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Author Topic: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??  (Read 12779 times)

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Offline mecch

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What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« on: December 12, 2008, 10:03:12 AM »
If I understood today's news correctly. Republican senators refused the bailout because they wanted UAW to give huge concessions in order to save the companies. Seems they would be happy if auto manufacturers turn their corporate structure into Wal Mart clones.  But with no bailout, the workers will lose their jobs, and what are they going to do - a couple more million unemployed, and how many of these workers, realistically, can retrain for green industry that doesn't even exist yet.

I have such a mixed feeling about this auto company bailout.  I tend to agree with liberal journalists who say shame on the car companies for being such innovative duds.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/opinion/10friedman.html?bl&ex=1229230800&en=c8a2cd67405bac74&ei=5087%0A

But also what about the auto workers, and workers in all the supply industries... 
“It’s over with,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on the Senate floor, after it was clear that a deal could not be reached. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”
Mr. Reid added: “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/12/business/12auto.html?bl&ex=1229230800&en=c8a2cd67405bac74&ei=5087%0A

At the end of the day I worry so much more about unemployed autoworkers than unemployed investment bank employees. 

Every year I drag out my dvd of It's a Wonderful Life, and it resonates differently, depending on my personal or the historic situation...

Wonder what I'll be thinking about this year.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline freewillie99

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 10:23:31 AM »
Every year I drag out my dvd of It's a Wonderful Life, and it resonates differently, depending on my personal or the historic situation...


Personally I prefer the old SNL version where the townspeople beat the living crap out of Mr. Potter at the end led by George Bailey (aka Dana Carvey).  Too bad there's not a real life version with a Republican douchebag like Mitch McConnell at the receiving end of the people's wrath :)

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/its-a-wonderful-life-lost-ending/2731/
Beware Romanians bearing strange gifts

Offline aztecan

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 10:44:55 AM »
Republicans want only two classes of people;

The rich (them)

The poor (serfs to serve them).

As long as they can own seven houses, multiple luxury cars (why would anyone buy a Lincoln pickup truck?), and live lavishly on money they could not have earned honestly or fairly, they will do what they can to keep the worker under their heel.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 12:18:57 PM »
What makes sense of taking taxpayers money that make 9-12 dollars an hour to pay a person getting 40 an hour when taxpayers  are having a hard time paying their house payments, food bills and medicial bills and couldn't affard to buy a new car if they wanted? Why keep producing cars and putting them on dealers lots and no one is buying them? UAW stopped the money, all the bond holders and creditors accepted the arraingments that were offered only the UAW said no.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 01:00:56 PM »
What makes sense of taking taxpayers money that make 9-12 dollars an hour to pay a person getting 40 an hour when taxpayers  are having a hard time paying their house payments, food bills and medicial bills and couldn't affard to buy a new car if they wanted? Why keep producing cars and putting them on dealers lots and no one is buying them? UAW stopped the money, all the bond holders and creditors accepted the arraingments that were offered only the UAW said no.

Because 3 million auto workers suddenly on unemployment, food stamps and Medicaid, plus another 1 million in ancillary/supplier parts on same would be more costly to your 9-12 dollars an hour taxpayer (who probably doesn't pay much tax to begin with as you know so I don't know why you're basing your argument on this sector of the population to begin with Rod... hence another of your infamous red herrings).

I think the basic current thought in a bridge loan (let's not call it a bailout when it's really a loan) is that even at worst delaying such increased unemployment at a moment when we already are seeing monthly hemorrhaging of a half million jobs PER MONTH is prudent.

Unfortunately Republicans and their base are ideologues, not pragmatists and can't see the larger picture.  They can only continually rant about the usual Limbaugh-ian boogeymen like unions workers.
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 01:11:51 PM »
If the UAW doesn't want to keep the Auto Mfgs afloat and keep their folks working then there is no one to blame but themselfs. We shouldn't have to bail them out for a bad product that no one wants and bad management. What happens to that loan when and if they fail? It doesn't get paid back. Then they are back to where they started. That is only good money thrown out on bad.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 01:22:52 PM »
Is that cost less or more than what I just laid out in my previous post, Rod?  Or will you be ignoring my point for the duration of this thread by a continual shift in the goal posts?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008, 01:28:46 PM »
There are corporate lawyers whose only job is to break up unions and maybe this was the very last resort to break the auto-workers union.  No doubt, this will break or weaken the union and the corporate rich and corporate lawers will win.  It is like the CEOs and the lawyers gave the union workers just enough rope to hang themselves.  In addition, the CEOs and the lawyers are using politics against the unions.  Afterall, who wants to save a company where the public believes that not only the corporate "fat cats" are way over paid, but also the unions workers are also over paid.  I believed that this whole situation is just the "red herring" to really dismantle or serverly weaken the unions and then lower workers wages.  What the unions should have done was to have more politicians in there pockets otherwise they can never win.  This is always the result.  One side wins for a decade or two and then when things quiet down the other side comes back to recapture what they lost.  The whole time when the unions thought they won some years ago, they were being set up for this lost.  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

