On Fri, 06 Jul 2007 11:49:46 -0400, 80 Knight wrote:
Twenty years ago I was working at an Aerospace/Defense contractor making
$16 an hour, tuition reimbursement, full health coverage, etc etc.
In 1991 it came up for Union negotiations. I read the Wall Street Journal
every day and I could see the handwriting on the wall.
Most members wanted a raise. They got their raise.
Two years later I was out the door. No $16.75 an hour, no full health
benefits, no tuition reimbursement, etc etc.
Would *I* have given up a couple $$ an hour to KEEP that Gravy Train job?!
You Betcha!!! $12 with full health benefits, tuition reimbursement, etc
etc is a far cry better than NO $$/hr, NO tuitiont reimbursement, NO full
health coverage, NO etc etc.
Manufacturing is on the way OUT in this country. Anyone that hangs on to
the myth that this country can't be outdone is living in a Fool's Paradise.
Sadly you are right. Our days of manufacturing ANYTHING are all but gone in
this country. Not to be off topic, but I would site my own industry,
decorative lighting fixtures (such as you use in your own home). One of the
manufacturer's our company represent is #1 in the US. Interestingly, not
ONE SINGLE item in our selection of over 3,000 fixtures is made in the US...
it's virtually all made in China, as are 99% of all lighting fixtures sold
in the US regardless of brand. When I became a rep some 20 years ago, it
was less than 50%, but competitive pressure (from those already using China)
along with the constant need to feed the bottom line, we had no choice but
to stop all manufacturing in the US and Mexico and move off shore.
Fortunately with the auto industry there TRULY IS hope. Car's CAN be
produced in this country at a profit. If you doubt it look at Toyota or
Mercedes or Hyundai's bottom line, and they build many of their vehicles in
this country. Look at the Honda. WOW... and most of their product is
produced on our soil.
But we all know the difference is the big three's overhead costs for
retirement benefits and Union obligations versus the new auto mfg which have
little of these and pay a good but less wage.
One of the arguments I often see in this group is that the hourly wage of
the current big 3 is killing their profitability. Actually I disagree.
What's killing the big 3 is the cost of RETIREMENT benefits, and NONE of the
newer foreign manufacturers are yet faced (and never will be based on their
method of calculating retirement benefits) with these incredible expenses.
I don't know if the article I read was correct, and I can't recall the
source right now although I think it was USA Today, but it stated that GM
has MORE cost in retirement benefits in any vehicle it builds than it does
in cost of steel.
That is truly amazing, and obviously indicated the extreme need for things
to CHANGE if these companies are to survive.
Obviously GM can't stop funding it's retired workers, but it only stands to
reason that a radical change in future benefit packages must be made if they
are to survive.
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