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  #1  
Old 12-23-08, 01:57 PM
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How?

How can a company expect to make money when they have to give laid off workers up to 95% of their salary? I thought layoffs were used to cut costs, not to pay people for not showing up, because I highly doubt that the UAW is paying these ex-workers. I would not expect to get paid by a former employer if I am laid off and don't get another job after unemployment runs out.
 
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Old 12-23-08, 02:34 PM
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My guess would be that they don't have to pay any benefits while laying off, and they wouldn't have to pay their share of the social security or the unemployment taxes.
All this can add up.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 03:05 PM
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Red face HOW??? That's the entire title???

Who said the lay offs where to made to save money??? That's a side benefit as mentioned in the reply above... which also happens to be totally correct..............

The lay offs where also made and extended to reduce excess unsold inventories on many dealers lots. Two weeks of the entire lay off time is part of the normal operations and part of the workers union contract during this holiday season.

As are lay offs during model change overs on the assembly and production lines prior to new model production....

Lay offs during model year change over time is also part of the union contract, which both parties have agreed to and are now abiding by under normal circumstances too....which is cool.... and whom can argue or disagree with that benefit....

All the above is part of the behind the scenes agreed upon contracts and processes of normal operations. Also allows time to do normal as well as extensive maintenance of all facilities and all production lines and assembly plants, etc....

Rest Easy My Friend.
The buildings are not dark and vacant during such times.... Just all assembly line workers and anyone not involved with assembly and/or production are temporarily laid off.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 11:27 AM
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Sounds totally alien to me. The company I work for has only 4 employees and lay off is a polite term for good bye
 
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Old 01-02-09, 12:03 PM
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Had a friend who always scheduled his vacation during the plant shutdowns in Detroit. He was an industrial electrician who would go up and work for 2 weeks for a company that paid his room and board and he made about $3500 a week. 12 hr days, 7 days a week for 2 weeks.

Wifes step-brother was a sheet metal/HVAC guy. He was making $50 an hour in St Louis at the Ford plant paint line during a model changeover.

Basically, if the company is making a big model change, they don't save any money during the layoffs.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 07:20 PM
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Notice how most companies that have unions are going belly up and beggin for money too. I have strong negative feelings for unions. Unions breed laziness and corruption.

I have to work with the AFGE employees now, and their employees are late to work everyday, do nothing, and can't get fired because they are union.

Unions were only a good thing back before they had federal minimum wage laws and such. I say, if you don't like your pay, benefits, etc, then quit, but they choose to go on strike because they want to get paid more then $60+/hr counting all benefits.

We have people working 2+ jobs trying to get off of welfare, and these loons have the odacity to beg for money to pay for their golf courses and private jets. Amazing.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 08:52 PM
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Mark, DON'T GO THERE but you can thank me, my father, and millions of other union members past and present for things like:

vacation
OSHA
paid vacation
insurance
overtime pay
40 hour work week

and many other benefits I am sure you enjoy. Union members did die in the process.:


You have been sadly misinformed as to where this money comes from. It is supposed to be from money already paid into a fund and is considered part of the employees pay package. It does not cost the employer anything not already spent (at least on paper).




here is a website that compares, with honesty, American UAW workers and non-union auto workers at Toyota. As you can read, there is much less disparity in an active workers pay than many believe. What is very expensive is the retirees H&W and they are considering cutting that. How would you like to be retired for a few or 10 or 20 years and then get told, " btw, we are stopping paying for your insurance. We know you have not set up to have to pay for that out of your pocket when you retired but I understand Wal Mart is still hiring. You can get a job there to pay for what we are going to take from you"

Is that fair?

What's on the line for the UAW - Dec. 19, 2008

here is another link to a blog that has some numbers in it and they are not what you folks have been tossing around.

MyFoxDetroit

granted the guy goes on a rant but the numbers in his blog show that the pay disparity is not what you are led to believe.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 10:16 PM
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like most of you, I've been in unions, owned businesses and worked in non-union envioroments.

