OT: GM workers go on strike.

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Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2007 - 8:34am

Wow,

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070924/auto_talks.html?.v=33 

Not only does GM have to deal with crappy cars. Now they need to deal with crappy workers.

 

Now if I could just organize all the software techines into a union and we could come up with rules like $ per line of code written, $ per line of code tested, $ per defect found, $ per defect fixed.

 That's really too bad for GM, because i was actually thinking some of their cars these days isn't looking too bad (being from their European Opel counterpart, rebranded as Saturns and Pontiacs G's)...Oh well

 

 

 

Submitted by bsrsharma on September 24, 2007 - 8:39am.

really too bad for GM

Really? They have 65 days inventory. They can afford to squeeze out some costs.

Submitted by aztecnology on September 24, 2007 - 9:09am.

This is great for GM, they are going to put the squeeze on the union and the UAW will wish they would have went against ford or chrysler.

GM will be back on top soon...

Submitted by dny on September 24, 2007 - 9:52am.

The workers on strike receive $200/week and full benefits from the UAW strike fund (~$800M). Who wouldn't want a paid vacation?

Ultimately for the workers, GM cannot afford to give in, and the workers will not be able to afford not giving in (darn mortage payments).

Submitted by Sandi Egan on September 24, 2007 - 10:07am.

I know a former GM exec, he says union guys did not hesitate to act on personal level against managers they didn't like even in 1990's. Pouring water in the cushion of your chair to confronting your kids at school, etc. My friend says he was constantly wary about his family.

Submitted by betting on fall on September 24, 2007 - 10:10am.

Interesting article on a recent real estate auction in detroit. And this was before the strike and before the lower pay that will probably come after the strike:

http://realestate.msn.com/Buying/Article...

highlights:

Even with the steep discounts on Detroit-area properties, some buyers handed over their deposits with a wince.
"I'm not sure it's congratulations," said Kirk Neal, a 55-year-old auto body shop worker who bought a ranch in the suburb of Oak Park for $34,000. "My wife is going to kill me."
Real estate agent Ron Walraven had a three-bedroom house in the suburb of Bloomfield Hills that had listed for $525,000 sell for just $130,000 at the auction.
"Once we've seen the last person leave Michigan, then I think we'll be able to say we've seen the bottom," he said.

Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2007 - 8:39pm.

This GM strike is really making me sick.  I mean, I am for workers right to a point, but this is getting ridiculous.GM has successfully started to turn around a bit, and Buicks remarkably have been selling well in China...To the extent that GM has plans to EXPORT $800mln to china. Fresh hope, fresh customers, fresh jobs, fresh opportunity...And what do we have, UAW on strike.  No surprise Toyota doesn't want to deal with UAW.

 

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/070924/gm_china_exports.html?.v=1 

 

TOKYO (Reuters) - General Motors Corp (NYSE:GM - News) said it would export more than $800 million worth of U.S.-built Buick sport utility and other vehicles and components to China starting in 2008 in its second export agreement with China this year.

 

The Detroit automaker signed the multi-year deal with Shanghai General Motors, one of its Chinese joint ventures, on Monday in Washington D.C., it said in a statement.

The agreement comes as the United Auto Workers union called the first national strike against GM since 1970 on Monday after a 10-week round of contract talks stalled, sending more than 73,000 factory workers to picket lines.

The contract talks are seen as crucial to GM's survival as it restructures its loss-making U.S. operations and seeks to cut itself free from a health-care obligation of over $50 billion.

In an announcement that appeared to be aimed at providing positive news for its local work force, GM said the Buick model, called Enclave in the United States, would be built at its Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan and added to Shanghai GM's Buick line, which includes the Park Avenue and LaCrosse sedans.

China has provided a rare success story for GM, which sold a record 876,747 vehicles in 2006 to become one of the top brands in the hotly contested market.

In May, GM signed another deal to export $700 million worth of Cadillacs and car parts to China from the United States.

The latest deal would take the value of GM's U.S.-sourced products for the Chinese market to more than $1.5 billion this year, GM China Group President Kevin Wale said in the statement.

 

Submitted by VoZangre on September 24, 2007 - 8:41pm.

GM... like many big boys they want cheap labor and farm out...
you end up with cheap product...

I'd love to see the workers cut GM's legs out fromn under them...

they should continue w/ Euro influenced design... if they survive...

Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2007 - 8:47pm.

GM... like many big boys they want cheap labor and farm out...
you end up with cheap product...

I'd love to see the workers cut GM's legs out fromn under them...

they should continue w/ Euro influenced design... if they survive...