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Offline David_CA

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 02:02:49 PM »
Is the UAW (the union itself, not the workers) even needed?  Honda and Toyota don't use unionized labor, at least in most of their plants in the US and still manage to build the most reliable cars in the world.  The union has to add to the total cost for labor.  I do believe in helping the US auto companies stay afloat, but something's got to give.  I also believe in trimming the fat, so to speak, and this would include CEO salaries and bonuses as well at other non-essential costs.  I remember a while back flight attendants and pilots being 'asked' to accept reduced salaries as part of the particular airline's restructuring.  Why shouldn't car companies as a whole (CEO's, executives, workers, etc) all be asked to contribute to their company's survival?
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Offline denb45

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 02:13:34 PM »
I haven't bought a car in 10 yrs. I still don't see anything worth buying, besides my 98 Ford Ranger still runs GREAT and it's paid for, and only has 40,000 miles on it  ;D....I'm looking at least 2012, before I buy a New Car, if i even do it at all  ::)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 02:20:20 PM »
Is that cost less or more than what I just laid out in my previous post, Rod?  Or will you be ignoring my point for the duration of this thread by a continual shift in the goal posts?

I elect to totally ignore you.  :D

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 02:31:32 PM »
I haven't bought a car in 10 yrs.

20 years for me :)  I have no need for a car where I live.  I can even take a train to the airport, and the subway is one block away.

If I really need a car for a short duration I can use this:

http://www.phillycarshare.org/

And there's a phillycarshare car parked around the corner.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 02:34:08 PM »
By the way, it looks like the Democrats game of playing chicken with the obstructionist Republicans will win:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/12/news/companies/auto_future/index.htm?postversion=2008121209
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Dachshund

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 02:55:04 PM »
If the UAW doesn't want to keep the Auto Mfgs afloat and keep their folks working then there is no one to blame but themselfs. We shouldn't have to bail them out for a bad product that no one wants and bad management. What happens to that loan when and if they fail? It doesn't get paid back. Then they are back to where they started. That is only good money thrown out on bad.

Yep, it's all the workers fault, not management. Labor already renegotiated their contract and per usual are being made the scapegoat by the right. Republican Senators with foreign carmakers located in their states would like nothing better than to see the big three fail.

Certainly Detroit has plenty it should be held accountable for running the auto industry into the ground. However, what Republicans always fail to mention is the unlevel playing field in the auto industry. Foreign automakers don't have to carry the burden of providing healthcare it's subsidized by the government. Foreign governments supply money for research and development. They also restrict the number of American cars that can be sold in their markets.

It's always easy to make blanket statements not provided by facts.

 

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 02:56:41 PM »
UAW stopped the money, all the bond holders and creditors accepted the arraingments that were offered only the UAW said no.
Thanks for this info - I will look to read more about that part of the story!  But all said, I don't think I will ever believe that union labour is a bad thing. Seems to me its about hardworking people having a decent life in an advanced industrial country.  Seems to me the union should not be scapegoated here.  Sorry to rail on and on, but I wouldn't want to be raising a family on a retail store worker's salary with limited or no health care and spotty public assistance to poorly make up the gap.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 03:04:22 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 03:03:15 PM »
I think this is also a good time to ask what better shape US automakers would be in if they didn't use a huge amount of their income for employee medical benefits which automakers do not do in other industrialized countries.  If a national healthcare system (of whatever variety) had been established 50 years ago as in European countries what would US automakers financial health be in 2008?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 03:05:44 PM »
Yes, Miss Philicia, exactly.  But not to let the management and development teams of the US big three off the hook for lack of innovation and failure to make a product that will sell! And the US consumer - seems that the SUV profits were keeping the companies afloat for several years.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 03:09:44 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline David_CA

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2008, 03:28:12 PM »
Many of the most popular Japanese autos are built here in the US... Camrys, Accords, Corollas, and Avalons, to name a few, are all built here in the US.  My dad's Chrysler mini-van and hubby's Chevrolet were built in Canada.  In Mexico, there are many Chevy's on the road that were built somewhere in Central or South America.  The point I'm making is that one can't really assume that all foreign-branded vehicles are built outside the US or that buying a vehicle from one of the Big Three means that one's getting a car built here in the US. 

I think that the US auto companies would have had these problems regardless of imports.  The US car companies were mismanaged and the 'me first' mentality, to take all that exec.'s could take from the companies, is what got them in the situations they're in now.  The best selling vehicles produced by GM and Ford are trucks.  With a few exceptions, the Big Three don't build world-class cars.  They left the small(er) car market to the Japanese and got caught with their pants down when big, gas guzzling trucks quit selling in the numbers that they had in the past. 

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Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 04:11:54 PM »
The point I'm making is that one can't really assume that all foreign-branded vehicles are built outside the US or that buying a vehicle from one of the Big Three means that one's getting a car built here in the US. 
Fascinatingly good point. So does that mean if GM goes bankrupt, it fires all its US employees, and restructures, keeping its cheaper operations in other lands, with US based management still making fat salaries.
So it becomes like a lot of other "US" consumer goods companies - sportswear companies, for example?
Fascinating fascinating.

5 years ago there was an article in the NY Times called:
"An Ohio Town Is Hard Hit as Leading Industry Moves to China"
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE3DE133DF934A35751C1A9659C8B63&n=Top%2FReference%2FTimes%20Topics%2FSubjects%2FR%2FRelocation%20of%20Business

''You tell people you're from Bryan and they look at you blankly,'' said Carolyn Miller, a longtime assembly line worker at Ohio Art. ''You tell them it's the home of Etch A Sketch, and they smile.''