Its not right to say either "Unions Good" or Unions Bad". As they say, give back the vacation pay, sick pay etc if you don't like unions. But because of what they have accomplished, they not needed so badly now.

I say unions were a great place to hide if you don't want to work. However most of us worked hard out of personal pride but it was optional. I wouldn't want union workers in my business because they can wreck a business if they get out of hand.

ONce or twice, I had jerk bosses that would have fired me and everyone else just because of personalities, not work issues. The unions prevented that.

I was even a union rep for a month or two until I had to defend someone that showed up late every day and didn't work so I quit that right away.

I've been places where unions dominated and we spent most of the day getting out of work. It was a game, I hated it. If I needed to spend the day at work, I'd just as soon work.

Another union I was in was all about enhancing workers. They worked with the company to get us huge training and then we would all try to get on projects where we could use the training. It was excellent for the company and the workers. We dealt with other private enterprises and we didn't want to look like lazy union govt workers so most of us worked harder than the private companies. Almost always! They were always trying to hire us and many moved out of the union for better pay, benefits, easier work etc.

So yes unions can breed laziness and all the bad things and often they do. On the other hand, they gave us great benefits and given the right culture, they can produce harder working employees than non-union shops.

Just my two cents worth
 
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Old 01-03-09, 05:59 AM
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I rarely get involved in discussions within this forums topic nor on these types of subjects. But I do appreciate those whom contribute in a positive manner. Regardless of which side of the subject material (fence) you're on.

Also, a pleasure to know some of you have not forgotten what our forefathers fought to get for us in workers rights and benefits. Without them doing so, we could still be working in what was once known as "Sweat Shops."

However, the discussion in this thread is not about unions, the benefits of them nor the evils of them. The original question is how do companies make money during layoffs. The U.S. auto manufacturing business is the focus of this discussion. Not unions....

Not even the "pros".........or "cons" of unions... However, sad to say, (always someone) a single mentioning of unions........involkes misunderstandings and negatives of unions. Rarely an occasional positive note.... Glad there are a few here...

Just so happens, in the auto manufacturing industry (U.S. and Foreign) as well as many other "Large" industries, need the time for change overs, etc. Auto industry is not the only industry that has layoffs for change overs.

UAW workers, like many other unionized industries, pay into the union plan which either fully or partially repays them back for extended layoffs during change over times.

Few, if any of the so called laid off change over effected workers are likely to need or want state unemployment money for the additional 2 weeks of the lay off time.... Nor likely qualify for unemployment money, based upon whatever the states waiting period happens to be, if there is any waiting period... Such laws vary by state.
 
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Old 01-03-09, 10:22 AM
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The U.S. auto manufacturing business is the focus of this discussion. Not unions....
Tom, the Unions run the auto manufacturering business, so that can't be in the discussion? To say the unions do not run these companies shows that some people have not worked for these types of companies.

I cannot even mention ANY criticism about unions at my work place without the fear of being disciplined, because we work with the AFGE. Tell me that ain't some crap?

People have been fired for doing so, and not in a derogatory way or disrespectful way either.
 
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Old 01-03-09, 10:50 AM
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Mark, I don't think you can group "All" unions and "All people in unions" together. I have family members that are or were in unions, and have worked their butts off because of the type of work they were doing or the companies they worked for. I also know others in unions that fit your description, but they were in entirely different lines of work. Beer 4U2
 
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Old 01-03-09, 02:09 PM
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I'm not saying ALL unions nor that all the workers are bad. I have met some hard working members personally. I'm specifically speaking of the union that's with us (AFGE) and the UAW (which is all over the news).

Well, I'll stop talking about it now before I get Tom mad again.

:Take One:

:WH:
 
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Old 01-03-09, 04:30 PM
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I've met some pretty useless non-union guys too Mark.

and I won;t take it as an insult to me but I used to be a UAW member, as well as Teamsters, Retail Clerks Union, and now the IBEW.

