Delphi Proposal to Cut Wages in Half!

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MoPar Man wrote:


That is a complete bargain. I own a small retail business, and it costs over $800 per month to provide bare bones health insurance for our employees. That comes out to over 12% of our monthly payroll costs and many of the employees are not in the plan because they get better insurance from a spouse's job.
John
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John Horner wrote:

They should be cracking down the health care industry to as it is out of control on prices. Somebody has got to be sucking a LOT of fat off of those fees.
----------------- www.thesnoman.com
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On 10/11/05 08:13 am TheSnoMan tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

Our previous primary care physician agreed the the US should have a national healthcare system like most civilized countries, but said it would be difficult to implement because too many people have their hands in the cookie jar.
Perce
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TheSnoMan wrote:

Unfortunately the biggest force of all is the The Status Quo.
Depressing!
John
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What's depressing about "Pictures of Matchstick Men"?
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On 10/11/05 08:13 am TheSnoMan tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

Our local paper this morning reported the findings of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation: health-care costs are increasing at triple the rate of inflation. Fewer employers are offering health-care benefits. Health insurance for a family costs more than the income from full-time employment at minimum wage!! IOW, health insurance in the US costs some people more than 100% of their income, whereas in Australia (see an earlier message of mine) it costs nobody more than 2.5% of his or her income, and that 2.5% of income is sufficient to cover in addition people with no income -- typically the unemployed.
Perce
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On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

But we can't have any kind of public health coverage. Oh, no. Huh-uh. That would be Socialist, which is the same as Communist.
This is what we get for having stopped teaching civics, government and logic in the public schools.
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If there families full time income is less at minimum wage they get their health care at no cost via Medicaid ;)
mike hunt

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The problem with health insurance these days in the US is that people basically want to use it to pay for everything.
I personally am in the "struck it rich" category, as about 10 years ago I was under one of those red-carpet HMO's of the time and got cancer - I'm cured now but the total bill for me was in the $100,000+ range. All but about $3K of it paid by insurance. But you see, this is what health insurance was originally designed to cover, and what it -should- cover.
The problem today is people want health insurance to cover things like checkups, and outpatient medical procedures in the under-$5000/year range. But how does an insurance company pay the rare $100,000+ claims like mine when every last one of it's customers who is paying about $10K a year in health insurance premiums is pulling about $5K a year out of the health plan in benefits for piddly shit? (and a lot of them are pulling more like $7K -$8K)
And it's really a vicious circle now because even the people who are willing to pay for the piddly-shit themselves can't do it - because the doctors offices play billing games, they know the insurance company only pays out 30% of a given procedure so they inflate the cost of a $20 procedure to $80, then the insurance company knocks it back down to $30 and the doctor makes a $10 profit. A person who doesen't want to have their insurance cover the cost doesen't have the option of just giving the doctor $30 because they aren't in a plan. They have to give them the $80, so there's no incentive now to step outside of the sytem.
Ted
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When I retired I did not applied for SS since I have more than enough income. When I turned 65 my heath insurance provider sent me a letter informing me I could no long keep my coverage because I had not signed up for Medicare. I seems they do not have a policy available for those over 65 who are not on Medicare and pay for part 'B.' I had to sign up in order to get the catastrophic coverage I wanted. The policy I have picks up the balance of what ever uninsured amount that is over $15,000 annually. The cost is relatively inexpensive with that amount of the deductible. Talk to your agent.
mike hunt

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65
to
to
In my case I'm still working and so am covered under an employer-paid plan. It happens to be a catastrophic-type plan coupled with a HSA (Health Savings Account) My employer switched to that almost as soon as Congress authorized them, to escape the premium creep. The plan does not kick anything in until you exceed $10K a year in health expenses, although if you use a preferred provider they cannot bill you more than whatever the set rates are that the insurance company has setup.
Initially there was resistance but actually everyone in the company has benefited, I know I have. Previously, what would happen under the HMO is that my employer paid something like $250/mth (This is a guesstimate, as I don't know exactly what the dollar amount was) for me and my dependents, and the copays were dinging us about $20 per visit, plus invariably we would get charged more money for tests and other bullshit that was only partly covered by the HMO. I know in one year we paid out around $1200 due to miscellaneous bullshit uncovered medical expenses. And I think it was about $3K for the birth of each of our children even though once again, this was supposed to be an hmo that covered everything.
After the switch, what my employer pays is still something like that $250 but instead only $50 goes to the insurance company. (once again this is a guesstimate, as I don't know exactly what it is he's paying) What I get is $200 monthly going into that HSA where I write checks from directly to the doctor. If you don't go to the doctor the money just keeps piling up in that account (although, it's not usable for anything other than medical expenses) So far we have not incurred more medical expenses than there has been money in the account. So it has resulted in basically all the nickel-and-diming and test fees and other bullshit being completely covered by disbursements from the HSA.
Now, obviously if there is something serious then it's unlikely what is in the HSA will cover the deductible so we will be out of pocket. But this is a law of averages game. If your not sick or no one in your family gets seriously ill for a number of years then you will stockpile money in the HSA and then when something does come around that is serious, someone breaks an arm or some such, then you are OK.
Where these plans are a bitch is if you have someone who has a chronic problem that isn't drop-dead serious, yet still runs up the costs every year into the $8-12K region. In the company I work at, nobody has that, fortunately, which is one of the reasons they were so quick to switch to it when these plans became available.
Ted
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John Horner wrote:

It's pretty common for (Canadian / Ontario) companies to arrange for a private health and life insurance plan (above and beyond what the gov't health insurance provides). Such plans require 100% participation (for everything except dental, which can be "opt-outable" if the employee's spouse is covered with their own plan).
Such supplementary insurance consist of accidental death/dismemberment, drug plan, physiotherapy, appliances such as orthotics, crutches, braces, possibly a life insurance component, etc. A typical cost for a plan like this is $150 per month per employee. 75% of the total cost of a package like this is paid by the employee (deduction from pay), the other 25% paid by the employer.
Some persistent problems with health care in Ontario is:
1) long waiting times for planned or elective orthopedic surgery. There are so many senior citizens that are injuring themselves (breaking their hips) that they are taking up much of the orthopedic surgical resources.
2) lack of a familiy doctor (ie General Practitioner or "GP"). Many people go to walk-in clinics (or hospital emergency departments) because they have no family doctor. This is because the cost of a medical education in Canada is low compared to the US, and as such med students in Canada tend to continue into a medical specialty after their initial 4 or 5 years of medical education, while in the US a greater percentage of students do not have the financial resources to continue into a specialty and hence become GP's in order to start paying down their debt. This problem is compounded by more females entering med school, and they (more than males) are likely to not work full time (or drop in and out of the work force as their life circumstances change). Since med school enrollment numbers are highly regulated, every student that enters and does not participate fully in the medical work force is a liability or a wasted resource. Also, many do not find that a GP is a rewarding career or lifestyle, and would rather specialize and spend their time interacting with technology (scans, surgical instruments, computers, robots) than dealing with the messy issues that pertain to dealing directly with patients (as GP's do). A high percentage of a GP's workload is either babies/kids or old people (you've really got to have a love for people to deal with either group).
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Nomen Nescio wrote:

Your are REALLY mistaken. It is all about labor cost with a auto built here. Labor costs are bleeding them dry and it is reaching critical mass. I have watched a lot of companies fold or go under because works want more money than is availble. There are harder times on the horizon for them and it is not about politics but about supply and demand and competing with price of your product. The airline industry is going throuch massive cuts now too because of costs and decreased revenues.
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Do you feel that we should all get paid third world salaries?
Labor cost is a big factor in any business but so is production cost for raw materials and other operating expenses. The company I work for has global locations all around the world. We have very few expansion in the US for my company but are going overseas to China. They are building massive size plants with double or triple the capacity of what we can produce. Cost per pound goes down with increase production. Why are they doing it has less to deal with labor cost but more with taxes, benefits paid, environmental permitting.
They are building plants with less automation and computer control so they need more people to operate them They pay less per hour wages and very little in benefits. I went to Mexico to help start up a plant and they had 10 workers for every one in the US. They had less concern with safety and environmental issues. I saw three workers die and the plant manager went with government representative to the family home and presented them with a check equal to about ten thousand dollars. The family was happy and 100 other folks were waiting to take that person's job.
The only workers getting richer is the CEO's with their massive salaries and benefit packages. They downsize companies and layoff hundreds of workers then they get a big fat bonus. When they get fired for bankrupt the business they get a nice big severance and the worker on the bottom of the totem pole barely gets enough severance to make ends meet for a few weeks. Then the CEO goes to work for another company thanks to his buddies on another board of directors and he starts collecting another big fat pay check.
CEO need to pay the workers that actual do the work for the company what they are worth and stop ripping of the company with their outrageous salaries and incentive plans.
Taking a 50% pay cut is a little steep in when the CEO keeps getting raises. Delphi made bad business choices yet the CEO got rewarded. J.T. Battenberg III had a 67% increase in his pay from 2001 to 2002 while the company lost money.
They are claiming bankruptcy due to bad business decisions and poor planning. Their biggest customer is doing poor also and they failed to seek out more customers. The union agreed to reduce starting salaries of new employees while maintaining present employees at the same pay. See www.uaw.org/news/newsarticle.cfm?ArtId&3 for contract agreement.
Delphi will ask the bankruptcy courts to allow it to eliminate its pension just like United Airlines. This will free up millions of dollars that could be used for debt. All the workers and retirees will see their pension cut by at least half if not more once the governments pension guaranty takes over.
Sarge
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005, Sarge wrote:

When we vote for politicians who sell off America's jobs in bulk to the lowest offshore bidder, then yes, that is exactly what we deserve.
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And what do you propose as the alternative?
The amazing idea that we should at the same time respect all other cultures and allow unfettered immigration, while hobbling local industry with environmental and health-related legalities, but somehow prevent cheap goods from nations that dont bother with such, is amazing beyond belief.
Meaning: All you can do is complain, the only answer from ANYONE is either adjust or go to a world-wide socialist centrally planned economy.
and we all saw from Katrina how well THAT works.
Would you mind going back and seeing that GM, itself was the author of this conundrum in the late 40's when it started down the road to cradle to grave security for its workers?
I thought not.
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cultures
You need to see the big picture.
Back in the first part of the 1900s we had a huge and serious global problem which resulted in 2 world wars and numerous smaller ones, to put simply, government imperialism. At that time industry did not have the economic power it does today, national governments could do as they pleased.
We solved that by making these multinational corporations who ended up with so much money and so many interests spread all over the place that these corporations found it very unprofitable to have these wars going all over, so they stopped them.
For example, imagine anyone trying to put together a Civil War in the United States today. The big companies have offices all over the country, if some group of states were fool enough to attempt to seceed, the companies wouldn't stand for it, and the politicians attempting to do so would have no funding for reelection, and the media empire which is basically controlled by the big companies, would propagandize the populations of those states into tossing those politicians out on their ears. And the Civil War was barely 150 years ago. The media empire today teaches us it was all about slavery and economics and now that slavery is gone and the South is industrialized those problems are solved and we are just one big happy family. But the real truth is that the root cause of the Civil War was Southern attitudes were very different from Northern attitudes, you can see that by reading Southern and Northern writings of the time. And despite 150 years of trying to change that, this is STILL true to this day - the differences in societal attitudes between North and South still exist, although those differences are not as important as they once were, not enough to start a war again.
And imagine another Mexican American war. We just had one about 160 years ago, imagine what would happen if either the Mexican or US government tried declaring war on each other again? Once again, the big multinationals have too much money invested, they would band together and take care of the problem.
And imagine a German/US war, or a Japanese/US war. We just got out of those about 60 years ago, there's still people alive who fought in those wars. Do you seriously think that GM and VISA and the other big companies would permit either government to even get anywhere close to that sort of thing today?
Now obviously this solution doesen't work everywhere, there's still some Mid East areas that are not under multinational corporate control. Although I will point out that Saudi Arabia which has the largest oil reserves in the world, is very close to being under complete corporate domination, if not already. And China is, of course, a long way from that still. But I think in my lifetime we will see China become yet another government under control of the multinationals.
Literally within another century, the GLOBAL power sharing will be between the national governments and the multinational corporations. Each will act as a check on the other. It will be messy, and a lot of parts of it will not be democratic, but it will be pretty damn close to the idea of a government of checks and balances. Thus we will in a space of about 300 years, gone from a world ruled by despots, with absolute control, and who regularly started wars that killed millions of people, to a world ruled by corporations and governments each who have vested interests in NOT starting wars that kill millions of people, and who have internal mechanisms in place that flush out the very types of people who would want to start these wars. And with nuke weapons available, we pretty much have no other way to go.
The key here though is that the multinational corporations cannot exert any control over a national government that does not govern a nation of consumers. That is why rogue governments can exist - because they do not allow their citizens to get more than sustenence level, thus those people never can exert ballot box or other control over those governments, and since those people are not consuming the products of the multinational corporations, those corporations have no control over those people and cannot propagandize them with movies and media and news to affect the national governments.
That is why jobs are going from America to the rest of the world. Not because any of those companies WANTS to move AWAY from the US. It is because those companies WANT to move TO the foreign job markets. Big difference there.
Think of the time it took the US population to move from an early industrial society of a bunch of piss-poor people in cities working shit jobs in factories, with no child labor laws, and the profits all going to industry barons, to a society of people who had unions and labor laws that divert a good chunk of those profits back into the workers pockets.
The places like India and Pakistan and China are where the US industry was at back in the early 1900's. Not in terms of technology, because you can always buy technology. But in terms of what the members of those societies expect is right and fair.
Workers in India and Mexico are happy to have a job, any job, that is true. And maybe those workers will be like that the rest of their lives. But what about their children? And those children's children? The Mexican workers are what they are now because they grew up in a country where there was no hope of them getting a job. But when those workers end up spending their lives working in some American factory in Mexico, their children will grow up with a hope of getting a job. And as a result those children -won't- be perfectly contented to take the worst and most menial jobs for little pay. And so it will go in Mexico until in another century, the Mexican population will all have environmental laws and labor laws and TV sets that will be used to propagandize them into consuming, believing, voting, and acting the way that the multinationals want them to be, just like the US population consumes, believes, votes, and acts just like the multinationals want us to act. And the Indian population too. And the Chinese population, and as many other national populations as can be converted will be.
One day, very very soon, in fact in a blink of an eye when measured by the total length of human populations existence on the planet, there will be no part of the Earth on which people do not work any different than any other part of the Earth. Oh, they will all still have their quaint local customs, but they all will own cars that all cost the same, they all will work at jobs that pay comparably the same, they all will spend money on the same things others spend money on. At that time there will be no more of this complaints of companies moving jobs away, simply because there will be no job markets anywhere left on Earth where you can get people who work for next to nothing. All of them will be wanting roughly the same money.
You can already see this if you do a lot of traveling. Take any US citizen that lives in any US city and drop them in any major city in Europe and they won't be able to tell the difference except for the language.
Until this all comes about, the unfortunate fact is that the people who have rich societies, like the US, are going to lose money. We are paying for those undeveloped societies to be rushed into being developed societies, because the quicker they can be brought along, the quicker they can start getting significant amounts of unallocated spending money that they can use to be good little consumers, under the control of the multinationals.
If all of this repels you, then you can refuse to be a good little consumer, and buy locally made and locally grown. It will be more costly, and you will not be able to have as many things as your neighbors who buy cheap Chinese knockoffs. But you will have the satisfaction of knowing your throwing a monkey wrench in the plans of the large multinationals and big governments. But unfortunately, most of your neighbors won't be able to let go of the teat on the TV set, and so your efforts will be like spitting in the ocean. But, if it makes you feel better, do it by all means!
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

