The unions have been hung by their own petards..............

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Profile Gary Charpentier Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donorSpecial Project $250 donor
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Message 840672 - Posted: 17 Dec 2008, 1:01:51 UTC - in response to Message 840550.  
Last modified: 17 Dec 2008, 1:02:49 UTC

No anger. Perhaps a better understanding of the position of the company. You should look up all the charge off to the underfunded pension plans of the big 3 going back a few years. You'll find they own the pension fund billions. If the company has to pay it, they will not be viable. As for the health care plan, good if you can get it, but the problem is the explosion in health care costs. Rates go up 25% a year and doctors are going broke. Where is that money going? Lawyers? Malpractice insurance? In any case the company can't continue to pay it and remain viable.

If the company isn't viabale then it will be in an asset liquadation sale (chapter 7 BK) and there won't be any UAW jobs. If they attempt a chapter 11 BK (not smart) the first thing the judge will do is break the union contract. If that gets enough debt off the company then it could emerge from BK rather quickly. In any case it would be much smarter for the UAW to negoiate today than have something imposed tomorrow.

Frankly there are very few options available.
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Message 840748 - Posted: 17 Dec 2008, 4:56:16 UTC - in response to Message 840587.  

Bankruptcy? Thats already been discussed. The question that comes up is, "would you buy a car from a company that filed bankruptcy?". I doubt it. Would you trust that company to be there when you need repairs or even parts.


Why not? Other companies have successfully pulled out of bankruptcy, so that means someone (read: many) has to have been buying from those companies to enable them to pull out of bankruptcy, which means some people are willing to take the chance.
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Message 840837 - Posted: 17 Dec 2008, 14:10:14 UTC

Interesting article; he makes a good argument for the big three.

GM, Ford and Chrysler: Give Them the Damn Money
The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor

This semi-regular column is written (in his own blood) by an automotive sage and noted malcontent known as The Mechanic. Mercilessly beaten as a child with rolled-up back issues of old car magazines, our free-spoken hero developed a unique "for your own good" take on cars and the auto industry, along with an unfortunate habit of setting himself ablaze. Later, after a distinguished career as an automotive journalist and magazine editor, he cast off the reins of his musty oppressors, carved out his superego with a plastic spork and became The Mechanic.

On his way back from Iraq yesterday, President Bush said his administration would likely scrape enough funds from the banking bailouts to see GM, Ford and Chrysler through at least the next few months.

This was only hours after some crazed, and dare I say it, ungrateful, Iraqi newspaper reporter threw his shoes at the man (apparently shoe-throwing is the ultimate insult in Iraq) in protest.

This is a good thing. The bailout money, not the shoe-throwing. President Bush knows -- as I do, you do and Barack Obama does -- that the American auto industry may have had its proverbial head up its proverbial ass for decades, but it's still worth saving. It's worth saving because America with an auto industry is a better America.

And I'm not talking about jobs here, or economic ripples that will affect every single person in this country negatively. I'm talking about a great America. And a great America makes cars.

Maybe I'm blinded by my passion for the automobile and my patriotism for the greatest country the world has ever known, but nobody, and I mean nobody has been able to explain to me how America is better off with a bankrupt auto industry. Not the pundits on the 24-hour news channels, not the car-hating columnists at the country's big newspapers, not the liberal greenies that surround me in Southern California. Nobody.

Not even you, the Inside Line readers, have been able to convince me that we're all better off if GM, Ford, Chrysler and the UAW take their collective medicine and pay for their seemingly endless run of bad management decisions with extinction. I know not all of you out there feel that way, but many of you do. Those who do swore off domestic cars years ago for one reason or another, some justified, and they'd figure no auto American industry is better than a sick one pushing cars like the Pontiac G3, the Dodge Caliber and the Mercury Grand Marquis.

Well, they're wrong.