I like to think I work pretty hard.
 
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Old 01-03-09, 07:10 PM
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I don't want to add fuel to the fire, but different people have different work ethics. I have supervised in a Teamster's shop, and had good employees, and frog warts as well that would do more to get out of work than it would have taken to just do the job.
Now, I am standing on the outside looking in at the posts here. I live in an area where there isn't much industry, so the need for unions is nil. But our work ethic is simple....you don't work, you don't eat. We observe on the news (which would be our only exposure) where there is obvious goofiness going on with the relationship of unions and the auto industry. One rules, the other bends, and we still don't have cars being produced that get fuel mileage worth writing home about. Is it lack of work ethics? Is it poor management? Is it an overbearing union? No comment other than to say you can't be part of the problem and hope to rectify it by turning a blind eye. Not everyone can make $50 an hour, plus vacation, insurance and other benefits (including a nice country club), not to mention job banks and think it won't change.
So for the union members (and former members) whose work ethic is "get-r-dun", bravo. For the slacker who sucks the system dry and expects the paycheck anyway, good luck.
OK, the soapbox broke.
 
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Old 01-04-09, 05:34 AM
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Not to worry about adding fuel to the fire. It's already an enraging and out of control inferno....

How any worker can be considered as one whom is slacking off, be lazy and/or not be doing their job in an Assembly line type of industry, including building trades and the like where there are production quotas, deadlines to meet and the like.... is way beyond me....

In such industries as in this discussion, production and assembly lines which have a constantly moving and never stopping assembly lines, how any worker can slack off, not be productive is also way beyond me.

The agreed upon contract between all parties involved determines time schedules, production quotas, start and break times, vacation periods, highly pay rates, benefits, workloads and just about everything you can name, etc. etc. etc. aside from state and federal work rules and or laws, etc.

With all that taken into consideration, how any worker can slack off, be lazy or called a "Wart" ???...new term I've not heard before... is well beyond me.

As a former union rep, area officer and union leader, we have always fought to keep the company at bay so the workers where treated right and fairly in all aspects of the work and job duties, etc. Long gone are the days of "Sweat Shops" thanks to unions.

Another aspect to consider is having a union to negotiate for workers. Without unions, no one individual could bargain with or negotiate with a large company or corporation at the level such needs to be done at.

The union represents the voice of all it's members, which is all the companies workers. The company represent the voice of the company to it's employees. Neither side, company nor union can speak for the other as individuals.

Thus the term or phrase "Collective Bargaining" where all the communications take place and the contract is negotiated and agreed upon by both sides. The Collective Bargaining system works well every time for both concerned parties.

Just too bad some people (and now we all know whom they are) don't fully understand unions, there benefits and/or the Collective Bargaining system nor appreciate the true aspects of the entire system.

Try bargaining with a corporation or any large company yourself as an individual employee and see what it gets you.... Or how far it gets you. Simple Answer: Nothing........and Nowhere.......

BTW:
While this discussion continues here in this thread, so does the negotiations and agreements between our government officials (our elected leaders "Bargaining Collectively" for us citizens and taxpayers) and the auto industries. Something we cannot do ourselves individually either.............................
 
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Old 01-04-09, 10:24 AM
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I think unions are going to make a comeback in a few years. Some industries need unions. It doesn't happen overnight but the culture becomes a game beteween mgmt and workers to screw each other and its sometimes impossible to change.

Its not unusual to have union staff taking job action against the union they work for. How ironic is that! Face it, I know so many union workers that play the game to get thier employer its ridiculous.

But unions can work given the right people on each side of the table.
 
