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Topic subjectRE: Re: Comments
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25270&mesg_id=25284
25284, RE: Re: Comments
Posted by alek, Sun Apr-08-01 07:19 PM
>-Back in 1999, Caddilac came up
>with a rather innovative roadster,
>it would be be able
>to go head to head
>with the foreign roadsters and
>help bring caddilac back to
>the forefront of Luxury car

Mm hmm.

BUT, it never really
>made it past concept phase....because
>they knew the Steelworkers union
>would freak.

And you never asked yourself why? Do you think it's because they don't like innovation? Or because they don't want Cadillac to be successful? Course not.

How about the fact that they planned to de-specialize factories which would CRIPPLE the any leverage workers had against their employer (i.e. when factories are de-specialized and one plant goes on strike, the employer can simply order parts/templates from another factory)?

How about the fact introducing new models and new machinery often allows management to get around contractual agreements regarding occupational safety and workday limits, not to mention RAMPANT reclassification of jobs (which is basically a tool the employer can use to push people back down the wage ladder)?

How about (and this is the kicker) the new technology involved in this "innovative" product will result workers losing jobs that are supposed to be secure.

That's why the union objected.

>Caddilac is making
>the car, but it's not
>going to be as innovative
>as it once was.....thereby not
>really being that much of
>a competitor for foreign cars.

I'm going to give you a little clue. Cadillac ISN'T much a competitor with foreign cars (at least in the small car market). I'd be plenty happy if they were, but they aren't and it's not because of innovation, it's because of reputation, reliability, and cost of production.

>If Caddilac is able to re-establish
>itself as one of the
>premier luxury car manufacturers...that's better
>for the company as a
>whole and better for the

Sure, as long as the workers don't get fucked as part of the deal.

>BUT, due to the Union's strangehold...it
>may never happen.

Well, the "stranglehold" you're talking about is NOT a reality. Even the extremely high union density in the auto industry is deteriorating.

>GO UNION, Caddilac won't use the
>new technology and the workers
>keep their jobs...for now. BUT
>what happens when things get
>worse for Caddilac?

They may have to bite the bullet and get bought out, or lower production, or marketing, or they may have to outsource. Or they may lay off workers, but let me tell you this: It'll be the union making sure that those workers aren't simply abandoned by an employer that folds underneath them. The union will be there to make sure workers have pensions.

>Did the
>union consider that if they
>let that car get made
>as it was originally planned,
>the company would've been healthier
>an that would've helped them
>in the long run?

Maybe. Obviously it didn't outweigh all the reasons I listed above for not letting it happen. Look, what products are actually made IS NOT a mandatory bargaining point, and it's actually an uncommon one. HOW they get made, under what conditions and with what compensation, IS a mandatory point. So what you're defining as a "stranglehold (ha -- the UAW is powerful but there isn't really much comparison) was more likely a situation in which Cadillac saw that the union wouldn't let them implement there new strategy because it violated contractual agreements.

>I understand that workers want more
>money, not to be laid
>off, better conditions and what

That's generous.

>BUT, I also understand
>that if the company isn't
>healty or is falling behind
>to competitors, then the company
>may not be around or
>will have to lay people
>off just because they don't
>have the revenue to keep
>them...then what?

Then you treat your workers (who built your company and aren't responsible for your bankruptcy) with respect and you give them notice, severance, and a pension. EVEN BETTER (and GM has done this often in the past), you give them a job at another factory.

>There has to be a balance
>between what the workers want
>and what the company's objectives

Yup, and it's negotiated every time the contract comes up.

>Remember it's the company's
>focus on profit that made
>it possible for the workers
>to have a job in
>the first place....


>the reason the
>company exists is to make
>money...not to employ people.


>Layoffs are often a neccessary part
>of the business cycle.

Bullshit. They're part of the Reagan/Roger Smith/Freemanomics business cycle. Lean and mean. Rather than design better cars, better factories or better distribution, American manufacturors choose to deal with the problem of flexible supply by laying off workers and shutting down factories.

>Makers are laying people off
>because they aren't selling as
>many cars as they used
>to, they're laying people off
>because they are idling factories.

They're laying people off because it's their POLICY. That's how American car companies work.

