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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the UAW's membership dwindling to 71k or so...what's really keeping GM from just dropping the UAW completely and hire non-union people? It might take a toll on GM for a year or two...but so would a UAW strike. Why not remove the UAW from the entire picture. I have a feeling that many UAW autoworkers would come back to work quite quickly once they see GM refuses to hire union people.

I'm sure there is more to it...but I would think that if GM looked at this long term, they would see themselves as a much healthier company without having to pay the big $$ to the UAW...especially those retired health benefits.
 

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I've never understood the union benefit to companies. Seems like a money sucking waste of energy. I think the only people who benefit are lawyers and union execs who skim everything they can. In our area of the midwest we gained a huge CASEIH combine plant because they were sick of dealing with unions where they used to operate... out here, no unions, no headaches. People are still doing fine, wages are reasonable, but this negotiation/strike crap doesn't ever happen.

Everytime I hear about a union strike I think of overpaid professional ball players who whine like babies... just shut up, do your job, get paid and stop driving the American work ethic into the toilet! Unfortunately I think the union workers just want to work most of the time and their execs are forcing them to strike when they don't really want to. So sad.

of course, i understand nothing about unions so my soap box rant could be completely wrong...
 

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[q
of course, i understand nothing about unions so my soap box rant could be completely wrong...
[/quote]

You are. I agree that unions for the big 3 need to come around to giving back so the companies can remain competitive in the global economy. Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave. You may feel this is fine but the concept of a 40 hour work week, paid overtime, vacation and sick leave without the threat of being fired are all because of unions.
 

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marc said:
Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave.
That's a crock of crap. Most businesses? Go look for a professional job. Let me know how many companies are offering that little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
marc said:
[q
of course, i understand nothing about unions so my soap box rant could be completely wrong...
You are. I agree that unions for the big 3 need to come around to giving back so the companies can remain competitive in the global economy. Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave. You may feel this is fine but the concept of a 40 hour work week, paid overtime, vacation and sick leave without the threat of being fired are all because of unions.
[/quote]

There has to be a happy medium. Otherwise, where would these companies actually get decent help?
 

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I have to agree with Marc. Although I have my own business and do not belong to a union, I believe without unions the middle class will disappear for the most part. Not that unions have always been right in the past, but there is a need for them to balance out the greed that happens in the business world.
 

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Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave.
[/quote]

That's a crock of crap. Most businesses? Get real. Go look for a professional job. Let me know how many companies are offering that little.
[/quote]

I'm sorry I wasn't clear about the type of jobs. This doesn't seem to apply for people with MBA's and professionals in a market where there is a shortage and competition sets salaries. But the average wage earner have been under this barrage of diminishing wages and benefits for about the last six years.
 

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marc said:
I'm sorry I wasn't clear about the type of jobs. This doesn't seem to apply for people with MBA's and professionals in a market where there is a shortage and competition sets salaries. But the average wage earner have been under this barrage of diminishing wages and benefits for about the last six years.
This is where I have real personal moral struggles. On one hand, I sympathize with those that are getting squeezed in the "middle class", however that is defined now days. I suspect I am part of that middle class but I do not know. However, what percentage of those of us getting squeezed are doing absolutely nothing to better themselves? The days of lifelong employment seem to be over. People need to realize this and take some responsibility for their lives/careers and not feel that their job is an entitlement.
 

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Zman you are absolutely correct, but there will always be a segment of our society that will not be college educated for whatever reason. I'm not advocation paying these individuals anything more than a fair living wage. As far as becoming educated how many of these jobs are now being exported to India and other countries? Unless you are self employed or have a national security sensitive job, you might have a problem in the future.
 

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/;
wink

This is where I have real personal moral struggles. On one hand, I sympathize with those that are getting squeezed in the "middle class", however that is defined now days. I suspect I am part of that middle class but I do not know. However, what percentage of those of us getting squeezed are doing absolutely nothing to better themselves? The days of lifelong employment seem to be over. People need to realize this and take some responsibility for their lives/careers and not feel that their job is an entitlement.
[/quote]


You are absolutely correct. No job should be viewed as an entitlement. But in many cases there were promises made and negotiated in in good faith and were based on a give and take basis. Too many companies today are tossing those promises, some in an effort to survive in the global economy but others just to pad the pockets of the CEO and other top management types. I definitely understand market pressure but in most of these cases greed rules.
 