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Old 01-04-09, 12:16 PM
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Any time we bid a job installed--we used union workers
I always liked the men but I did not like the union staff.
I was showing the men how to install a 300' penthouse ( new product ) on a hosp.
A union goon came up & knocked a drill out of my hand.
" you don't carry a card--don't touch tools"
" you explain to them how to install this "
The men carried him to the edge of bldg. & dangled him by his feet ( 22 stories )
" if you come back here again-we will drop you "
As I recall--that was one of the happiest days of my life......................
 
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Old 01-04-09, 02:02 PM
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well since we've hijacked this thread I might as well ad my two cents worth, My father was a union brick mason and a darn good one, fast and smooth best mason in our area for about 25yrs. but if he needed extra money we worked on houses on weekends and got paid by the brick instead of by the hr. I worked as a apprentice brickmason until interest rates got so high during the carter administration and nothing was getting built. The union voted to strike during the time I was an apprentice and I couldn't vote on it, we lost more money during those 30 days than the raise made in the next 4 yrs. the guys who voted for the strike only wanted to get the companies they knew the raises wouldn't make up for the time off. But our apprenticeship program meant that if it had been run properly the new brickmasons would have been properly trained and good workers. so I believe both have their place in our society.

the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
 
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Old 01-04-09, 04:49 PM
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Tom, make no mistake, I fully understand the purpose of unions, their benefits and bargaining powers. It all goes to make a better work environment. To this I agree fully. Without the unions in earlier days, all we would have would be sweat shops.
Now, with that said, there is a reckoning coming regarding the country club, job banks, extraordinarily inflative salaries and the like that have been "bargained" by modern unions. It has caught up with them and they don't have an answer that the public will swallow. In addition, I don't think the union officials do it out of the kindness of their heart, either. They have not been the best stewards of retirement accounts and those benefits we have been mentioning, as history will tell you. I wouldn't touch a person's retirement account with a ten foot pole. They earned it. But if we don't trim down, get the unions back in line, make cars (or whatever you make) that show promise, there won't be any jobs to go to.
Face it, the automakers are already outsourcing most of the components to Korea, China, Mexico and other countries. What is to say, when all this comes to a head and the big three fail, they won't open up assembly plants totally on foreign soil? No unions, no big salaries, no benefits, no job banks. And America will step back in time, again. I'm not ready for that, are you?
 
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Old 01-04-09, 05:26 PM
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And to throw something else in..

It may have been mentioned here, or on a talk radio show. Someone commented about how would you like to work 10 yrs and then have your retirement and medical benefits changed from what you were promised?

Guess what, happens to the Military all the time. When I went in it was 50% of base pay retirement and free medical. I got the 50% basepay (which isn't that much, prob could have done better with a 401 or similar), but the free medical is gone, unless you resort to the VA. Even active duty pay a fee if they have to go in the hospital or have a procedure done. The Medical is real cheap if you happen to live in an area that supports it (I don't), but thats not really the point. It was changed, with no say-so by the people that it affected.

As for the 50%..well some folks came in and found out 2 yrs later they would be reduced to 40% or less based on their last 3 yrs of pay. Ok, yes, they had the option of getting out if they didn't like it. But again, no say-so except for the 600 suits in DC

Ok, just getting that out there.

btw, I DID hear on the talk show, that Union strikes and such are only possible because of the Government. Otherwise the companies would just go hire other people at a negotiated wage. Remember the ATC strike?

Finally, I appreciate all the the Unions did back in the day. I've seen the documentaries and read some books. Coal miners are the best example I can think of, but its not the same as an assembly line guy starting at $25-30 an hour.
 
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Old 01-04-09, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharp Advice View Post
Not to worry about adding fuel to the fire. It's already an enraging and out of control inferno....
I think I am in love. Are you male or female just so I know what I am getting in to?

chandler


One rules, the other bends, and we still don't have cars being produced that get fuel mileage worth writing home about. Is it lack of work ethics? Is it poor management? Is it an overbearing union?
and what does the union guy have to do with mileage? That is the white collars (engineers and bean counters) that make those decisions. Blue collars just put together what they are told to put together, often using less quality than they would use if they had a choice about that even.