I would say GM's U.S. labor costs are way too high. Too much union fluff and red tape. I wish GM would just source the cars from GM europe and import the entire damn products. They would be better cars, use less crappy labor here.

The current cars are not "european" influenced designs. These "designs" are actually the european opel brand, rebranded as U.S. makes. Hence why saturn is doing well these days. (most new saturns are from the opel platform). There was talk about redoing buick's line by pinning the design team from Shanghai with the one from the U.S., since the shanghai design team seems to have better styling.

 

Don't understand the striking logic. Workers strike, company goes bankrupt, labor contracts undone, people lose jobs. 

 

 

Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2007 - 8:52pm.

Another GM article.

 

Famous quote:

 

Worker Anita Ahrens burst into tears as hundreds of employees streamed out of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., just after the strike began at 11 a.m. EDT.

"Oh my God, here they come," said Ahrens, 39. "This is unreal."

Ahrens has seven years at the plant, where she works nights installing speakers in sport utility vehicles. She waited Monday for her husband, Ron Ahrens, who has worked there for 21 years.

The couple has three children, including a college freshman, and Ahrens worried about how they would pay their bills.

"This is horrible, but we're die-hard union, so we have to," Ahrens said. "We got a mortgage, two car payments and tons of freaking bills."

The striking workers will receive $200 a week plus medical benefits from the UAW's strike fund. The union had more than $800 million in that fund as of last November, according to the UAW's Web site.

 

 

Are you sh!tting me? You strike and you complain about not being to pay the bills? Oh wait, how about a government bailout for you????

 

 

 

 

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070924/auto_talk...

 

 UAW Says Strike Is About Job Security
Monday September 24, 8:22 pm ET
By Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers

 UAW Says National Strike Is About Job Security for Its Members DETROIT (AP) -- In the end, the first nationwide strike against General Motors Corp. in 37 years came because the United Auto Workers want something that GM will find difficult to promise: Job security.

UAW officials said the 73,000 UAW members who work at about 80 U.S. facilities for the nation's largest automaker didn't strike Monday over what many thought would trip up the talks: A plan to shift the retiree health care burden from the company to the union. They said they also didn't strike over wages.

They said union members walked out because they want GM to promise that future cars and trucks such as the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt small car or the still-on-the-drawing board Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.

The strike puts GM, which is restructuring so it can better compete with Asian automakers, in a bind as some of its new products begin to catch on with consumers. But it also means workers are taking a big risk -- giving up pay and slowing down GM in an uncertain economy.

"Job security is one of our primary concerns," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger told reporters Monday afternoon after talks broke off and the strike began. "We're talking about investment and we're talking about job creation" and preserving benefits, he said.

Talks resumed a short time later as sign-carrying picketers marched outside plant gates, but weary bargainers stopped to rest around 8 p.m. Talks were to resume Tuesday morning.

Worker Anita Ahrens burst into tears as hundreds of employees streamed out of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., just after the strike began at 11 a.m. EDT.

"Oh my God, here they come," said Ahrens, 39. "This is unreal."

Ahrens has seven years at the plant, where she works nights installing speakers in sport utility vehicles. She waited Monday for her husband, Ron Ahrens, who has worked there for 21 years.

The couple has three children, including a college freshman, and Ahrens worried about how they would pay their bills.

"This is horrible, but we're die-hard union, so we have to," Ahrens said. "We got a mortgage, two car payments and tons of freaking bills."

The striking workers will receive $200 a week plus medical benefits from the UAW's strike fund. The union had more than $800 million in that fund as of last November, according to the UAW's Web site.

The UAW, Gettelfinger said, is willing to talk about taking money from the company to form a trust that would be responsible for billions of dollars in retiree health care costs.

GM wants the trust, called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, so it can move much of its $51 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities off the books, potentially raising the stock price and credit ratings. It's all part of the company's quest to cut or eliminate about a $25-per-hour labor cost disparity with its Japanese competitors.

"This strike is not about the VEBA in any way, shape or form," Gettelfinger said. "We were more than eager to discuss it," although he said no agreement had been reached.

Industry analysts said initially the strike would have little impact on consumers because GM has sufficient inventory stockpiled for most of its products.

But Monday afternoon, the Teamsters transportation union said its 10,000 automotive transport members would not cross UAW picket lines to deliver GM cars and trucks.

GM reported that it had just under 950,000 vehicles in its inventory at the end of August, about 35,000 below the same time last year.

Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for J.D. Power and Associates, said even a short strike could hurt the company because its new crossover vehicles, the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, are selling well and in short supply.

"The momentum they've established for those products would be interrupted if there's a supply interruption," Libby said. "There's not a lot of inventory available to sell down. So they need to keep that pipeline full."

