the profitable car makers and the unprofitable before more jobs are lost.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

I just get tired of hearing people using terms like market rate wages and saying these workers are paid to much? Says who? It seems everyone is willing to say everyone else is making to much money, even if they've never worked in that persons shoes?

I worked in factories while I was in college for $10 hr in 1991-96. After college, I went into business and made triple if not more than that working less. I think manual labor positions deserve whatever amount they can get.

I actually sold cars for a year and made $106,000 (still the most I've ever made and I wasn't even one of the top salesmen) and all I did was sit on my ass and convince every fourth person walking into the showroom to buy a car they knew they wanted before they came in. You talk about being overpaid...I think this would qualify.

Why are non-union...non-auto industry people so concerned with what these guys in the factory make? Don't say you want the price of your cars to be lower...because if you really did...you would be complaining that a salesmen (uneccessary middle man) is making over 100k annually just to sell them. You want to cut the cost of your cars? Cut out the middle man and buy factory direct!

why not complain about the guy with the college education wearing a shirt and tie making an average of $800-1,200 commissions per sale, instead of the factory worker making $24 bucks an hour to do a job many phyically couldn't or wouldn't do?...In other words REAL work.

...maybe we just don't like to see people with mere high school diplomas who work with their hands making a decent living. Maybe there's a bitterness there because America has convinced non-union white collar workers to spend 100K for an education to get a 30k job, and then spend the rest of our lives working to pay off the debt of education.

I honestly believe that Americans hate to see plain ordinary everyday hard-working people get ahead...

...you tout outsourcing and the foreign car companies now...America has become a nation whose inventors and builders are dying off to the information age...and world history shows that any country that doesn't work (physically) becomes a slave nation.

...Kooz...I certainly didn't like the factory work I did when I first started out and I don't begrudge people making as much as they can...

I think part of the issue is a proper comparison...it's not fair to compare factory wages to CEO wages or to salesmen's commissions, as all these jobs have different requirements, differenty types of skills and varying skill levels.

I think the only 'fair' comparison is to others in similar jobs with similar conditions.

So, in comparing under these conditions, there would need to be an analysis of all auto manufacturing line workers - globally, because we're competing in a global market these days.

And note - I'm not saying that everyone should pay what China pays...but I am pointing out that employees need to look at their direct competition when trying to get the most money for their work and understand that the company wants the best quality of work they can attain for the best price. If your employer can find an equivalent level of quality at less cost, you're not in the best of bargaining situations to insist upon more money, for example.

Additionally, if your company's competition has an equivalent level of quality (or better) at less cost, your company isn't in the best position, either...

We should be fair in these discussions - to the competition within the market as well as to each other in our perspectives.

Maggie, I agree with you. We can

Interesting that no one has brought up the insane healthcare costs attributed to this stalemate.

with much of what you say. However, in regards to operating costs and such and pricing of vehichles I would just like to mention a few things I learned while selling cars. The company I worked for even supplied us with these figures...

With my major past employer, the average cost to produce a car and get it ready for actual sale was $3,450. Of course we still have to add profit to that, but the big mark-ups getting you to the 25-30k price tags are to pay the salesmen. The mark-up on used cars is even higher and more profitable. I specifically remember selling three used cars by noon one day and grossing $3,900! Of course I loved the money, but surely the guys building that car deserved the money more than I did. All I did was run the paperwork and help them pick a color.

Also to Maggie, I did not intend my reply to you to be harsh at all...after re-reading it I thought it came off that way...that was not my intention.

the mark-ups are to pay the dealers and salesmen. Buy factory direct!

Athletes and union members are paid in entirely different ways. Athletes are paid at market rate (I don't think they're "worth" that in a larger social context, but it is market rate). Each individual player is paid according to his ability to make plays and, ultimately, contribute to making money for the organization. In that case each player is paid differently because an offensive linemen won't contribute to that cause as much as a QB. In the case of a union with automobile companies individuals are not the determining factor, the union as a whole is. If there were no union representation then each employee would, ultimately, be paid according to his or her ability to produce cars in relation to the total number of people able to do that job equally.

What drives me crazy is that union members are shooting themselves in the foot. They're building their own coffin, and it is absolutely amazing that they don't realize this. There's a reason that Toyota is kicking GM's butt right now, and its because the American public is choosing Toyota cars over GM cars when considering price and quality. Right or wrong, that's the reality. If the UAW weren't so unrealistic in their salary and BENEFITS package then GM could cut automobile prices dramatically. A 10-15% reduction in unit price would go a long way in altering the price vs quality balance that leans toward Toyota at the moment.