No comment other than to say you can't be part of the problem and hope to rectify it by turning a blind eye.
true. that is why some of the manuf have actually empowerd the worker to stop an assembly line if quality is not up to par. Years ago; no way. run them nuts and shut your mouth. that was it.

Not everyone can make $50 an hour, plus vacation, insurance and other benefits (including a nice country club), not to mention job banks and think it won't change.
and neither do the auto workers. Did you read the couple of links I posted. Honda actually pays more per hour on the check than the UAW workers. Yes, UAW has more benes but you are the one touting the $50/hour plus bene's.


Honda $30/hr

UAW $28.33/hr.

the really misleading part of everybody quoting wages/benes is, when they quote this crazy $70/hr, they are including costs for the retirees health and welfare benefits. How do they figure that in what an individual earns. It does not make sense. Of course, it is a company expense but they actually figure it in the current hourly guys hourly pay. How?
 
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Old 01-05-09, 12:05 AM
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How many hours does it take to make a car? Are wages/benefits that significant a factor compared to other input costs?

I had a project that determined the costs and productivity of the install guys. Those poor guys were sitting ducks. It was easy to determine their exact costs based upon productivty as they installed units.

Great fun but meanwhile, no one measured my teams costs based upon our productivity. Our costs weren't directly associated with the product costs.

Point is, are assembly line wages really the most significant cost of doing business or just the easiest to measure? Engineers, marketing, robotics, utilities, insurance etc etc.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 04:38 AM
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Nap, I think y'all are getting the wrong impression about my ideas on this. The individual worker is doing the best they can with what they have to work with. As you said, they are told to do a job, and, for the most part, they do it. Without their hard work, Americans wouldn't have the nice things we do have.
The union, their bosses, representatives, etc. seem to have lost their purpose in life. Unions had (and still have) their place in today's industry. THEIR impression of their purpose is distorted. The more the union rules the roost, the less money will go directly to the individual worker, now, and when he retires. Sure, it is nice to know you have a retirement fund waiting on you when you reach that age....or will you? The unions regulate themselves, so as long as the worker is "told" he has job security and a good benefits package and retirement, he will keep paying into the system. I just have a difficult time thinking of paying into a union whose track record of honesty is tainted.
"and what does the union guy have to do with mileage?", that's why it was a rhetorical question. I wasn't blaming any faction, merely showing the industry as a whole can't produce what we need.
Union workers, keep up the good work, we need you!
Unions, step back and take a look at the picture you have created.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 09:28 AM
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I worked a grocery store for about a month several years ago (found better job). I had to pay 1/10th of the union initiation fee. 6 months after I left, I got a union card. Since then I have viewed unions as effective as flatulence in a hurricane when it comes to getting anything done. I used to have insurance, but had to pay for it myself, rarely used it so I cancelled it

What are these things?
vacation
OSHA
paid vacation
insurance
overtime pay
40 hour work week

The joy of working for small companies. Since the economy is in the toilet, I am holding on to this job until I find something better.
 
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Old 01-06-09, 12:41 PM
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How would you like to be retired for a few or 10 or 20 years and then get told, " btw, we are stopping paying for your insurance.
These agreements were made at a time when the big three could afford such luxuries. That time has long since past. Most people that have been retired for 10 or 20 years rely on medicare, thats what it is there for.


when they quote this crazy $70/hr, they are including costs for the retirees health and welfare benefits. How do they figure that in what an individual earns.
How can you not include these costs in labor? Are they not part of a labor contract? As more retire and the active UAW workerforce shrinks even further, that $70 number will become substantially higher and even more unafordable. The time has come for all to understand that the domestic auto industry in its current size and state can no longer pay these costs and stay in business without getting government assistance forever. With the current state of the domestic auto industry, retired workers thinking they are entitled to receive health and welfare benefits forever is just unrealistic. Times have changed and so must the unions if they expect to have workers to represent in the future.
 