Don't get me wrong; nobody should spend their hard-earned money on turds like the G3, the Caliber and the Merc, but I'm here to say that the American auto industry needs to live and if tax dollars must be spent to save it, then we should spend them. When you consider all the waste in Washington, the flushing of our tax dollars to fund bridges to nowhere (both figuratively and literally), saving the U.S. auto industry is without a doubt a better use of our funds. Don't you think?

Consider what your tax dollars fund. When was the last time you complained about the $3,478,000 spent on the harbor seal and stellar sea lion protection program, or the $82,164,000 that funds bypass facilities for migratory salmon and steelhead fish at the dams along the Columbia River, not to mention the $984,000 that went to the University of Oklahoma in Norman for the large-scale application of single-wall nanotubes or the $492,000 given to the Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell System (U.S.) Inc. to fund development at the Fuel Cell Prototyping Center at Stark State College of Technology in Canton. This last one is really aggravating when you realize that the Rolls-Royce Group reported a net profit of $1.2 billion in 2007.

Or how about the $1,648,850 or your money the senators from Illinois, including Barack Obama, secured for the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Man, these freakin' fish are costing us a fortune.

Enough is enough. Call your senator, tell him or her to cut all this crap and save the Detroit Three.

Maybe, just maybe, with a little luck, some smart management decisions and an optimistic public willing to give GM, Ford and Chrysler another chance, they can be the Big Three again. I hope I live to see it. -- The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor

E-mail me at themechanic@edmunds.com.


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Message 841767 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 2:30:04 UTC

Ford actually does have a better idea

GEORGE WILL
THE WASHINGTON POST

2:00 a.m. December 18, 2008

DEARBORN, Mich. — Designed by architects from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the Chicago firm that created many icons of postwar modernism, Ford's headquarters building has the sleek glass-and-steel minimalism that characterized up-to-date architecture in the 1950s, when America was at the wheel of the world and even buildings seemed streamlined for speed. Ford's building opened in 1956, a peak of American confidence – one year before Sputnik shook Americans' faith in their technological supremacy, and the Edsel shook their faith in the acumen of corporate America grown slothful from complacency.

Today the building is home to high anxiety. Yet CEO Alan Mulally, a boyish 63, seems preternaturally pleased, in spite of his recent participation in Congress' ritual pillorying of the leaders of the so-called Big Three auto companies. Ford took a full measure of the abuse for the failures of “Detroit,” while asking for none of the money urgently sought by General Motors and Chrysler, aka the “Too Big One, and a Fraction.”

Twenty-seven months ago, Mulally, who probably thought he had seen the worst that events could throw at his business career, came to Ford from Boeing. There, when civilian aviation became collateral damage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he presided over downsizing the work force from 127,000 to 52,000.

One of his first moves at Ford was one of the great gambles in U.S. business history: He borrowed $23.5 billion, most of it secured by nearly all of Ford's assets, even including the intellectual property in the company's blue oval logo. Today, Mulally says, “Ford would have adequate short-term liquidity” even if throughout 2009, industry sales levels were worse than in October 2008. That is why Ford is not asking Congress for money. It is asking only for access to money if there should be what Mulally delicately calls “a significant industry event.”

By that he means GM filing for bankruptcy, which would, he believes, threaten many of the nation's 3,000 parts manufacturers, which already are owed $13 billion from the three domestic companies. Ford uses 80 percent of the suppliers GM and Chrysler use, and 25 percent of Ford's highest-volume dealers also own GM and/or Chrysler dealerships. That is why Mulally appeared like a good soldier before Congress with his GM and Chrysler counterparts as those two pleaded for cash to avoid bankruptcy.

Mulally says bankruptcy, which has become almost routine for airlines, would be fatal for a car company: Passengers will fly on an airline undergoing reorganization in bankruptcy because their tickets are short-term transactions, whereas customers cannot be confident that a car company in bankruptcy will be around to honor its warranties years hence.