>What are they supposed to
>do in those situations? Keep
>people standing around with no
>work to do?

I made many suggestions above.

>How about when companies need to
>lay people off to make
>things more efficient? Unions NEVER
>understand this

You don't seem to know SHIT about what unions understand. First of all Unions=workers. It's not some third party selling job insurance and a pay raise in exchange for membership dues. It's the workers themselves. If you were a worker who worked at the Chevy plant for twenty years and just got laid off completely arbitrarily because Chevys can't sell now, how understanding would you be?

>..they would rather the
>company get big and bloated
>and collapse under it's own

No, I think they'd rather the company refrain from being so greedy that it becomes big, bloated, and collapses under its own weight.

>I don't believe in sweatshops or
>unfair wages, but that doesn't
>change the fact that layoffs
>are often neccessary, companies can
>move work to foreign countries
>if they want to, and
>people working manufacturing jobs aren't
>going to get a lot
>(a lot and fair are
>two different things).

Okay, there are two glaring fallacies here.

1) If you don't "believe" in sweatshops or unfair wages, then you don't. It's as simple as that. People deserve to be paid and treated fairly, you seem to be saying. So why then is it completely acceptable to you that "layoffs are necessary, companies can move work to foreign countries (i.e. into sweatshops) if they want to, and manufacturing jobs aren't going to get a lot." Seems like a contradiction.

2) Manufacturing jobs DO get a lot. They're some of the best paid jobs in the working class, and they're terrific compared to the service sector average.

>The Union only thinks about it's

Once again, union = workers. No third party. Workers are in bargaining unit, they form bargaining team, they vote to strike, they ratify contracts, they pay dues.

>E.g. Wages, No Layoffs,

By etc. I assume you mean: health care, overtime, maternal leave, occupational safety, 8-hour days, non-discrimination, comparable worth, child care, job classifications, grievance procedures, privacy....

>The company thinks about
>appeasing the Union (No Strikes)
>and making profits...

But not in that order.

>which pay the

Sort of. The profits pay the company, then the company decides how little of those profits it can pay the workers and still get away with it.

>I think the Unions
>need to think about the
>profits of the company as
>well, after all if the
>company wasn't thinking about making
>money...no one would have a

True enough.

>I don't think Miguel should make
>$6.10/hour or 12k/year...or that he
>shouldn't have insurance. I also
>don't think he should be
>making 30/hour or 60k/year either.
>35k? Ok....but not 60.....it's called

Fair enough. He's asking for a LIVING WAGE. In other words, he wants to be able to feed and house a family and he wants his kids to have a doctor when they're sick. He wants to be able to afford a place where they aren't in danger from violence or drugs.

>When the company makes decisions that
>hurt workers, the company benefits
>and that helps the people
>who still have jobs and
>is important for future growth
>and keeping the company healthy.

Oh. Well in that case, let's extrapolate your little theory and euthanize everyone with a contagious or hereditary disease. Who'll object? It'll be good for the health of the human race.

>When the Union makes decisions
>that hurt the company, it
>often ends up hurting the
>workers anyway.

Union equals...oh nevermind.

>As for your dismissal of my
>opinion on building wealth, it
>is obvious you know nothing
>about building wealth. Increasing GM
>worker salaries by 50% will
>do nothing to build wealth
>unless they know what to
>do with the money.

True. But as I said, if they don't have any capital then teaching them what to do with it would be useless.

>don't get wealthy by working
>for someone else, (entirely) you
>have to extra stuff.

I see.

>the Forbes 400, you might
>learn something about wealth building.

You know, we're not talking about building Forbes 400 - wealth. We're talking about building a liveable income. Which doesn't really take much building, just some commitment on the part of the employer.

>The simple fact that you
>said "whatever" to the very
>methods used to buid wealth,
>indicates you know nothing about

No, it indicates that I dismissed your advice as essentially irrelevant to an L.A. janitor who makes six dollars an hour.

>As for the Poor Kids not
>knowing how to make their
>dreams come true...I stand by

I know, I agreed with you to a large extent, but I also pointed out how simply knowing how and being committed isn't quite enough in our society. We're getting closer, but we're not there yet.


"Say some shit that suprise me...
My face don't change."