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Moe Szyslak

Outsourcing.........union strikes

42 posts in this topic

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Corp (NYSE:GM - News) said on Friday the strike at American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc (NYSE:AXL - News) will result in lost production of an additional 230,000 vehicles in the second quarter, with an estimated $1.8 billion impact on earnings before tax.

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Only a portion of the lost production will be recovered, GM said in a regulatory filing, citing the economic climate and a market shift away from the types of vehicles affected by the strike.

GM said it would provide $215 million to American Axle upfront to help fund employee buyouts, early retirements and buydowns to facilitate the settlement of the work stoppage. Previously it had said support would be capped at $200 million.

Workers at American Axle on Thursday ratified a contract that cuts wages and costs, ending an 87-day-strike with a vote by the auto supplier's main Detroit plant to back the deal.

The work stoppage affected about 30 GM plants in North America.

GM shares were down 21 cents at $18.23 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Yep, keep going on strikes you idiots. Companies will only take so much of it before you are outsourced.......

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The UAW is a group of people I just flat out do not understand. I've done a lot of service tech work at different auto plants in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. I flat out can not believe how anything gets done there.

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I'm sure striking has an affect that is good at times for employees. With today's economy I don't think I would want to go on strike. Don't you loose your income when you are striking? I would hate to go on strike and end up loosing my job over it. Now days everyone is replaceable and it probably leads companies to find other ways to get things done.

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Just another reason why unions are bad for business. Sure it is great to have good pay and benefits but those dont do much for the company when the jobs are all together wiped out. Let alone business cant compete in a Lean manufacturing world when people are not will to cross the lines on job discriptions.

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what did i see, union votes to reduce there benifits, hmmmmm. morer cash in employers pocket???? as a union rep i dont purse strikes, thats a last resort. employees should be able to make a decent living also. what about all these corporate execs with the million dollar perks, do you think thats fair.

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Remember this..there are power in numbers, fish swim in schools,birds fly in flocks,animals in herds...united your voice is louder than individually. I support unions and the right to collective bargaining.

But in the end we all have to be accoun table for the end product and we have to give the employer and contractor an honest days work.

Unions are not to blame for the individuals who chose to abuse the system..these bad apples have to be weeded out..

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right on. it takes both sides of the wall to turn a profit. wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment, thats what unions are all about. i assume the union bashers are all walmart execs who get there products from china!

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Remember this..there are power in numbers, fish swim in schools,birds fly in flocks,animals in herds...united your voice is louder than individually. I support unions and the right to collective bargaining.

But in the end we all have to be accoun table for the end product and we have to give the employer and contractor an honest days work.

Unions are not to blame for the individuals who chose to abuse the system..these bad apples have to be weeded out..

I agree to a point, but also remember that the whole "school, flock, herd" must deal with the outcome of their "voice" and it isn't always good. That is what gets me, actually, is when a "group" complains and things go poorly due their actions - usually they then start complaining about how it is always someones else's fault.

I am not in a union, but when the strike line came to my former workplace I did not cross it, though the strikers were wrong IMHO, but I had too many friends there to cross. Nobody cases about my job and when I lost a job... but I did, I went and found a better job.

I just don't get why it is almost always someones else's fault when talks of strikes come up (it was mentioned above about the "evil" (my word added) executives - well, sometimes it is, but they always get lumped together as the "bad guys". That is not the case, and I am in no way near being an executive.)

How 'bout a little personal responsibility. Mob mentality seems to run rampant at times, heck just go to the local watering hole with a group of workers and hear what they say, then go with just one or two and the tone is totally different. So yes, you are right, the collective voice is heard when it is louder. Just gotta make sure it is "your" voice and "your" opinion cause it is your job on the line. Personally, I would rather have a job and less money than no job. And that is real reality these days. I am proof of that... been on boths sides of that stick, ha!

Not even sure why I replied to this, since I am not union. But I can also say I worked with an outsource testing group in India, that my company outsourced to... what a disaster. I am not a fan of outsourcing if it can be helped... but when numbers are being looked at for a contract, trust me, the "group's" voices are heard there too...