While Mulally was at Boeing, where he was responsible for developing what became the very successful 777 aircraft, he brought to Seattle for consultation the Ford team that had made the Taurus the best-selling car in America for five years. It, however, became stale, was supplanted by Toyota's Camry, and was discontinued in October 2006.

It has, however, come back and is being revamped as part of plans to build all the company's products on a few “platforms” – powertrains, underpinnings, suspension systems. Many of these platforms are currently used in cars that are consistently profitable in the European, Asian and Latin American markets.

Having reduced its work force 50 percent in three years, by February Ford will have cut salaried personnel costs 40 percent. Most important, it is now on a path to prune, soon, almost half of what have been 76 nameplates. Having shed Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, it seems to be moving toward the sale of Volvo and of what remains of its reduced investment in Mazda. Soon the company will consist of Ford, Lincoln and – perhaps – Mercury, with consolidated dealerships (currently 3,790, down from 4,396 three years ago).

Total industry sales in America this year – about 10.5 million, down from 17 million in 2005 – are, on a per capita basis, the lowest since World War II. There is zero likelihood of industry sales sufficient for three U.S. companies to share them profitably with “transplants” – factories producing cars with foreign nameplates. A 1979 bailout enabled Chrysler to survive to be a problem today. It almost certainly will not survive.

So the task of the proposed “car czar” – silliness on stilts – would be to supervise the pruning of GM's nameplates and dealerships. Anyway, the most qualified person for that ill-conceived and unenviable position already has a more promising job, as Ford's CEO.
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Message 842002 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 14:28:57 UTC
Last modified: 19 Dec 2008, 14:29:34 UTC

It seems to me the Big business has been trying to break the unions for years.

If it was not for them we would all be working 70 hrs A week with poor pay, poor health benefits, health care etc..

Sweat shops here we come!!

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Message 842078 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 16:53:27 UTC
Last modified: 19 Dec 2008, 17:07:02 UTC

Unions (at least manufacturing unions) were also hung by globalization. When you have to compete against non-union and practically slave labor you will definitely lose. No ifs ands or buts. You just lose. Or should I say USA unionized workers lose.

Ross Perot was right when he warned free trade agreements would cause a great sucking sound as the jobs left this country.

The planet Earth might be better off without well paid workers who consume a bunch of worthless junk made by Business. By breaking unions, in a round about way business is hanging itself in the long run. Nobody will be able to buy the crap they rape the planet to produce. The credit crisis is also a blessing because now nobody can borrow money to buy the crap that Business produces. So soon Business will be hung by their own petards. Ain't it a wonderful life :).
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Message 842113 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 18:03:15 UTC - in response to Message 842078.  

Unions (at least manufacturing unions) were also hung by globalization. When you have to compete against non-union and practically slave labor you will definitely lose. No ifs ands or buts. You just lose. Or should I say USA unionized workers lose.

Ross Perot was right when he warned free trade agreements would cause a great sucking sound as the jobs left this country.

The planet Earth might be better off without well paid workers who consume a bunch of worthless junk made by Business. By breaking unions, in a round about way business is hanging itself in the long run. Nobody will be able to buy the crap they rape the planet to produce. The credit crisis is also a blessing because now nobody can borrow money to buy the crap that Business produces. So soon Business will be hung by their own petards. Ain't it a wonderful life :).



BRAVO BRAVO WELL SAID!!!!

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Message 842129 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 18:46:45 UTC

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Message 842145 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 19:31:33 UTC - in response to Message 842129.  

Bush gave GM and Chrysler just enough money to make it to Obamas term and then he gets to deal with it.


In a rich man's house there is no place to spit but his face.
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Message 842259 - Posted: 19 Dec 2008, 22:28:44 UTC

The auto industry has quietly been investing profits in overseas manufacturing plants for several years to the point where they now produce more vehicles outside North America than within.

Very soon, they will be in position to import all vehicles from overseas and crush the union worker.

They have also set up the pension plan as a giant Ponzi scheme where, instead of placing pension fund contributions from both employer and employee into a seperate plan, they have structured the pensions to be paid out to retired workers by present contributers to the plan.

