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What does it say with $19/hr is considered low wage?

By jdclyde ·
GM is in the middle of a huge buy-out. What are they buying? A reasonably priced work force.

Why is it the price of an import is less than the domestics? The average wage for a line worker is $81 an hour. How many of you working professionals that have YEARS more training and education, are making that much?

A front page story in the Detroit Free Press goes on about THOUSANDS lining up for these "low paying jobs". sorry, but most shop workers I know make between $8 and $12 an hour, so this is NOT low pay.

It is no wonder the big three are having problems.

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JD, this is proof...

by Tig2 In reply to What does it say with $19 ...

that I am in the wrong profession!

I think that GM has bigger problems than this, however. The fact that they haven't remained economically viable, in my opinion, is proof that a complete re-structure should be considered. Someone is doing something wrong.

Ford on the other hand has been doing some meaningful cost cutting. Jury is still out as to whether it will work.

Incidentally, the GM situation is analogous to the NWA re-structure. The idiot that ran NWA for some time managed to insure that his negotiating power with the Union was completely gone by givine $5M bonuses to four of the top tier executives. Then he went to thee union and pled poor. Oddly, they didn't believe him. Wonder why. I think that GM had a similar experience.

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GM has lots of problems

by JamesRL In reply to JD, this is proof...

During the last set of announcements, GM announced that one of its two Oshawa plants would be phased out in 2 years. This despite the fact that a) that plant has the highest productivity in any GM plant and b)the plant places in the top three consistently in terms of quality of ANY manufacturer (japanese included) in North America and c) the labour costs in the plant are lower than the plants in the US.

Seems to me, that just doesn't make sense from a business perspective.

The figure that keeps going around is that GM's cost structure is roughly $1300 higher on a new car than Japanese manufacturer making cars in North America, because of higher benefits paid to "older" employees.

But people in Michigan can complain about their government too. When Japanese companies were first looking at building plants in North America, they approached Michigan where they were not made welcome by state officials. So they went to other US states and Canada.


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Not the State

by jdclyde In reply to GM has lots of problems

The UNION chased the jobs away.

The Union "workers" would rather there not be a job than to have a non-union job around.

I am so sick up the hypocrits in the UAW. They will drive around with their "Buy Union" bumperstickers, but funny that I see them parked at WALMART instead of Meijers. Meijers is union, Borgmart is ANTI-union.

I also mentioned about a month ago when I was in Dearborn and drove by Ford. There was a nice white pickup, with black spray paint all over it, saying "scab".

In all to many cases now, union = criminal.

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Another case of unions gone bad.

by faradhi In reply to What does it say with $19 ...

The american auto manufacturers are really being hampered by labor unions.

Most imports are not actually imported. They are made here in the states. The factories are non union factories in the south. They provide wages to non skilled workers that are impressive when considering the cost of living.

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But of course!

by TonytheTiger In reply to Another case of unions go ...

The higher wages a union can negotiate, the higher dues they can demand :)

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Unions Serve A Purpose

by yobtaf In reply to But of course!

It's easy to blame the unions for the problems of the US auto
industry but GM, for instance, created their own down fall.

When they were the biggest most powerful corporation in the
world, they had the opportunity to do a lot of things to stay on
top. But the Japanese came along with a better, cheaper product
and their cars are still more dependable and less expensive to

When you're on top unions are not a problem. I worked for
Disney, which is a union shop, for ten years, and it was part of
their past success. The union members were happy because they
weren't abused by the management. The company had to
actually think out how they should do things in advance because
if they didn't it would cost them money.

Disney's current problems have nothing to do with the unions
but everything to do with bad corporate decisions (like GM).

If employees don't demand certain basic benefits, they might
might as well move to China because a lot of corporations like
Walmart certainly don't give them the benefits willingly. Unions,
at least in concept, do that work for them.

Sorry to be on the soap box but this is a complex issue. Unions,
like all human institutions, are subject to corruption, but in a
political environment where corporations a more important then
people, unions are more important then ever. However, there is
no way that the US can compete with the cost advantages of
manufacturing in the East and to suggest that we willingly
become a third world country is not an option.

Let's see how this all shakes out.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to Unions Serve A Purpose

One can cut down 30 trees per shift, another can cut down 40. Union says they must be paid the same. Why shouldn't the guy who can cut down 40 just decide to slack off?

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he HAS to

by jdclyde In reply to Lumberjacks

or the union boys will come down on him.

The idea of promotions based on senority are also counter productive. That is why lower manangement in the union shops is so horrible, take the senority not the best workers.

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cheaper product

by jdclyde In reply to Unions Serve A Purpose

you have Toyota making vehicles here in the US, so they have the same costs of business as the big three. How is it the employees are MORE satisfied with their jobs AND they can put out a high quality vehicle that is less expensive?

Unions bloat wages and hinder productivity. The Unions are only good for the lazy workers that would not be able to hang onto their job any other way. When you have three people standing around because they need one specific union guy to replace a part that any moron could do, you are driving up costs stupidly.

There are more reasons NOT to have a union than there are reasons to have a union. In a union, you get yelled at by the old timers for working too fast more than you get yelled at by the company for not working fast enough. Been there, heard that. Never again do I plan to work Union.

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Labour Costs for Japanese auto workers

by JamesRL In reply to cheaper product

One of the differences in labour costs for big three versus Japanese plants in North America is around both the unionization and the age of the workforce.

The big three have an older workforce, who get more benefits, and have higher wages due to time on the job. Their benefits costs to the employer are also much higher because we use more health care, drug plans etc as we age. Even in Canada, where most medical is covered (not drugs or dental), the benefits costs are higher.

As a result, the Japanese manufacturers can make cars competitively, even if they have to ship engines from Japan. A Toyota Matrix built in Cambridge Ontario with the same options as a Pontiac Vibe built in the US, will cost me in Canada less(no duties on cars made in North America). The parts are the same, same drivetrain, some differences in trim. Presumably roughly the same amount of time to build. The difference is that the Toyota plant is non union, has been running for ten years, so a younger cheaper, healthier more productive worksforce.

Time will even some of it out. But the union aspect does make it more expensive.

Toyota must be doing something right they are building a huge new plant vritually doubling their manufacturing in Ontario.


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