That was true, at least, until a winter day three years ago, a week before Christmas, when Ohio Art executives called representatives of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers Union into head offices and delivered the news. The Etch A Sketch line was moving to Shenzhen, China. About 100 union employees would lose their jobs."

so Xmas 2000, R.I.P. Etch a Sketch Made in USA

Levis Jeans. Etch A Sketch. GM Cars.  Well why don't we build high walls around Hollywood, Manhattan, and Washington D.C., then flood the rest of the country, drown the excess population, keeping the capitalist class who will all live in villas on the Cote d'Azur 6 months of the year, telecommuting to their US offices.  Can an advanced service economy support 300 million people?

Still Made in the USA:
http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/toysngames.html
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 04:24:49 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2008, 05:45:11 PM »
Is the UAW (the union itself, not the workers) even needed?  Honda and Toyota don't use unionized labor, at least in most of their plants in the US and still manage to build the most reliable cars in the world.  The union has to add to the total cost for labor.  I do believe in helping the US auto companies stay afloat, but something's got to give.  I also believe in trimming the fat, so to speak, and this would include CEO salaries and bonuses as well at other non-essential costs.  I remember a while back flight attendants and pilots being 'asked' to accept reduced salaries as part of the particular airline's restructuring.  Why shouldn't car companies as a whole (CEO's, executives, workers, etc) all be asked to contribute to their company's survival?
This is to assume that the CEOs will take a pay cut.  Did you notice they asked the union workers to take a pay cut but nothing was said to the CEOs.  I bet they hope the public wont notice this omition.  Besides, how much do the Honda \ Toyota CEOs make as compared to their workers.  Are they , H/T overly paid and on par with the Americans CEOs?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 05:48:38 PM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

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Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2008, 06:07:23 PM »
Well, it seems to me that the UAW is cutting off it's nose to spite it's face.  by refusing to make concessions in pay, they could be, effectively, "negotiating" away all of their pay, vs. a percentage.  Now, i don't believe that all the cuts were falling on the backs of the "workers", so it's hard to understand their position.  Having been a Union VP in the past (at a hospital), I feel for these folks, but I don't think the union is really worried about the workers, I think they are worried about the UAW as an entity.  Unions were so very important in the early days to help insure worker safety and there are still places today where they are very necessary (my union went on strike to put limits to mandatory overtime in the hospital that often forced folks to be awake for 24 hrs or more -- not great for the employees or the patients being served by the nurses and techs), however, there is an element of entitlement that can surface that has really moved to give unions a bad name to many (and not just republicans).

On a side note -- why on earth should auto workers deserve more "sympathy" than workers at investment banks?  makes no sense to me (there are alot of folks in banking who make less money than a union autoworker on the assembly line) -- I happen to work at a bank now (not an investment one), but I do want some good experienced folks managing the funds in my 401K, as I'm pretty sure that I will need to rely on my own savings in my older years.

At the end of the day -- concessions will be needed BY ALL to save the auto industry.  Now whether we should save it is another story -- I think there is a bit of fear mongering going on around this.  While, it wouldn't be pretty if one or two of the big 3 went down, it won't be the end of the world.  There are already 100,000's of folks out of work and soon to be more -- so why is the auto industry such a "must save"?

Mike
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Offline David_CA

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2008, 06:20:38 PM »
This is to assume that the CEOs will take a pay cut.  Did you notice they asked the union workers to take a pay cut but nothing was said to the CEOs.  I bet they hope the public wont notice this omition.  Besides, how much do the Honda \ Toyota CEOs make as compared to their workers.  Are they , H/T overly paid and on par with the Americans CEOs?

Here's a list of top CEO salaries outside the US:  www.manifest.co.uk/news/2004/20040510Forbes.htm.  According to that site, Toyota's CEO will earn $903,000 in 2008 in total compensation.  GM's CEO earned $15,700,000 in 2007 according to www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSN2534738420080425.  Other sites show Home Depot's CEO earned $12,000,000 in one year and $123,700,000 between 2000 and 2006. 

(edited to correct some typos)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 03:42:38 PM by David_NC »
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Offline pozniceguy

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2008, 07:02:55 PM »
Hey guys  throwing Darts at Republicans/ Democrats / Radio hosts  will only divert the real discussion which has peeped through the BS a few times.....  why is the Auto worker so important>>> because  both the management and the union have huge budgets for various Washington Lobbyists/ publicity managers to make their position a point of importance and discussion.....  my personal thoughts go to the more specific issues of the food supply..currently one of the largest producers of chicken in the world ( Pilgrim ) has lost nearly $80 Billion last year and has declared Bankruptcy.... they may survive but they haven't even been mentioned as a "critical" need..hundreds of workers and independent farmers depend on this company as well as millions of people for food....other large food producers are facing similar issues in spite of the policies that support farm subsidies and other programs that encourage farmers not to grow certain items  ( I will not discuss the foolish subsidies to tobacco growers ) ..the reason most food stuffs are reasonable priced in the USA is through the supply chain management of small/large farm cooperatives and the major food distributors
The Auto workers and others in the trades rode the "poor worker" issues a little too hard for too long and lost focus of the way jobs are made secure...agreements/ contracts don't mean much if the company goes bankrupt for whatever reasons...BTW my understanding is that a majority of the union workers own stock in the companies  either directly or through some retirement plan...what will that be worth if the company is bankrupt/ dead ??

