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Old 11-15-2008, 05:39 AM   #29
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Chickadee, The Unions are there to protect and represent the workers in the whole process of the business. As far as the negative things not happeningI'm not sure. Had the Unions not been there to represent the worker none of the negative things would have improved. I will remind you that most of the poor quality comes from the manufacturing process and poor materials, not the labor. RustyJC, The hourly labor costs that the auto companies put out are not the true costs. The majority of the auto companies are self insured. The auto companies figures are for an employee that maxes out all of their benefits and dies on the last day of the year. This doesn't happen often, thank goodness. The cost of labor w/benefits for a new car, built by a US manufacturer [GM, Ford, Chrysler] is now lower, percentage-wise, than it has ever been in the history of the auto industry.The problen is that that the labor[people] is the most evident of everythong going into an automobile.You should check the price of materials, utilities, taxes, transportation, etc.on the total price of a new vehicle. You will probably be surprised. As far as my retirement, when the retirement program was started for the auto employees several other business's offered the defined retirement at that time. Now, most of them have 401k's which most of the companies match most or all of the contributions. With your 401k you got a lump sum payout. My defined retirement pays me once a month untill I die. A few years ago the average retiree lived two[2] months after retirement. With the new contract the hourly wage has been cut considerably and the defined retirement has been converted to 401k's. The benefits are now higher co-pays and employee paid. Will these help the auto manufacturers? We don't know now because most people cannot get a loan to buy a new car or don't want to spend money on an unnessary item. They are trying to pay their bills like utilities[sky is the limit] groceries, taxes, etc. It is hard to compete against corporations that are subsidized by their government and our overnment at the same time. Indiana Journey
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:21 AM   #30
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While we all have strong union or anti-union feelings, we need to make sure we do not turn this discussion into a bashing contest one way or the other.

The original discussion was about bailing out the auto industry. We all need to email your federal representatives and let them know your thoughts on the subject.


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Old 11-15-2008, 06:50 AM   #31
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ll of the major causes of the US automakers demise have been covered in this discussion;
excessive labor and retiree costs, failure of management to deal with these costs, and, mostly,
failure of these companies, at all levels, to produce a product that is competitive with their
foreign counterparts. These problems have been growing for at least the last 30 years, yet have
not been addressed by management. Also, labor has not helped in addressing these problems.
Instead of trying to help their employer get out of the mess they find themselves in, the unions
continue to take an adversarial role in fighting for higher wages, benefits and work rules that
stifle productivity as well as profitability.

Regardless of whether a car maker is subsidized by its government or not, it must produce a product
that meets or exceeds the expectations of the consumer. In the 80's GM put out a lot of cars
(the Vega being one) to try to compete with the fuel efficient imports that were gaining favor
with Americans. As I know personally, the Vega was a piece of junk. I bought one more GM product
in the 80's, a Caddy Eldorado which was the worst car I ever owned, and swore off GM since.
The imports continued to improve in every way, and soon surpassed the quality of the US cars.
Today, there is a no more reliable, quality built 'foreign' manufacturer than Toyota. The US
automakers have failed to keep up.

I am against a bailout for the auto industry. However, if a bailout is approved by congress,
it should contain the provision that all senior management resign, since they are responsible for
the predicament they are in. A Chapter 11 restructioning, however, will allow the companies to get
out from under some of the burden of the costs of producing their product. This, along with new
management, is the only thing I see as a better future for them.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:18 AM   #32
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Say Ken: No bashing here. Just AMERICANS discussing an issue of a great concern to ALL of us. How can our forum be useful if we can't exchange thoughts and ideas about whether or not OUR government should bailout a substantial portion of our national economic base. We know it CAN be a "touchy" subject, and understand your concern as moderator, BUT, UNTIL someone "puts someone else down" (ie. bashing), please don't stifle discussion of tough subjects. If "bashing" occurs....SHUT US DOWN!!..and I for one will support ya. Steve
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:37 AM   #33
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Ken, Keep up the good work. A serious discussion should allow all sides to be heard. If it gets personal it should be shut down. Indiana Journey
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:45 AM   #34
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TXiceman:
While we all have strong union or anti-union feelings, we need to make sure we do not turn this discussion into a bashing contest one way or the other. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ken,

I haven't detected any flaming, personal insults or any other violations of the iRV2 Rules or TOS. Labor costs are a tough subject, but they are one of the systemic problems that are at the core of the U.S. auto industry's financial problems. As such, this would appear to be a fair topic for discussion until an iRV2 Rule or TOS violation takes place. There's nothing wrong with passionate discussions over topics on which we might disagree so long as we don't become disagreeable, and I believe the discussion has been civil thus far.

JM2CW, of course.

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Old 11-15-2008, 08:05 AM   #35
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Rusty, just a note that a topic like this can easily go over the edge. I find it an interesting topic as long as it stays on the right side of the line.

Just so long as everyone keeps the knives, guns, dynamite and clubs out in the parking lot.