The pension plan seems to be NOT fully funded and retired working people are about to be screwed royally.
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Message 842411 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 7:45:46 UTC

Thought this might be appropriate,



From the Telegraph
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Message 842496 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 12:04:45 UTC
Last modified: 20 Dec 2008, 12:11:58 UTC

I see my thread has garnered many thoughts.........

Both pro and con......

My position has not changed.......
The unions, due to their greed and unwillingness to wake up to the real world.....are going down.

And yes, it's not going to be pretty for some of the retirees........

But then.......it's not going to be pretty for some of us living in the real world either....


Welcome to my world, UAW.........reality sucks, don't it?????

Must be that 'strange sucking sound' coning up from Mexico....and everywhere else in the world...............
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 842698 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 20:43:50 UTC - in response to Message 842496.  





My position has not changed.......
The unions, due to their greed and unwillingness to wake up to the real world.....are going down.

And yes, it's not going to be pretty for some of the retirees........

But then.......it's not going to be pretty for some of us living in the real world either....


Welcome to my world, UAW.........reality sucks, don't it?????



Well msattler
I see that your real problem with unions would be that their members aren't suffering enough.
Rather than support unions as a means of raising all working people to higher levels of wages and benefits, you choose to drag others down to your own level of compensation.
If you make lousy wages and benefits, everyone else should too.

I suppose that the reason your world and your reality suck is self inflicted.
Sad.
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Message 842741 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 21:50:34 UTC - in response to Message 842698.  
Last modified: 20 Dec 2008, 21:54:38 UTC





My position has not changed.......
The unions, due to their greed and unwillingness to wake up to the real world.....are going down.

And yes, it's not going to be pretty for some of the retirees........

But then.......it's not going to be pretty for some of us living in the real world either....


Welcome to my world, UAW.........reality sucks, don't it?????



Well msattler
I see that your real problem with unions would be that their members aren't suffering enough.
Rather than support unions as a means of raising all working people to higher levels of wages and benefits, you choose to drag others down to your own level of compensation.
If you make lousy wages and benefits, everyone else should too.

I suppose that the reason your world and your reality suck is self inflicted.
Sad.

You fail to see, my friend........

The 'system' cannot support all who live within it at 'above all others' levels.....

And that's just what the UAW has bean glutting itself on for all these years..living off of the 'fat of the land'........

What about the rest of the workers that have to work and pay for those benefits........????

Us real workers that don't have the benefit of having reaped the UAW windfalls???

Who do you think pays for what they were given????????????

Wake the F up......Sir....
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 842764 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 22:24:03 UTC
Last modified: 20 Dec 2008, 22:24:57 UTC

You have to realize that all this was put into place many years ago...........

The UAW shall fall.........they have lorded it over us for too many years.... their demise shall not come soon enough for me.

Period.....and of sentence.......end of line.

Lock this one mods..........
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 842765 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 22:24:09 UTC

I am very F awake.
If you would lay off the binge drinking -(your own posts about your boozing is part of the record)- you might clear your mind.
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Message 842767 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 22:27:24 UTC - in response to Message 842765.  

I am very F awake.
If you would lay off the binge drinking -(your own posts about your boozing is part of the record)- you might clear your mind.

Don't you dare bring up my whiskey enhancement of life to bear here..........

It has no bearing........nor do you if you continue without such.
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 842779 - Posted: 20 Dec 2008, 22:38:38 UTC
Last modified: 20 Dec 2008, 22:40:27 UTC

My opinion will not change...........

I have seen Unions.......I have been in Unions.......

And all they ever served was to bolster the sad asses that sought to do the least in life that they could do to get by.

You go now..........

Have read all the rebuttals........and they all seem to have their cheese slid off their cracker...

This argument is done.

The UAW is done.........wanna argue about it in about six months???

Good day, Sir.
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message boards : Politics : The unions have been hung by their own petards..............


 
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