We can survive as a society for a while with limited production of big three vehicles but cutting the food supply will truly be a disaster for almost every person .
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Seadickrun

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2008, 05:09:23 AM »
Its a shame that Al Gore didn't push GM's EV-1 back in 1996.  I see Mr. Gore flying around the planet with his awesome slideshow on climate change and I have to wonder how different our country would be today if he had put his money where his mouth is and mandated electric vehicles for government use. 

Or, God forbid, someone had listened to Jimmy Carter back in the late '70's when he warned America that it needed to get free of foreign oil.  Check gas milieage for a 70's Mustang with the current model - not much improvement from the Big Three Automakers.

I see Mr. Mulally, CEO of Ford, flys back and forth to work every week in a corporate jet.  He lives here in Seattle and works in Detroit.  And the UAW needs to make concessions for Ford to show a profit?????

I would be in favor of a bailout under one condition - make a "People's Car".  The Big three should get together and put all of their eggs in one basket and produce an electric vehicle in one color and one model that is so cheap, that only a fool would pass it up.  And then have Congress give special tax breaks for Americans to buy them and tell us its our Patriotic Duty to buy these vehicles and quit buying foreign oil - most of it from countries that don't exactly care for us.  But if Congress wants me to bailout yet another company that gives executives fat bonuses and golden parachutes, I say let them eat cake.

Offline Cliff

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2008, 07:05:27 AM »
I say let them file for bankruptcy.  The impact will be less than what people think.  No one is really interested in seeing GM or Chrysler going out of business.  With bankruptcy protection, the companies will be able to reorganise their business, including amending some of their expensive wage/vender contracts without having the threat of a strike held over their heads.  Or another company, a foreign one most likely, can come in and take them over.

Airlines do this all the time.  Just becuase a company files for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all employees automatically lose their jobs.  I think a government loan is just going to allow the companies to conduct business as usual and 5 years from now we'll be facing these same issues all over again!

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2008, 08:25:49 AM »
On a side note -- why on earth should auto workers deserve more "sympathy" than workers at investment banks?  makes no sense to me (there are alot of folks in banking who make less money than a union autoworker on the assembly line)
Well I have sympathy for all unemployed people - I said I worried more for unemployed people in auto industry, than people in investment banking.  On the perhaps naive assumption that many people in investment banks have some cash in their accounts, are college educated, urban, and more likely to be adaptable and able to find new employement.  As opposed to auto workers, who at mid-life, for example, may never get such a good salary again.  You see?
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2008, 10:29:18 AM »
I say let them file for bankruptcy.  The impact will be less than what people think.  No one is really interested in seeing GM or Chrysler going out of business.  With bankruptcy protection, the companies will be able to reorganise their business, including amending some of their expensive wage/vender contracts without having the threat of a strike held over their heads.  Or another company, a foreign one most likely, can come in and take them over.

Airlines do this all the time.  Just becuase a company files for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all employees automatically lose their jobs.  I think a government loan is just going to allow the companies to conduct business as usual and 5 years from now we'll be facing these same issues all over again!

I agree. I don't buy the argument that no one is going to buy a car from GM if it files for bankruptcy. If they produce a product that people want at a price that people can afford people it will sell. I think the airline analogy is a good one.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2008, 10:50:29 AM »
I say let them file for bankruptcy.  The impact will be less than what people think.  No one is really interested in seeing GM or Chrysler going out of business.  With bankruptcy protection, the companies will be able to reorganise their business, including amending some of their expensive wage/vender contracts without having the threat of a strike held over their heads.  Or another company, a foreign one most likely, can come in and take them over.

Airlines do this all the time.  Just becuase a company files for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all employees automatically lose their jobs.  I think a government loan is just going to allow the companies to conduct business as usual and 5 years from now we'll be facing these same issues all over again!

  Very well said.  The big three are solely at fault here.  When I hear the reports on the news, I often wonder did GM's economists miss the first week of macroeconomics or something?  They must have been following the blue lines on their supply and demand charts when they should have been watching those red ones fall below zero!
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Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2008, 03:07:29 PM »
I say let them file for bankruptcy.  The impact will be less than what people think.  No one is really interested in seeing GM or Chrysler going out of business.  With bankruptcy protection, the companies will be able to reorganise their business, including amending some of their expensive wage/vender contracts without having the threat of a strike held over their heads.  Or another company, a foreign one most likely, can come in and take them over.

Airlines do this all the time.  Just becuase a company files for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all employees automatically lose their jobs.  I think a government loan is just going to allow the companies to conduct business as usual and 5 years from now we'll be facing these same issues all over again!

Actually, from everything I've read, bankruptcy for the big 3 would be game over, and nothing like the airline bankruptcies. 

With an airline bankruptcy, they are generally able to continue selling tickets during reorganization because the buyer feels much less risk -- the risk of the airline actually closing down during a your round-trip vacation or business trip is very, very slim.  All airline purchases are very time limited (days or weeks), so many buyers decide the risk is worth it.