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Old 01-06-09, 05:13 PM
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=HeresJohnny;1496705]These agreements were made at a time when the big three could afford such luxuries. That time has long since past. Most people that have been retired for 10 or 20 years rely on medicare, thats what it is there for.
Most people. Wouldn't you like a reduction in your taxes because companies took care of their employees instead of relying on the public dole?

example; my father, a retired UAW member although not with one of the big three but the contracts tend to mirror them, utilizes his compnay medical insurance. That actually save you and me money as medicare pays less for a retired person that way. And to the "that was in the past".

No, it isn't. That is the present. They agreed to these payments as part of their retirement. If they were not going to recieve this, they would have looked to gaining that money in their retirement in other forms and they would have planned for the lack of insurance when planning for retirement.

Cutting it now is like taking a scuba divers tank from him when he is 80 feet below water telling him you can no longer afford to provide him with oxygen. If he knew it was going away, he would have done things a bit differently. So, what does he do when you take the oxygen away? Is it fair you take it away?




How can you not include these costs in labor?
becuase they are not part of labor, per se. Youapparently missed the part where these costs are being considered part of the active workers pay package. It isn't. It is now an overhead that the company could have planned and budgeted for (which is actually what they are supposed to do but simply do not) rather than claiming it is a current cost and actually part of the guy that works the line pay and bene package.


Are they not part of a labor contract?
but the costs of the retirees is being tallied into a current workers pay/bene package. It isn't.

As more retire and the active UAW workerforce shrinks even further, that $70 number will become substantially higher and even more unafordable.
that is becuase of the empoloyers failure to fund their retirement programs properly.

The time has come for all to understand that the domestic auto industry in its current size and state can no longer pay these costs and stay in business without getting government assistance forever.
well, what they will simply do is what United Airlines did. Claim they ar going to fall unless the government takes over the pension program. Then you will have thousands of people jumping onto the medicare dole. Want to see a tax increase? there's your sign.

With the current state of the domestic auto industry, retired workers thinking they are entitled to receive health and welfare benefits forever is just unrealistic.
what is wrong with thinking they are entitled to the contracted pension the company agreed to? This is a large cost but the companies failures to budget for this is not the fault of the worker.

Times have changed and so must the unions if they expect to have workers to represent in the future.
the unions do change. Never heard of wage concessions? Pay freezes at least? Reduction in benefits?

they have all been happening.

the current situation is the perfect opportunity for the government to raise anti-union sentiment. W. has been working on killing the unions. This "oh, it's all the fault of the union workers that we are having such financial troubles" is apparently working with you. The folks running the businesses make the money decisions. They are the ones that decide to engineer problematic cars. They are the ones that decide on the quality level of the final product. Quality does cost money and if they can lower the quality enough to save money, they will. The problem is, this is a very attractive way to save money so they keep testing the limits. They could do that when they didn;t have any competition. Now they do and they need to step up and make good cars. It can be done. We do it once in awhile.

but hey, if the union guys would get off their butts and work harder (ever work in an automotive assembly line? It doesn't stop moving except at breaks and breakdowns and guess who sets the speed of the driveline?), we would have jobs a plenty. NOT. Management is the single deciding factor in product design, method, quality, and material. How does that translate into the workers fault?
 
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Old 01-07-09, 06:26 AM
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Nap

I don't disagree with anything you are saying. The problem is, that the money is simply not there to pay for these benefits. It doesnt matter whose fault that is, management, the union or both.
 
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Old 01-07-09, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
Nap

I don't disagree with anything you are saying. The problem is, that the money is simply not there to pay for these benefits. It doesnt matter whose fault that is, management, the union or both.
that's ok. We'll all be experiencing this exact same thing when Social Security goes belly up.

this exact situation is why I argue that pensions and similar payment systems shoudl be reqquired to be 100% funded. No excuses, no nothing. Either fund it or don;t offer it.
 
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