The UAW's new awareness of global competition

"...Once [unions] win comfortable contracts, they often become impediments to the kind of innovation and flexibility essential to success in today's economy. So in the name of 'job security,' they
undermine a company's--or a nation's--competitiveness. The result, over time, is less job security for everyone, especially the union workforce. There's no better example of this than GM, where the UAW now represents about 74,000 hourly workers, compared to 246,000 in 1994. Some security..."
Wall Street Journal: http://301url.com/ciu
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Odd isn't it that GM continues to lose more and more market share as it reduces it's unionized labor force, and yet the loss of market share is the unionized workers' fault. Bizarro economic model, no? Let's not blame the bean-counter managers who force (non-union) engineers to cut corners in the design to save a few dollars per unit but which results in shitty designs and inferior quality.
Let's face it, most managers at GM are really indifferent to cars. GM could be making appliances for all they care. They serve only one master, profit. Producing high quality cars that are fun to drive is way down their list of priorities. And quality starts with a quality design. The best factory workers in the world can't produce a quality product from an inferior design and using sub-standard parts.
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Would it make a difference if the engineers were unionized?

It's all about money. The automobile business went to hell about the mid to late '60s. Just look at the crappy blah boxes they've been making.
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wrote in message

Not likely. The point is, regardless of the union/non-union status of the workers involved in developing and producing the car, if management cuts corners the product will suffer. The Japanese manufacturers who produce cars in North America do NOT, in my opinion, produce better cars because the plant workers are non-union.

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I guess we can assume you never worked as an automotive design engineer LOL
mike

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There's no better example of this than GM, where the UAW now

Statistics can be read anyway you want them to. This statistic reminds me of a story I heard. Wishing to buy a new car, a man goes to his insurance agent and says "I want to buy the color of car that is the safest on the road. Do some research and tell me what colored car is involved in the least amount of road accidents". So the agent says to the man a few days later "According to our research, the color yellow is involved in the fewest car accidents on the road". Feeling like he is making a safe purchase, the man buys a bright yellow new car.
Will this car prove to be accident free because it was yellow? Probably not. The reason yellow cars are involved in the fewest accidents is because very few cars are ordered with bright yellow paint.
Now I have nothing against unions but I've never been a union member. However, does anybody have the statistics that say how many people GM has on the assembly line today compared to 1994? Some areas of assembly are now done by a robot that were not in 1994. I think you need to look at market share and also what percentage are made in a different country that would not have a union work force.That way we cam compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
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Didn't Chrysler sell in 2006 their Sebring assembly line of 200+ robots to the Russians, so they could "hire" more new robots? http://www.automotive.com/features/90/auto-news/23145/index.html

It isn't just GM using robots.
IMO robots have improved product consistency, assuming the workers are properly trained to operate them.
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What robots require is competent programmers, they operate on their own LOL
mike
wrote:

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Half of those jobs were lost to the increased productivity brought on by computers, robots and modern build methods, like one piece whole side body stampings.
mike

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Looks like job security was gone with the free trade agreement. Lets see, all the U.S. is getting out of the deal is a bunch of crapy lead based toys from china. People that buy this crap are undermining the american worker and causing a Loss of American Jobs!!! Not to mention risking the health and lives of their children.

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Doesn't America have 30 year low unemployment rates?????
The only way to get more Americans working is by bringing in more immigrants LOL.
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The Henchman wrote:

No - I think most European countries' rates are about twice that of the U.S., so one of them would be the 30 year low, with several others having way more unemployment than the U.S.
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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The unemployment rate in the US is currently below 5%. In most of Europe the rate is in double digits from what I've read. According to the US Commerce Dept web site, for very five jobs available in the US there are only around three applicants qualified to do that job. As the boomers retire it will only get worse.
mike

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The Henchman wrote:

And the median income of Americans has risen little if at all in the last five years. The President is not worries at all about this. After all, CEOs and his buddies on Wall Street and the excutives of oil companies are making record salaries and bonuses, including monies 'earned' on stock options.

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Also according to a recent Business Week a low 10% of people employed in manufacturing as manufacturing jobs move offshore. They say manufacturing jobs lead to ups and downs in employment, so unemployment is becoming lower and more stable as manufacturing jobs disappear.
Now for those cars soon coming from China!
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Do you mean a 30 year low wage? Keep bringing in ILLEGAL felons and you will have to change your language to spanish. LOL

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