With the car companies, folks risk much, much more.  All new car warranties would be void if the car company actually went under.  So buying a new car carries a multi-year risk.  Therefore, if a car company files for Chapter 11, and tries to reorganize, they won't live long enough to do so.  Unlike an airline, their sales will completely dry up, and they'd run out of cash.

This effect is already happening to the big 3. 

Offline woodshere

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2008, 04:23:05 PM »
Well I have sympathy for all unemployed people - I said I worried more for unemployed people in auto industry, than people in investment banking.  On the perhaps naive assumption that many people in investment banks have some cash in their accounts, are college educated, urban, and more likely to be adaptable and able to find new employement.  As opposed to auto workers, who at mid-life, for example, may never get such a good salary again.  You see?

Just a little FYI:  Ford has 2 major factories in Louisville.  In the past 3-4 years they offered to buy out employees.  The buy outs were very lucrative.  Some were able to receive 100% pay for a certain amount of time, plus paid tuition.  So those at mid-life could have started a new career where a good salary would have been available.

As far as buying a car from a bankrupt company, if consumers aren't buying BIG 3 autos now, why on earth would they buy them from a bankrupt company.
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Offline Florida69

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2008, 04:31:58 PM »
Actually, from everything I've read, bankruptcy for the big 3 would be game over, and nothing like the airline bankruptcies. 

With the car companies, folks risk much, much more.  All new car warranties would be void if the car company actually went under.  So buying a new car carries a multi-year risk.  Therefore, if a car company files for Chapter 11, and tries to reorganize, they won't live long enough to do so.  Unlike an airline, their sales will completely dry up, and they'd run out of cash.

This effect is already happening to the big 3. 

Peter I have to agree that they are already on their way out, Ford may be able to salvage their name and brand, but I don't think GM or Chrysler will be able to the same.  Even with the bail out money, there is a chance that they will not make it through until things calm down for their economy.  Remember that this money is suppose to a loan, if they do not have to repay it we as tax payers will. Honeslty, I pay enough already for meds, insurance, housing and living espenses.  I do not want to see them go under, but they have had so many opportunities to be leaders in the market, and unfortunately have taken the road of greed.  Their actions were inevitable, they dimissed things like the electric car, and not doing better by the American people when it comes to technology.  Unfortunately, if they do go under we will all suffer and a depression I fear will soon follow.  We have other car companies that have gone belly up over the years, think about studabaker, henderson (I think that is right) and American Motors, and many others.  GM took a major risk by bringing back the name of the Hummer, which was I think was an American Motors brand.  We still have other car companies that produce vehicles in this country, is it fair that the big three get bailed out, while the other car companies get nothing?  I have been asking myself that question for weeks.  Take care all, good topic and discussion.  D
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Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2008, 04:54:47 AM »
Just a little FYI:  Ford has 2 major factories in Louisville.  In the past 3-4 years they offered to buy out employees.  The buy outs were very lucrative.  Some were able to receive 100% pay for a certain amount of time, plus paid tuition.  So those at mid-life could have started a new career where a good salary would have been available.

Its good to know the shock can be cushioned, but the particular cushion you refer to was paid by the still-in-business company.  What will/would happen now with bankrupt companies?  Tax payers pay, and can/will governments be so generous.

Maybe it's my urban elite snobbery working, that I think many midlife manufacturing workers are going to have a tougher time recuperating than urban elite investment banking employees.  Yes i know not everyone in a big investment bank has an ivy degree and is a brainiac.

So I looked at some scholarly journals to see what the research says..  Here is a summary from the Economist:
One study suggests that, during the 1980s-90s, 65% of manufacturing workers in America who lost their jobs to freer trade were employed two years later, but most took a pay cut. A quarter suffered pay losses of more than 30%.
2007
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/01/helping_displac.html

Here, from some research:
Based on a 2005 analysis of data from the Displaced Workers Survey, "one academic year of community college retraining raises older males' earnings--those 35 or older--by about 7 percent and older females' earnings by about 10 percent." ...If the coursework included quantitative vocational or academic subject areas, "such retraining increased the long-term quarterly earnings of older male displaced workers by about 10 percent. Among women, the gains were larger." (p. 59)
http://agingandwork.bc.edu/statshow_192_1930

Returning to my Thread title question, i have learned from reading all the members post generally putting the blame on the car companies themselves and I agree.  But what I was wondering about is - what is the BEST action federal (or state?) governments can take, to minimize the damage to people and families if so many people in one industry will lose their jobs and lifestyles??  It's a hard question.  Maybe governments can do nothing.  Maybe Obama has some miraculous plan for displaced workers. Democrat Clinton preached the free market for garanteeing American prosperity, I thought. (Maybe it was the lesser of two evils, however - the risks of free market and globalisation, or the bigger risks of protectionism.) Republican Bush and ilk took that for permission to further shakedown the working stiffs - a vast transfer of wealth into the American elite.  What now? 