No disrespect meant, I hope it is not taken that way. Just my thoughts.

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That is what i meant when I said we have to police ourselves..We need to be accountable for our actions as individuals.

Look unions are not to blame here it is the individuals that feel they can hide behind them and not do there job the way it is supposed to be done.

And remember this "unions are what brought you your 40 hour work week" and they help all ]of the working class. They fight for better benefits and wages, thus increasing the benefits and wages for the non-union secture asl well.

The problem lies in the individual abusers

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I worked at a union shop. The problem was that the union protected the jobs of the 10% ,or so, that really didn't want to work and drug everyone else down with them. The only way anyone could get fired was lying, stealing, or drugs and I think you really had to try at that.

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Something that everyone needs to keep in mind is that if not for the unions in the early 1900s we would be literally working for the same peanuts they were handing out back then. I don't think anyone wants that. The unions working for better wages back then benefited everyone then and we are still reaping those benefits now.

But in that span between then and now, Unions have gravitated to something they weren't back then. Now they are businesses themselves and they need to keep the rank and file paying dues to support them. And yes they do in some cases protect or at least make it difficult to get rid of employees who don't or won't pull their own weight.

I worked for a union shop back in the late 70s through the mid 80s and our motto was "Fair days work for a fair days pay". Problem is some don't know what a fair days work is.

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Just another reason why unions are bad for business. Sure it is great to have good pay and benefits but those dont do much for the company when the jobs are all together wiped out. Let alone business cant compete in a Lean manufacturing world when people are not will to cross the lines on job discriptions.

I agree. smile

They are closing down left and right. Sometimes it isn't good because the quality can suffer, but I haven't seen much for quality these days anyhow. Everyone wants things dirt cheap, but they themselves want to make union wage or higher. Does that sound fair?

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Upnorth, I agree, most people don't know what work is...period! Most people have a job, not work. There is a difference.

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You know what is comes with numbers? Corruption.

As soon as someone in the group is too powerful, the system fails.

If everyone was honest and upstanding, Unions would work great. I really believe that everyone should have a voice, yet at the same time be willing to bow to the majority.

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As soon as someone in the group is too powerful, the system fails.

If everyone was honest and upstanding, Unions would work great.

As soon as the company is too powerful, the system also fails.

And, if everyone was honest and upstanding on the company side, unions would not be needed..... would they?

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I've been on both sides of this and as a wise man once told me, what I've learned is that we all suck.

While we all may be slaves for the man, we're not obligated to be slaves for the man. This is a right to hire, right to work state. If there are conditions you don't approve of you have every right to leave and go elsewhere. Personally, I'll negoate my own wages, bennies, and working conditions. To each thier own on that one.

I've worked many service jobs in UAW run plants. Yes, I call them UAW run. Not GM, not Chrysler, not Ford....they are run by the UAW. I've been a Teamster, and a member of the Operating Engineers. I'll say this, however, about the UAW, if the workers lose their jobs it's because they didn't do thier jobs. The absolute waste of company money and man hours made me want to puke. I'll never be a businessman, but if I were there is absolutely no way I'd tolerate a small fraction of the waste I saw at these facilities. If the employees would spend a fraction of the time doing their jobs that they wasted trying to figure out how to not do thier jobs, their jobs would be secure.

I honestly wonder if employees at the UAW run plants actually know how good they have it. I think they are about to find out.

For the record, I've looked at 3 lay offs and I start my new job next week.

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Quote:
If the employees would spend a fraction of the time doing their jobs that they wasted trying to figure out how to not do thier jobs, their jobs would be secure.

I have seen the working hard at hardly working both in a union shop and out of a union shop. Where I work now every time the manager is out of the office we have a group that do absolutely nothing. It ain't just union folks who screw off.

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Quote:
If the employees would spend a fraction of the time doing their jobs that they wasted trying to figure out how to not do thier jobs, their jobs would be secure.

I have seen the working hard at hardly working both in a union shop and out of a union shop. Where I work now every time the manager is out of the office we have a group that do absolutely nothing. It ain't just union folks who screw off.