Speaking of complaining about the healthcare co-pays...I had a GM employee complain to me once that their prescription co-pays went up from $5 to $10. (This was about 2-3 years ago, at the time the average Rx copay...for people who were lucky enough to have any coverage at all...was about $25.)

It took every bit of restraint I had not to laugh out loud. (Couldn't do it, because it was in the context of my job and laughing at a customer would have been a big no-no.)

The people in the UAW must be absolutly crazy to go on strike with the current state of affairs in the American auto industry. I have no sympathy for these people if they lose their jobs. They simply do not understand they can't compete with the Japenese and other offshore auto companies with GM flipping most of the health care costs. Most companies now have their employees help with the health cost which keep rising year after year.

UAW workers you are cutting your own throats!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

"All evil and unhappiness in this world comes from the I-concept."

"All evil and unhappiness in this world comes from the I-concept."

If the UAW was effective, the South would be Unionized and the 800lb Gorilla (Toyota, Honda, and Nissan) would be at the same playing field.

Instead, the workers in the South are happly being non-union and enjoy kicking the crap out of UAW produced vehicles. They produced better cars faster and at market based pay.

The UAW is simply no longer competitive to car companies on U.S. soil. PERIOD, and the average American know this.

Kooz,
No, everyone will be better off if the UAW is paid at market rate. Right now they aren't being paid at market rate, in my opinion.

Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are producing cars on U.S. soil at market wages. The UAW needs to index their wages to the competition on U.S. Soil!

Its the tale of two workers - Non-Union vs. Union. One likes his company, the other doesn't. One doesn't have class envy, the other does. One is Growing, the other is Dying. Both are American.

as I said, you make some good points.

What if the auto worker started telling workers in other industry

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

I think you are mistakenly discounting the effect of players' unions in sports. Without them, players wouldn't make nearly as much. Especially when you consider players' unions negotiated minimum players salaries, the right to free agency, etc. But that's another subject. My point is that management negotiates with unions, and effectively find middle ground. I don't believe anyone is paid too much or too little, only what the "invisible hand" dictates. It just so happens in this case, management has to negotiate with a union instead of an individual. But it's not like management doesn't have "collective" power behind it as well. Management negotiates on behalf of CEO's, stockholders, etc.

This is not complex...Two Car Manufacturers inside America. One at market wages and growing. One at union wages and dying.

Union labor needs to be within some competitive index to their peers in other competitive automakers manufacturing vehicles on U.S. soil. PERIOD!

I don't give a crap about your class envy and your thoughts about violating every state law in terms of manufacturers bypassing their dealerships and selling direct. Just compare the labor at southern car plants vs. nothern car plants and which car companies are growing vs. the ones dying. It's not that hard.

I went camping. A yuppie scumbag-obviously an exec of some sort-had a humoungus camper. I mean a self-enclosed bus. I just had one of those little crank-up jobs. A few days later, a black guy pulled in close to him, driving an almost identical huge camper. The next morning, the yuppie was gone. His class didn't like the fact that some in lower classes, like automotive workers, could afford the same things, and measures were soon taken to keep it from happening-primarily an erosion of those good-paying blue-collar union jobs. Whenever you hear/read about jobs being eliminated, or a plant closing somewhere-it's almost ALWAYS unionized jobs. And our standard of living decreases.

This is one big reason S.S. is getting close to trouble.

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BRING THE TROOPS HOME-NOW!

_________________
"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".

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'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

"All evil and unhappiness in this world comes from the I-concept."

"All evil and unhappiness in this world comes from the I-concept."

Right now they aren't being paid at market rate, in my opinion

This is a non-sensical statement, since it was a negotiated contact. Reminds me of people who say athletes aren't worth what they're paid.

I find it interesting that in typing your story it sounds like you automatically equated the black person with a lower class person. (Perhaps that's not the way you meant it, of course, but just doing the reading that's the way it could be interpreted.)

..on your definition of 'market rate'... I guess I'd define the market rate as the range that other employees in other companies doing similar type of work are paid - across the globe. Perhaps, even more specifically, what line employees in all other automotive manufacturers are paid.

A person/group can always negotiate a rate of pay higher than the 'market rate.'

How do you define the market rate, Chris?

people see what they want to see. I meant , of course, factory worker as being considered 'one of the unwashed classes'.
I suggest all who haven't already done so to read FUTURE SHOCK by Alvin Toffler to see the game plan laid out. One of the best books I ever read in my entire life.

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BRING THE TROOPS HOME-NOW!

_________________
"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

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