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Cliff

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2008, 06:27:31 AM »
With the car companies, folks risk much, much more.  All new car warranties would be void if the car company actually went under.  So buying a new car carries a multi-year risk.  Therefore, if a car company files for Chapter 11, and tries to reorganize, they won't live long enough to do so.  Unlike an airline, their sales will completely dry up, and they'd run out of cash.
I don't think that's a foregone conclusion, just a possibility.  A car company that chose to reorganise would want to keep and rebuild its business.  Preservation of its existing warranties and its ability to write new ones, both allowable under Chapter 11, will be key.  Whether consumers choose to conduct business with a car manufacturer under Chapter 11 is the question.  I think they will, if the reorganisation is done effectively, such that the public is generally assured of the company's ultimate survival.  While United Airlines was in bankruptcy protection, people generally assumed it would ultimately survive and come out of bankruptcy protection.  That's why people continued to do business with them.   

But more importantly, I'm not convinced that the government should continue to write blank checks for all the industries lining up for protection now that things have gone south.  This becomes a slippery slope and I'm not sure why this is even legal given our membership to the WTO.  But I suppose the bank bail-outs aren't any different and there doesn't appear to be much screaming on both sides of the Atlantic about those subsidies.

Seadickrun

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2008, 07:08:24 AM »
Does anyone on this thread own a newer model Big 3 car?  Or have any stock in those companies?  Americans aren't buying their products as it is and bankruptcy will just make things worse. Could you buy parts for a car if the company goes under?

If you were going to buy a new car today would you buy one of the Big 3 or would you buy a Toyota hybrid?  When I was walking around town the other day, I took note of the cars on the street.  About 10% were by the Big 3 (most of those were used) and the vast majority were Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen.  That percentage would have been smaller but I walked past the police precinct and they had a lot of Fords parked outside.  I also ignored the new cars on the three lots that I walked past (Ferrari/Maserati, Mercedes, BMW). 

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2008, 07:19:28 AM »
But more importantly, I'm not convinced that the government should continue to write blank checks for all the industries lining up for protection now that things have gone south.  This becomes a slippery slope and I'm not sure why this is even legal given our membership to the WTO.  But I suppose the bank bail-outs aren't any different and there doesn't appear to be much screaming on both sides of the Atlantic about those subsidies.
Bloomberg News, Republican Rep Boehner and probably soon many other parties will sue for disclosures of the banking bailout.  If I understand correctly, the gov/fed's justification was that the US and perhaps the global economy could not withstand total banking collapse. Thus, in this rationale, the banking bailouts were for the good of the people, not the banks.  Some might argue that is a ruse and the banking bailout is massive fraud to further feather the nests of the bank managers.  Who's to say, really. Maybe its both.

Its easy for me to be an armchair critic. I wish I had more time to understand what is happening, talk to experts, hear all the sides of the issues.. I don't believe at the end of the day I am a Marxist but I do think we need to always keep in mind what is best for the most people, and not what serves a few who have the power to control the many.
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Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2008, 07:37:20 AM »
Returning to my Thread title question, i have learned from reading all the members post generally putting the blame on the car companies themselves and I agree.  But what I was wondering about is - what is the BEST action federal (or state?) governments can take, to minimize the damage to people and families if so many people in one industry will lose their jobs and lifestyles??  It's a hard question.  Maybe governments can do nothing.  Maybe Obama has some miraculous plan for displaced workers. Democrat Clinton preached the free market for garanteeing American prosperity, I thought. (Maybe it was the lesser of two evils, however - the risks of free market and globalisation, or the bigger risks of protectionism.) Republican Bush and ilk took that for permission to further shakedown the working stiffs - a vast transfer of wealth into the American elite.  What now? 

The only reason we are all talking about bailing out the "big3" and worrying about their workers is because both the companies and the UAW have been waging a (costly) PR campaign with many scare tactics.  Why are we so concerned with the possible job losses here when there aren't any real discussions for the 500,000+ people who ACTUALLY lost their jobs in the single month of November?  Where was their "bailout"?  We've got to stop the insanity.  The American taxpayer can not continue to "support" every company that is "too big to fail". 

And really --  "Urban elite"???  This is just another way to split folks into Us vs. Them.  I don't care how much you make, what your education is, etc -- if you lose your income, you are in a world of hurt.  Lifting some folks about for extra sympathy isn't helpful and is built upon many assumption and, dare I say, stereotypes.  I work in the finance industry now, if I lose my job I'm in trouble, despite my education and will, in all likelihood, take a pay cut at whatever job I find.  (No, I'm not asking for a "bailout", just trying to correct some incorrect assmuptions).

Mike

edited to add:  If the autoworkers don't want to help "bail out" their companies by making some wage concessions, than why should I send any of my tax dollars to do so?????????
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:40:25 AM by bocker3 »
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Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2008, 07:53:41 AM »
Does anyone on this thread own a newer model Big 3 car?  Or have any stock in those companies? 
Too poor for a car.  I have a Raleigh bike in London and a Motobécane in Paris, both OLD. I have several in Switzerland and have somehow managed not to have an Asian bike, though i wouldn't mind one - somehow the supply isn't there.  Isn't that interesting?  A big budget department store chain in Switzerland, Migros, offers a cheap basic bike, which is made in France and is really good looking.  MOBILITY, the biggest "car sharing" corp in Switzerland has mostly French cars - Renault and Peugeots with some fiats, bmws, mercedes, smarts and mazdas, hondas, suzuki. No American cars.
When I was a teenager in USA my dream car was a Triumph TR6.