You fail to factor in terrorists whose intent is to set up sharia governments, establish dhemma status and collect jizya where they can, and otherwise to disrupt and either convert or kill millions of people and destabilize economies whenever possible.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Well, put, Bill.... They ARE the common enemy because they DO see the world picture and are in a life/death struggle. If the world society isnt worn down to the point of accepting a return to feudalism, the glorious "Caliphate" model is dead.
And Ted, I DO see the big picture!
That's exactly what I meant. Like Bush and many others before him say... countries whose wealth depends on trade dont shoot at each other.
your cause and effect is a little cock-eyed... the Civil war WAS about trade and other nations chose sides in the conflict BASED on which outcome would affect them most.
As long as there is separation between civil governemnt and corporate government, we will be okay. Enrons and Worldcoms are bad.. sure enough.. but the saving factor is they will be found out either by their shareholders or the government or both.
Currently that doesnt happen easily in China... but there's a growing populist resistance there that dukes it out with Beijing on one side and World Socialists on the other.
The dangers lie in de-facto National Socialism or a regression to central planned economies using confiscated corporate resources to compete (Venezuela)
On the domestic front... if Unions had tended to their knitting and acted more like a guild than a labor agent, we wouldnt have a lot of this mess.
My whole family is GM/Harrison/Delphi... my dad and brothers retired from Dayton plants.. (fortunately opted for GM retirement over Delphi).
EVERY family dinner involved a 'preaching to the choir' litany about the waste and corruption in the assembly lines. The unions were self- centered and corrupt when I worked there in the sixties and it only got worse.
The locals in Dayton are more concerned with appealing the cases of their members caught dealing drugs than helping Delphi find a way to keep the plants open.
And NO, my family WASNT management they were line workers.. and my brothers both were foremen at one time then gave it up because upper plant management didnt care about trying to eliminate waste and low productivity......
Bottom Line for automotive middle management: "Dont rock the boat"
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Agreed
Hopefully, their GM pensions (and mine) will be safe.

Amen
We once had a guy that was fired 18 times in 17 years for drunkenness. The Union got him back every time. They got him transferred to another plant in the hope that a change of scenery, and management, would help him. I never heard how it worked out.

And don't forget to make the numbers look good, so the big guys get their bonuses.
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