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marc said:
[q
of course, i understand nothing about unions so my soap box rant could be completely wrong...
Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave. You may feel this is fine but the concept of a 40 hour work week, paid overtime, vacation and sick leave without the threat of being fired are all because of unions.
[/quote]

Wrong - Wrong - Wrong - This is union mentality and this is how they keep their members following the light. :banghead:

Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.

It should be a free labor market in this age of communication. You only have to look at Starbucks to see what free labor and good companies can do W/O a union. If you don't like the wage you are getting, go work somewhere else.

I have a small company (a farm even) and offer fair wages, health care, paid vacation, and even a retirement program. Why?? Because I want good employees and want them to stay.

Unions were good in concept and perhaps in the day of newspapers as the primary info source, chrome bumpers, carbs, and leaded gas. But they are all relics of the past...dinosaurs.
 

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The free market, such as it exists in the U.S. today, can and will balance out any and all labor issues if people would only let it.

On top of that, with the access to the legal system that most people have, any real injustice can be corrected with a lawsuit.

I'm sorry, but nobody in the UAW is being forced to work in a sweatshop. The issues that are being brought up, are the issues being faced by all American businesses right now. If it is that bad, go find another job. That, is the beauty of this country.
 

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big bear craig said:
As far as becoming educated how many of these jobs are now being exported to India and other countries? Unless you are self employed or have a national security sensitive job, you might have a problem in the future.

I am anxious to see how this plays out in the coming decades. I am white collar and I hope my sons will be someday also, so I have a vested interest in this. I have not worked for/with a company that has contracted out traditional white collar work to somewhere overseas. I would like to see a cost analysis to see if there is a financial benefit in the long run or not. I am not convinced one way or another that one can send a job overseas that involves "creating" something intellectually and getting what one wants in return.
 

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dmann33 said:
marc said:
[q
of course, i understand nothing about unions so my soap box rant could be completely wrong...
Most businesses today have bean counters who would like to see people being paid the lowest wages, no health care benefits, little or no paid vacation or sick leave. You may feel this is fine but the concept of a 40 hour work week, paid overtime, vacation and sick leave without the threat of being fired are all because of unions.
Wrong - Wrong - Wrong - This is union mentality and this is how they keep their members following the light. :banghead:

Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.

It should be a free labor market in this age of communication. You only have to look at Starbucks to see what free labor and good companies can do W/O a union. If you don't like the wage you are getting, go work somewhere else.

I have a small company (a farm even) and offer fair wages, health care, paid vacation, and even a retirement program. Why?? Because I want good employees and want them to stay.

Unions were good in concept and perhaps in the day of newspapers as the primary info source, chrome bumpers, carbs, and leaded gas. But they are all relics of the past...dinosaurs.
[/quote]

All you have to do is visit California and see how a lot of blue collar jobs have been lost to illlegal immigrants. Many of them are very good workers, but because they will accept less than a living wage they are hired over others who will not live three and four families to a house hold.
 

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Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.
That law came into place because of unions!
 

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marc said:
Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.
That law came into place because of unions!
This is true, but when you have an underground economy even the laws are usless.
 

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big bear craig said:
All you have to do is visit California and see how a lot of blue collar jobs have been lost to illlegal immigrants. Many of them are very good workers, but because they will accept less than a living wage they are hired over others who will not live three and four families to a house hold.
This is another point I struggle with. Ignore the illegal immigrant aspect for the sake of this discussion. Say they are legal immigrants. Many people complain about immigrants lowering wages. If someone will do your job for less, and do it satisfactorily, does that not imply that in some way you may be overpaid? Eventually everyone wants more for themselves and thier families. These people will then start expecting more and moving on to other better paying jobs. It's just the nature of business.
 

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zman said:
big bear craig said:
All you have to do is visit California and see how a lot of blue collar jobs have been lost to illlegal immigrants. Many of them are very good workers, but because they will accept less than a living wage they are hired over others who will not live three and four families to a house hold.
This is another point I struggle with. Ignore the illegal immigrant aspect for the sake of this discussion. Say they are legal immigrants. Many people complain about immigrants lowering wages. If someone will do your job for less, and do it satisfactorily, does that not imply that in some way you may be overpaid? Eventually everyone wants more for themselves and thier families. These people will then start expecting more and moving on to other better paying jobs. It's just the nature of business.
Actually I did not want to bring the illegal issue into which I did. The problem is that if education is not considered a priority in these families there won't really be an improvement.