You mean like looking at fishing websites instead of working?

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Originally Posted By: upnorth
Quote:
If the employees would spend a fraction of the time doing their jobs that they wasted trying to figure out how to not do thier jobs, their jobs would be secure.

I have seen the working hard at hardly working both in a union shop and out of a union shop. Where I work now every time the manager is out of the office we have a group that do absolutely nothing. It ain't just union folks who screw off.

You mean like looking at fishing websites instead of working?

No I mean sitting in a group BSing all day not just spending 10 15 minutes reading what's new on FM grin

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Originally Posted By: upnorth
Quote:
If the employees would spend a fraction of the time doing their jobs that they wasted trying to figure out how to not do thier jobs, their jobs would be secure.

I have seen the working hard at hardly working both in a union shop and out of a union shop. Where I work now every time the manager is out of the office we have a group that do absolutely nothing. It ain't just union folks who screw off.

You mean like looking at fishing websites instead of working?

No, I mean, and I'm serious, spending 3 hours between 5 guys trying to decide what jobs are for the laborers, millwrights, and fitters. After the 3 hours are over, it's break time. After break, and no decision, the discussion continues until it's time for lunch. Afterwards, still no decision and no work done, it's time to get a foreman and an engineer involved. Break time again. Finally a decision is made just in time to figure out if everyone is working an 8 or a 12 hour day. 5 guys, 8 hours, absolutely nothing accomplished. IT's the far end of the spectrum I realize and I also understand both union and non-union facilities can both be good and bad.

I consider myself neither pro nor anti union. I'm just saying what I saw and it's their own fault if their jobs go elsewhere. Labor and management can absolutely work together to accomplish the tasks. The UAW is one group, however, I saw is absolutely unwilling to work with management, at the different facilities I worked in.

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You've got to be kidding...

I would have to come up behind them and kick 'em.

People like this, and they wonder why they lose a job. They also wonder why they are 60 lbs. over weight. Well, it's because you are a lazy a$$.

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My father worked in a U.A.W. run plant (FMC) for 35 or 38 years. I heard many stories about how U.A.W. was a great Union to be in (hard worker or no worker). You got away with everything next to murder, even murder was subject to review.

I have 5 years vested in a local Teamsters auto division and I tell ya, I was a hard worker, but never felt secure. I have seen good guys let go, over a dispute between management. Sure a grievance was filed, but nothing ever became of it. To me it seemed this division of the Teamsters where in bed with or just did not have to gull to go against some of the management in local large dealerships. I would say this started in this division about 10 years ago and now, one by one the dealerships are going and getting none union (the unions do not have the strong backing of the workers anymore (IMO)). The dealership's close down for a remodel (90 day rule) or have their lawyers work around it during a sale of the property.

I think it was a two part situation. The heads at the local where money full (you could tell when they came around), which lead into a do not rock the boat type thing with some of the large local (multiple) dealerships, which lead into use regular Joes seeing this and not risking and hold onto our jobs. The last strike for the west side was a joke and (IMO), the workers in the west metro got stuck "bad".

The second is, the lack of organization at the top. The meetings never seemed that well run and the strike's where not run properly (everything from talks to picket line organization).

I gave up and found more money and better bennies at non union dealers. That could a third add in item.

Coming from a bleed union family, it was hard, but I reaped the rewards and less bureaucraticle mayhem.

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Roofer, I'm not kidding. For me it was a very difficult situation to be in. I was contracted to be there, but because I wasn't a member of the union I couldn't actually do any work. I was there to make sure things were done properly. Yeah, it's confusing, I know. I wanted to just jump in and do everything myself so I could get the job done, get on a plane, and get home. But I couldn't so I just sat there on a tool box and watched the circus. That isn't my work ethic and I'm sure it isn't the work ethic of a great many people.

The worst I saw was the GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. I'm not positive, but I think that plant is now closed. No surprise if it is.

I'm quite sure the facilities I'm talking about that I saw are not the norm. For the facilities that this is the norm, I think the union leadership needs to realize that GM will continue to outsource jobs if this type of behaviour continues.