December 11, 2008, 01:38 PM
THE BAILOUT BEAT
German Auto Industry Seeks Government Help
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,595834,00.html

"Merkel and Sarkozy should travel to the US to discuss how we can prevent a reciprocal overbidding (of aid)," said Diez. Although he acknowledges that a collapse of the American auto industry would hurt German suppliers in the short term, "in the long term," he believes, "Germans would benefit."

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2008, 07:59:23 AM »
And really --  "Urban elite"???  This is just another way to split folks into Us vs. Them.  I don't care how much you make, what your education is, etc -- if you lose your income, you are in a world of hurt.  Lifting some folks about for extra sympathy isn't helpful and is built upon many assumption and, dare I say, stereotypes. 
Yes, perhaps I was unclear or you have misread me. I think this is a stereotype and I question my own prejudices because of the stereotypes I hold myself.

If you lose your income, however, and have 500,000 in the bank and equity in your second home, the hurt isn't as bad as a "working stiff" living paycheck to paycheck and with a mortgage on the one property. Quite a number of my friends from college made millions in corporate law or banking by their 30's.  Lets be real here, my prejudices are not based only on stereotypes.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 08:01:58 AM by mecch »
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Seadickrun

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2008, 08:05:04 AM »
Too poor for a car.  

I hear that:))

I walk everywhere.  I bought two gallons of gas this year so I could start up my old van and sell it.

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2008, 12:03:58 PM »
I don't think that's a foregone conclusion, just a possibility.  A car company that chose to reorganise would want to keep and rebuild its business.  Preservation of its existing warranties and its ability to write new ones, both allowable under Chapter 11, will be key.  Whether consumers choose to conduct business with a car manufacturer under Chapter 11 is the question.  I think they will, if the reorganisation is done effectively, such that the public is generally assured of the company's ultimate survival.  While United Airlines was in bankruptcy protection, people generally assumed it would ultimately survive and come out of bankruptcy protection.  That's why people continued to do business with them.   

But more importantly, I'm not convinced that the government should continue to write blank checks for all the industries lining up for protection now that things have gone south.  This becomes a slippery slope and I'm not sure why this is even legal given our membership to the WTO.  But I suppose the bank bail-outs aren't any different and there doesn't appear to be much screaming on both sides of the Atlantic about those subsidies.

Cliff -- I was only explaining what I've read quite a few times in business articles explaining the risk of bankruptcy to one or more of the big 3.  It still makes a lot of sense to me.  Car companies aren't airline companies -- to the consumer, they offer very different products.  Buying from a car company involves a much larger expenditure, and a much longer time period where the value you purchase is at risk (the warranty, availability of parts, etc.). 

What I meant by the warranties being at risk was not during Chapter 11, but afterward, if the company closes shop for good (Chapter 7).  And consumers rightly believe that Chapter 11 is one step removed from Chapter 7 (liquidation).  Bottom line, a car company's Chap 11 would negatively affect its sales far more than an airline's Chap 11.

All that said, there still is some argument about whether they could survive Chapter 11.  They'd have to do so with only a trickle of sales, which many economists think is nearly impossible, but since they could break all contracts, anything is possible I guess.  Also, if all 3 filed together (or at roughly the same time), then it would even the playing field a bit, if only on the "buy American" side of the equation.

Offline Dennis

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2008, 01:22:17 PM »
Here's an interesting article outlining the annual salaries of unionized auto workers compared to their non-unionized counterparts.  http://www.cnsnews.com/Public/Content/article.aspx?RsrcID=39499

In short, a unionized auto worker in the U.S., employed with one of the Big 3, average an hourly salary of $28.50 per hour.  This equates to almost $60,000 a year, assuming a 40 hour work week.  This is hardly a meager salary for a group of individuals who, for the most part, are labeled as non educated.  This doesn't include benefits.

I'd be lucky to make that much upon graduating with a B.S. degree in Education and Psychology.  My major wasn't always Education. Originally, it was Business.  With companies downsizing, and the current state of the economy, I realized this may not be the best route to go.  I changed my major to education because there will always be a need for teachers. 

While I feel bad for anyone who loses their job (I've been there), some of the responsiblity has to be placed upon the worker. Surely, they saw this coming and many chose not to take action.  They relied upon their union to make everything alright rather than plan for the future; whether that be returning to school to obtain marketable skills, or dare I say, set aside a 6 month emergency fund.

And if a bailout, loan, or whatever you want to call it today is approved, that doesn't guarantee there won't be layoffs.  Layoffs may not be as massive, but there will be layoffs.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 01:24:05 PM by Dennis »

Offline denb45

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2008, 01:41:05 PM »
I was a Union Employee in a County Govt. job I held for about 10 yrs. untill I got sick with Full-Blown-AIDS back in 98, and had to give up my $32.50 an hour County Job, but in the end, I got a Monthly Teamsters Union Pension as well as SSDI out of all this, so, I can't really complain about anything, but now I only make 1/3 of what I did 10 yrs ago  ??? so, Yeah I know what the loss of Good imcome feels like, like so many of us here on this Forum  :-[ SURE it hurts, but you'll learn how to deal with it, and survive it, it's not the End-of-the world............
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 01:45:36 PM by denb45 »
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Offline mecch

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2008, 02:11:12 PM »
I'd be lucky to make that much upon graduating with a B.S. degree in Education and Psychology.  My major wasn't always Education. Originally, it was Business.  With companies downsizing, and the current state of the economy, I realized this may not be the best route to go.  I changed my major to education because there will always be a need for teachers. 