This whole problem is very very complicated. We like to blame it on the unions, but they aren't totally to blame. Others want to blame big business and they aren't totally to blame either. The real problem is greed and than involves all of us.
 

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marc said:
Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.
That law came into place because of unions!
Oh boy. The FLSA was adopted as a means of economic recovery from the Great Depression (not the unions, which had little clout in the Great Depression). The FLSA sought to ensure a maximum number of jobs, which paid a minimum livable wage. By requiring overtime pay, the FLSA created a monetary penalty for employers who did not spread their existing work among a greater number of employees.

During this time America many people were unemployed. In response this piece of legislation was passed for buisnesses to hire more workers for shorter periods of time to increase the money in the hands of the consumers rather than consolidate lots of jobs and money into the hands of a few. This was part of the New Deal acts that were proposed and passed to stimulate the American economy to try to bring it out of the depression.

Furthermore, it helps busnesses cut costs by not having to pay overtime to key employees (managers, supervisors, execs, etc) who work a ton of hours with no overtime. I used to work 80+ hours in a box store w/o overtime. I left for greener pastures.

Illegal immgration = way :eek:fftopic:

Every society has a lesser educated population. Not to sound inconsiderate, but they play a very cruicial role in the workforce. As odd as it sounds, our economy would collapse if they all earned an MBA overnight. Much of that population has little desire to be any different. Education is not a priority for everyone, and that's ok. To each their own. Many of these people enjoy things in life that I elect not to due in large part to my work ethic. The beauty of it is - no one is wrong. It's just the way it is....the American way.
 

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dmann33 said:
marc said:
Paid overtime is a FEDERAL LAW (It called the FLSA or Fair Labor Standars Act). Only salaried execs and simlar professionals are exempt of paid overtime.
That law came into place because of unions!
Oh boy. The FLSA was adopted as a means of economic recovery from the Great Depression (not the unions, which had little clout in the Great Depression). The FLSA sought to ensure a maximum number of jobs, which paid a minimum livable wage. By requiring overtime pay, the FLSA created a monetary penalty for employers who did not spread their existing work among a greater number of employees.

During this time America many people were unemployed. In response this piece of legislation was passed for buisnesses to hire more workers for shorter periods of time to increase the money in the hands of the consumers rather than consolidate lots of jobs and money into the hands of a few. This was part of the New Deal acts that were proposed and passed to stimulate the American economy to try to bring it out of the depression.

Furthermore, it helps busnesses cut costs by not having to pay overtime to key employees (managers, supervisors, execs, etc) who work a ton of hours with no overtime. I used to work 80+ hours in a box store w/o overtime. I left for greener pastures.

Illegal immgration = way :eek:fftopic:

Every society has a lesser educated population. Not to sound inconsiderate, but they play a very cruicial role in the workforce. As odd as it sounds, our economy would collapse if they all earned an MBA overnight. Much of that population has little desire to be any different. Education is not a priority for everyone, and that's ok. To each their own. Many of these people enjoy things in life that I elect not to due in large part to my work ethic. The beauty of it is - no one is wrong. It's just the way it is....the American way.

Well said. Unions in their day served a VERY important part of America's ability to surge to the top following the Great Depression and WW2. My father worked as a Teamster's trucker to put me through Cornell University so I'm not about to turn my back on Unions. What DOES need to happen? Union by-laws need to be revisited and reworded if need be. Just like the US Constitution, Unions need to be a living entity which can change with the times when necessary.

The US economy is completely different than it was when the UAW Unions were formed. With automobiles now being assembled globally the Auto Workers and their Unions need to adjust. If that means reducing wages, or rebalancing their work force then they need to see that. No one wants to see jobs go to Canada, Mexico or overseas but the UAW’s stubborn approach does little to combat these changes.

The UAW needs to reorganize from the bottom up. I say “from the bottom” up because the leadership of these Unions has become greedy, rich, and uninterested in the guy who sweeps the shop. Retirement dues are a great thing, but the whole retirement system of the UAW and other Unions like them need to be reworked to fit into modern times. Pensions should give way to modern day 401K and other retirement options which will fall more in control of the individual rather than the greedy Union management. A simple reorganization of the UAW can allow it to change and still serve the true Auto Worker.
 
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