Libby called the Enclave and Acadia a success story for GM because they don't stay on lots for long and they sell at or near full price.

"GM, financially, they don't have a lot of cushion," he said. "I just think it's going to hurt both sides in the long run."

GM had about a 65-day supply of cars and trucks as September began, versus a 71-day supply at the same time last year, said Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. The Enclave, he said, is at a tight 24-day supply.

The strike will cost GM about 12,200 vehicles per day or 760 per hour, according to the auto forecasting firm CSM Worldwide of Northville.

If the walkout goes beyond 36 hours, CSM expects vehicle production in Canada to be affected because of a lack of U.S.-built engines and transmissions.

The walkout could further damage the image of the UAW, David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, said shortly before the strike began.

"What it says is the union is the same old militant organization," Cole said. "What is a real concern is buyers that punish a union by not buying the products they build."

Cole said the UAW leadership may need a strike to show members that it did all it could to get the best deal.

"They're in a bit of a box, in that they need some drama to get an affirmative vote on this," he said.

GM likely has threatened to pull investments out of the U.S. if the union does not agree to its terms, he said.

Gettelfinger, in his post-walkout news conference, said the union has done a lot to help the struggling GM, including health care givebacks in 2005. But during the weekend, he said GM's stance hardened.

"It was going to be General Motors' way at the expense of the workers," Gettelfinger said. "The company walked right up to the deadline like they really didn't care."

Gettelfinger said the union didn't want to strike.

"Who wins in a strike? But again, you can be pushed off a cliff, and that's what we feel like happened here," he said.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the automaker was disappointed in the union's decision.

"The bargaining involves complex, difficult issues that affect the job security of our U.S. work force and the long-term viability of the company," he said. "We remain fully committed to working with the UAW to develop solutions together to address the competitive challenges facing GM."

GM shares fell 20 cents to $34.74 in trading Monday.

The last national strike against GM was in 1970 and lasted 69 days.

An agreement between GM and the UAW would become the pattern for pacts with Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.

The negotiations come at a difficult time for both the automakers and the union. Detroit's automakers lost a collective $15 billion last year.

The union also is feeling pressure. UAW membership has fallen from a high of 1.5 million active members in 1979 to around 576,000 today.

Associated Press Writer Ryan J. Foley in Janesville, Wis., contributed to this report.

 

Submitted by bsrsharma on September 24, 2007 - 8:53pm.

Bloomfield Hills that had listed for $525,000 sell for just $130,000 at the auction.

Wow! Bloomfield Hills is like Beverly Hills for Michigan. 130K for a house there? Can you set up a port-a-potty for that much in 90210?

Submitted by VoZangre on September 24, 2007 - 10:54pm.

Your points are well made... I ought to have said
euro-copied...

As for union fluff... what is it that EXECS do?
make a bunch o phone calls... mess about with the
retirement plan so it's worth nuthin'??

Ugh.

Submitted by Coronita on September 25, 2007 - 7:23am.

Latest news:

UAW strike may go to FORD too.

At this rate, there won't be a single U.S. automaker left. Or GM and Ford will get fed up and do what other industry have done. Move most of the work overseas or to Mexico.

Thank you UAW.

Good news. Pretty soon, you'll have even cheaper homes in the cities where UAW dominates. But then again, who wants to live in those cities.

 

http://www.wlky.com/news/14196518/detail...

 

Ford workers who belong to the United Auto Workers are on edge after the union called a national strike against GM Monday.

"If there's anything gonna happen, it will be in the next three days," Ford worker Brad Seward said.Local officials had confirmed that UAW negotiations with GM would serve as a blueprint for Ford's UAW contract, and a recent union vote favored a strike at local Ford plants as a last resort.Contract talks between the United Auto Workers and General Motors are scheduled to resume Tuesday morning. But, in the mean time, local union officials said Ford employees have been racing to the phones to find out if they will strike.Rumors started at the Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant that a workers there could strike within three days. Local 862 President Rocky Comito said the GM strike should have no effect on local Ford workers."The agreement with UAW and Ford is extend the contract indefinitely," Comito said. "However, if talks break down, we're going to give you a three day notice before we go out. So, people are thinking since GM went out automatically our clock started running."Some 73,000 union members who work at about 80 U.S. Facilities for the nation's largest automaker walked out of GM plants Monday.UAW officials said job security is the number one unresolved issue.The striking workers want GM to promise that future cars and trucks will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.It's the first nationwide strike against GM in 37 years. Ford, GM and Chrysler UAW workers have been without contracts for 10 days.

 

 

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