A glimpse into the mentality of GM UAW workers and it's admin

An article in today’s Detroit Free Press had this tidbit:

When asked last week if she and other UAW members should sacrifice more now to save GM from bankruptcy, she has a simple answer: No.

“I think we’ve given enough,” said O’Neill, 39, of Goodrich, an assembler at GM’s Lake Orion plant, where she builds the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6. “Everybody wants to come down hard on the workers. Nobody knows what we do inside there but the people who work there. It’s hard. It is not an easy job.”

You don’t even have to have a finance class to know that labor is *the* largest expense and organization has. Guess what toots, GM goes under and you don’t have a job.

Then there of course is Ron Just-got-fingered and his idiotic claim that the UAW doesn’t have anything to do with the downfall of GM.

Really? I have a feeling the UAW job banks might have something to do with extraneous costs for the automakers.

I think Dire Straits said it best: “Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free”

7 comments for “A glimpse into the mentality of GM UAW workers and it's admin

  1. November 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I worked on the line at Fisher Body in the 60’s while going to MSU and/or LCC full time. The work is not actually hard, nowhere near as hard as farming or construction, for example, and I’ve done both of those as well.

    It certainly does not present enough mental challenge to justify the wage levels on that basis.

    The fact is that the UAW has been the de facto owner of the Big Three for 40 years and the results of that ownership are obvious. Any bailout that in any way perpetuates unsustainable wages and benefits is the death knell for the auto industry in North America.

    That’s what you get when the owners are disconnected from reality and cannot acknowledge their own greed.

    If you haven’t already check out Carpe Diem:





  2. November 16, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    The workers themselves should not have to make sacrifices. The UAW has caused problems like the jobs bank. That SHOULD be cut. But don’t ask the workers to make sacrifices. That is like Obama asking all us to make sacrifices. The people at the top never make sacrifices themselves, they get their bonuses all the same no matter what.

    Asking the workers to do with less is going to hurt the economy, they will have less to spend. Do you know how many GM workers buy GM cars? The majority of them. Make it harder for them to buy cars and GM will be hurt even more. That will be thousands of less cars they sell.

    A vicious cycle to be sure, but the American worker and the American people are constantly being told to make sacrifices and I am tired of it, especially when our legislature and overlords in the work place give themselves more on the sacrifice of the peon.

  3. Gene South
    November 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Message to UAW workers…McDonald’s is now hiring!!! And when dinner time comes around…try some Spam!!!

  4. November 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I’m going to have to agree a little bit with Wade on this one. There is no doubt that unions have caused a lot of the economic turmoil known to us today; however, it is not all their fault.

    Those of us who believe in the free markets need to acknowledge that the endless reams of paper upon which regulations, and accounting forms are printed on are a huge expense to the automakers, whether foreign or domestic. Also, corporate taxes are too damn high. The failure to place quality on top of the list is another problem the automakers brought on themselves. Granted, the workers willingly went along with most of it, protecting useless people from getting fired and doing shoddy work in the first place.

    Pay and benefit wise, assembly workers for the Japanese automakers do almost as well as the unionized ones, so if it were all the workers, we would see the problem across the board. Noting the problems I pointed out (in regards to the company and the union and the government), we can better understand why the domestic companies are going bankrupt.

  5. jgillman
    November 16, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Wade., and Ed, I must agree with Hershblogger’s take on it.

    Also, fundamentally it is the UAW and other unions which have supported the very politicians who have created the environment which has destroyed the big three.

    And while the media, greeniacs, and our esteemed Governor can all say the reason for the failure is because they are/were building cars that no one wanted, the question should be “why would no one want them?” Could it be that Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, and every other Democrat who has been Elected representative and supports “green” mandates have made it impossible to continue fueling the vehicles economically? And though fuel prices are at a reasonable point now, expect them to raise again.

    Add to this, The credit situation spurred on by GOVERNMENT action forcing banks to loan to high risk candidates. (Thank you Carter, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II as well for your participation) Also, that the short term planning of the Union Cheese to consider the ebb and tide of business, and that a worse case scenario SHOULD have been planned for..

    I could hardly be sympathetic to any and all parties who hold their hand out to a faceless tax paying public, other than to extend to those I KNOW assistance. AND, As it looks, My business is at risk now as well. Not because I have a poor product, or even improper planning. What I face, is a government, which on a state and federal level cannot consider my own circumstances in favor of “public good.”

    Government needs to get OUT NOW and let the chips fall where they may.

  6. November 17, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Don’t worry, I’m not letting the unions off the hook, just wanted to spread the blame around.

  7. November 17, 2008 at 9:09 am

    And you’re right, Ed, there’s a TON of blame to go around, but let’s remember the fundamental per-hour truths here…

    According to a U of M economist just last week, the all-in hourly cost to employ a UAW worker is $73.20. The average American worker is at about $28.

    That’s a $45 per hour per employee difference. And that speaks VOLUMES.


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