25285, Quick Comments|
Posted by M2, Mon Apr-09-01 08:51 AM
Caddilac USED to be a competitor against other foreign luxury car makers. I'm talking about Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi....those companies used to be trying to sell more cars then caddilac. They've only recently succeeded.
I'll agree with you, a lot of Caddilac's problem is piss poor cars. BUT, when they try and innovate and get past that....the Union stops them. You want to Blame Caddilac for wanting to change factories, close old ones that couldn't make that car. Fine.
But let's Blame the union for not saying: "Ok, we see you want to make this new car with this new technology, let's reach a comprimise where you can use the new technology and lose as few people as possible"
I'll admitt I don't really know what Manufacturing jobs pay, but I DO know they don't pay as well as executives and nor should they. That's where I was going...I'm thinking along the lines of the Michael Moores who want a limit on CEO pay.
Building better cars, making manufacturing processes more efficient and building better factories isn't always going to mean more jobs for workers. It often means the opposite. If GM made it's cars like Toyota and Nissan, they wouldn't need as many people....but of course the Unions won't allow that.
Companies that are lean, mean and greedy aren't going to collapse under they're on weight. Just ask Microsoft or GE. If they're always trying to get rid of redundancies staff wise, make things more efficient, and make as much money as possible...they're going to do better in the long run then a company that always tries to make the workers happy.
I want all the things you want for Workers, fair pay, health care, a decent place to live, etc. BUT, I still believe in Layoffs and moving the factory to foreign countries. It's the company's perogative to do both, I don't see corporations as these public service organizations whose duty it is to employ people. I think that's where we really differ, if they can move them around...fine...but if they can't...such is life. The difference between you and I, is that I think the workers should be treated well while it is in the company's best interests to hire them....when it is no longer the case...and they have to lay them off...all bets are off.
As you pointed out several times in your post, Union=Workers..they see things from the workers side...not the company's. If laying off 10,000 people is good for the company, the workers won't care. Which is essentially my point.
You said that if I worked at a Chevy plant for 20 years and then got laid off, I wouldn't care about the company (even if the company needed to do it)...my worry would be me. Well, what do you think happens when the Unions Negotiate...they are only thinking about themselves.
If the company keeps workers while another lays them off, and it ends up hurting that company....and the company gets acquired..it will be worse for everyone. When you merge companies you take a look at each and every function and competencies the companies have in common, and you get rid of the lesser one. For the ones they don't share, you try to figure out ways to cut reduncies there as well, you try and figure out if two similar but not identical functions can be merged anyway, or reduncies cut.
As for Building wealth, it's not just organized Labor...paying factory workers 120k/year won't close the wealth gap unless they know about building wealth. HEll, even a "living wage" as you call it won't do that either. Closing the wealth gap is a lot more then just raising incomes.
The way I see it, Companies don't have to employ people...they don't have to guarantee anyone a job either. This is not a childish Utopia, where everyone gets a job...having a job isn't a right. Workers want to just pick a company and work for them forever and always expect the company to employ them, and that's a misguided way of thinking. You're not guaranteed a job by law..nor should you be...so get over it. Companies change, markets change, products change...you can't expect a company to hurt itself to employ you...when its focus on profits is the reason for its existence and is what makes it successful.
I know from the worker's perspective, this is unacceptable...but they need to grow up. You can't only view things from one perspective and expect things to go your way...especially when another party is affected by what you want.
Workers/Unions have to accept the fact that factory output is determined by how many cars that company is selling, which can be affected by the cars themselves, the economy and the natural BUSINESS CYCLE...which determines if people are going be buying a lot of cars in one year compared to the next.
Business Cycles are a very real part of business, sometimes you have a lot of employees because things are hot...when things cool down..you have to let them go...and then when things pick up again....the cycle is determined by the economy and the consumer. If the economy is down, people spend less....if a lot of people bought cars in record numbers in the 2-3 years previous...it stands to reason that eventually it will slow down because people who want cars already bought new ones and/or it could be a year when a lot of cars are at the end of their run in terms of that model or iteration of that vehicle. E.g. The Current Accords came out in 98 and haven't changed much.....it's going to change soon....so why buy one now? Or the new Audi A4 comes out in the Fall, so why buy one now...or in the 4 months previous..when the new is going to be so much better?
I'm a Quasi-Independent consultant....whereas I work for a company which provides benefits, 401k, etc...but my pay is largely determined by whether or not I have a client that I'm billing. In other words, I might get something if I'm not billing...but not much. Worrking like this is risky, but I'll come out way ahead cash wise, then if I worked as a salaried consultant.
Last November, a week before thanksgiving...I got a call that informed me that the client had pulled the plug on a project I was working on. I went into work (at the client site) and the CFO told us that due to financial problems, problems in the market and other issues..they had decided to pull the plug on the consultants working on the project. This was in november, the slow time of the consulting industry....I probably wouldn't be working again until January.
Did I whine? No! Did I run around talking about evil corporations, and how they should keep paying me to help the community? It's the nature of the Beast, so I accepted it...some jobs are more volatile then others. When you work in industries that are affected by trends in car sales, or IT spending..you suck it up and deal with it. Or you prepare before hand. I was able to find myself another gig in 3 days, I got lucky...but even I didn't..I wouldn't blame the client...they did what they had to.
Workers in this country need to stop whining and stop expecting companies to keep jobs in the country and/or not lay them off when things are going bad. I know they want their jobs, but that's the nature of the beast...they should stop whining...stop looking at it from only their side and deal with it.