Like Rusty, I am an engineer and all I have to retire on is my 401K (which is a real joke right now) and any Social Security that may be left. Gads, I'll be working until they put me in the box now. Any hopes of retiring at 66 are long gone.

I certainly do not feel that the government needs to bail out the auto industry. It needs to make some rapid adjustments to their business and get to a point that they can compete in the world economy we have today.

A lot of the younger folks do not remember the slow down we had in the early to mid 80's. It hit the energy industry hard which hurt the engineering jobs. 1/3 of the engineers in Houston were out of work and the rest of the economy was not fairing much better. I do not want to see this again for any industry.

The auto industry needs to tighten the belt and do some serious trimming, starting at the top overpaid officers of the companies. They have already demonstrated that they can not run a company and adjust. Time for a change and not golden parachute packages....you are just plain fired like most of the workers.

Lots of other industries have similar problems.

JM2CW and add 3 more pennies and you have a nickle for what it is worth.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #36
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I can only give you my side of this discussion which is from the labor side. Untill recently the workers could not shut down production when a problem existed, now they can. the problem is then,hopefully, solved. Labor, not management, was the one to address this problem. Higher wages- how about a substantial cut[2007 contract] Higher benefits- how about 401k's not defined retirement, higher co-pats on insurance paid by the employee [2007 contract] The unions are trying to help the auto industry to get better in spite of management. Now about quality; We all know that several of the cars built in the 70's and 80's weren't very good including the imports. The US manufacturers [ Ford, Chrysler GM] now produce some of the highest quality cars in the world according to most of the quality indexes which measure quality and value. Some of the people want to cut wages, benefits, and retirement for the auto workers. How about cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Military Pensions? Our tax money pays all of these and we are running a deficeit on the federal budget every year it seams. I, for one, don't want this to happen. The bail-out is a loanto be paid back by the auto industry' not a hand-out. Similar to a small business loan only much, much larger. I love this Forum. Indiana Journey
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:57 AM   #37
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Reply </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
My Ford Mustang is the best car I ever owned and I've had an Acura. My Ford based motorhome hasn't given me a minutes trouble. The stuff coming out of Detroit may have turned a bunch of us off but that was 30 years ago. We have to get over it for all of our best interests. We seem to be forgetting that health insurance in most other counties is government subsidized but in the US it adds $700-1000 to the cost of each car. That is not to be blamed on our unions but our government. We are all in danger of losing our life savings because for the last 10 years the sales commission was more inportant than the soundness of the deal. We still beleave that government is the problem but in fact we eliminated most regulation to protect us from the greediest amongst us. Who will protect us from ourselves?
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #38
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by D in Davie:
My Ford based motorhome hasn't given me a minutes trouble. The stuff coming out of Detroit may have turned a bunch of us off but that was 30 years ago. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

FWIW, my old motorhome was built on a Ford F53 chassis. The Ford F53 chassis was built in Mexico.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:58 AM   #39
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I feel that the greatest University in America was the University of the Great Depression. I know that we have some IRV2 members that lived through those ruff times. Myself I learned of it from my grandparents and parents. With the memories of their knowledge I too have the awareness or fear that it could happen again and with the Big Three in trouble it has me very concerned as I know all of you are too.
I am very grateful that my needs are taken care of daily, now my wants all cost money. I feel that one problem I see today is that people are not willing to sacrifice for their future generations. Myself I am willing to do what ever has to be done so that my great grand children ( I am not even a grandfather yet) and family can live on.
This has been a very good thread and I pray that history doesn't repeat itself , Book2
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:09 PM   #40
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If the BIG 3 can be helped by a loan I might be inclined to go along with it. On the other hand a handout is totally unacceptable.

From what I have been reading the UAW leadership is very much into giving concessions and keeping their guys working. UAW blames the downfall of the auto companies to the failing economy which does indeed reflect what is actually happening right now. Nobody is buying!
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #41
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:
UAW blames the downfall of the auto companies to the failing economy which does indeed reflect what is actually happening right now. Nobody is buying! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Toyota and Honda (the 2 manufacturers I just checked) were both profitable through the quarter ending September 30, 2008, even under the same market conditions under which the Big 3 are operating. If a company has its cost structure under control and is making quality products that the consumers want, it can survive under conditions that its competition cannot.

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Old 11-15-2008, 04:47 PM   #42
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If they want to take money from me to pay for somebody that retired on 80% pay at the ripe old age of 52 years old after producing a product that can't compete in the world market, why next they might even be so stupid to want me to pay for somebodies mortgage who bought a house they knew they couldn't afford. At some point we have got to just stop pouring money down this rat hole. There is no business model that would allow GM to be paying $73 per hour total compensation to it's workers. There are almost 3 retiree's and surviving spouses for every one actual worker. Most of us have had fully funded retirement plans through our IRA's and 401k's. The idea of having a retirement plan set up like social security where present workers pay for retiree's is crazy. A bankruptcy would not shut down the companies but would allow them to start over and reduce these staggering benefit costs that were not deserved.
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