I also grew up with a father that bled union. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is good and bad on both sides. If the workers won't actually work, and they lose their jobs, they have no one to blame but themselves. At the end of the day cars still need to be built.

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I worked with the United Steelworkers in Virginia, MN from 1978 to 1982. When I started working at that facility I came from a background that inspired good work ethic and honesty. It didn't take long for me to get derailed by my union brothers and sisters. I'd get busy and forget to take coffee breaks or lunch breaks and I immediately got frowned upon by union members. If I showed any attitude towards putting in an honest day's work, I was black listed rather abruptly. These guys would come right out and call me names. I had not choice but to learn the "union way" or enjoy a miserable work experience. My only other option would have been to quit my job.

Here's how our typical work day progressed.

We'd arrive at work and sit around BSing until the foreman informed us it was time to go to work. We would go to our work areas, do the minimum required to satisfy the foreman and then spend the rest of our time sitting around BSing. Our foreman was so predictable that we knew when we had to look busy and when we were free to goof off. Part of the problem obviously was that our foreman did a poor job by being too predictable but then what were we, men or school kids? Should an employee require minute-by-minute monitoring or should he/she have the common decency to do the work he/she has been contracted to do?

I'll never forget when we got a new foreman that actually demanded that we work for our keep rather than getting the usual 4 hours sleep on midnight shift. What a concept! It stirred up the mechanics to no end.

And the "all for one and one for all" bull. Our wonderful union negotiated an incentive plan into our contract but it didn't apply to all members. Those of us that were in the lower job classes got no incentive while those that slept at night did.

I also remember the contract required a minimum two people for each and every job and you didn't cross job class. I'll never forget the time a conveyor motor broke down. The dirt piled up so before the maintenance team could work on it two (2) laborers were sent to clean up the area because millwrights don't know how to work a shovel. Then, two electricians had to come and disconnect the motor. Then two Millwrights had to come and disassemble the conveyor drive and hand the motor to the electricians. They in turn went and got a replacement. I guess it made too much sense to bring the replacement motor with them. In the mean time the millwrights were sitting around waiting for the electricians to return so they could reassemble the conveyor and then the electricians could reapply power.

I remember during one of our bull sessions making the prediction that someday some of us would have to take a hit because the company couldn't possibly stay solvent under the existing contract. Two years later, in 1982 30% of the work force was laid off.

Yeah, there were plenty of "Union busting" accusations floating around. Silver Bay and Erie found out just how real the situation was. Those uions called what they thought was a company bluff only to find out that they all lost their jobs along with all pensions for previously retired members. So the rest of us (the US government) had to bail out their poor butts because they negotiated such a stupid pension plan.

After I got laid off, it took me over two years to retrain myself to have a decent work ethic again.

How do I feel about unions? I think they have their place as long as they keep their heads. It's a two-way street. The company needs its employees to do the work, the employees need the comapany to remain solvent and profitable in order to provide a job. The company is not required to stay in business any more than an employee is required to continue working.

If union shops want to survive they have to learn to get along with the companies they contract with. So what about my former place of employment? My brother got hired the same day I did and he still works there. Two years after the lay off he told me they have higher production than we ever did with 2/3 of the number of employees. They had also begun efforts to cross-train job classes and tension between management and union was reduced dramatically.

I was right. Some of us did take a hit.

Bob

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Something to think about -

If you don't have a union you need one. If you have a union it won't do you any good.

One on one in too many instances the individual cannot succeed in part because the organization is just too big, and at times in part because the management has no incentive to negotiate in good faith with a single person.

On the other hand in too many instances the management of the union achieves power based on popularity rather than skill, and since the activists are the ones most likely to vote it is often the loudest that gets elected rather than perhaps the most intelligent.

Unions have to become more flexible as conditions change. Not to mean they have to give in to every request, but if the company is bleeding red then maybe the union has to get realistic and help resolve the problems. Great examples are what happened at Northwest and with the auto companies. How can you sell a car and make money when something like $8,000 of the price has to go to health care insurance?

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