While I feel bad for anyone who loses their job (I've been there), some of the responsiblity has to be placed upon the worker. Surely, they saw this coming and many chose not to take action.  They relied upon their union to make everything alright rather than plan for the future; whether that be returning to school to obtain marketable skills, or dare I say, set aside a 6 month emergency fund.

Good idea to get marketable skills. I think the issue in midlife job loss is that many workers in this situation think they have marketable skills, until the market says that skill is no longer viable in the particular country.  Many US computer programmers were surprised when those jobs were relocated overseas.  I think autoworkers learn things too on the job and move up, just like civil service clerks, or military personnel.  People count on their jobs and do their best work, and then use extra time to have their lives and family stability. I don't find 60,000 a generous salary for a middle class us family - seems about adequate.
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Offline Dennis

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2008, 02:31:52 PM »
I agree.  $60,000 ALONE for a middle class family is only adequate.  However, considering most households have dual incomes, I don't think it's bad.  Especially for someone labeled as uneducated.  My starting salary as a teacher, depending on which state I choose to teach in ranges from $38,000 to $58,000.  This comes along with thousands of dollars in student loans.  And if I'm not mistaken, the autoworker industry is generational; don't the wife and husband work in this industry in many households? I may be wrong there as I'm only going by what I see on CNN. Many families they have interviewed recently have fallen into this category.

Again, while I feel bad for anyone who loses their job, we ultimately have to take responsibility for own destiny.  Employment is not a guaranteed right.  Thousands of people are being laid off everyday and businesses are going under.  Who's bailing them out?

Good idea to get marketable skills. I think the issue in midlife job loss is that many workers in this situation think they have marketable skills, until the market says that skill is no longer viable in the particular country.  Many US computer programmers were surprised when those jobs were relocated overseas.  I think autoworkers learn things too on the job and move up, just like civil service clerks, or military personnel.  People count on their jobs and do their best work, and then use extra time to have their lives and family stability. I don't find 60,000 a generous salary for a middle class us family - seems about adequate.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2008, 05:46:06 PM »
I can see that this is an unending discussion.. a good one....... so who does decide that there should be a "bailout"   and if so by what mechanism???   
I had the  misfortune to live in a town that had one overwhelming industry a few years ago...they made Frigidaire appliances.....nearly 30% of the working population of that town worked at one of the factories including many families with two or more employed there......This was a wholly owned subsidiary of GM....it was ruled by the Auto workers union....GM finally said that they were ceasing production because they were no longer competitive...virtually everyone  that was employed there lost the job except for the few that converted the plant to another purpose....thousands of people concentrated in one medium sized town....  what happened..none got a "bailout"..many moved to other cities...there was a rash of late model cars and RVs for sale at bargain prices.....took nearly three years for the economy to rebound...they did survive and move on...
The appliance industry permeates USA and other countries...millions of people have a refrigerator, air conditioner, dishwasher, etc.... but the industry survived..others took over... the world did not end.
When any single industry or group causes so much damage so easily then there is too big a concentration of "power" there and a breakup  could be a good thing in the end.  Let em go bankrupt....if there really is a market for automobiles,,,duh,,, then some others will jump in and those workers with good skills will be back on the job with some short term pain and maybe have learned where the boundaries are for compensation


Nick
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Offline bocker3

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2008, 09:57:26 PM »
Yes, perhaps I was unclear or you have misread me. I think this is a stereotype and I question my own prejudices because of the stereotypes I hold myself.

If you lose your income, however, and have 500,000 in the bank and equity in your second home, the hurt isn't as bad as a "working stiff" living paycheck to paycheck and with a mortgage on the one property. Quite a number of my friends from college made millions in corporate law or banking by their 30's.  Lets be real here, my prejudices are not based only on stereotypes.

I understand what you are trying to say -- but you are making (or I am reading your remarks as making) sweeping generalizations based on where someone lives and their education levele.  There are many, many college educated, urban workers (in finance or other industries), that don't have a half million in the bank or a second home.  They may have some savings and not live paycheck to paycheck, but I don't see them as less deserving of sympathy if they lose their jobs.  However, I am sure that there are autoworkers with nice bank accounts and second homes.  I feel sympathy to almost all who lose their jobs.

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Seadickrun

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2008, 08:02:58 AM »

In short, a unionized auto worker in the U.S., employed with one of the Big 3, average an hourly salary of $28.50 per hour.  This equates to almost $60,000 a year, assuming a 40 hour work week.  This is hardly a meager salary for a group of individuals who, for the most part, are labeled as non educated.  This doesn't include benefits.

$28.50 per hour is nothing compared to the $28 MILLION the CEO made (plus the benefit of flying back and forth from home in Seattle to work in Detroit on a corporate jet).

While I have great respect for your education and understand the dilemma of school loans, do you think for one minute that you, an educated person, could walk onto the assembly line and produce a day's worth of work?  Without injuring yourself?  If your parents had made a decent wage, would you even need to have taken out school loans and start your life in debt?

I am uncomfortable with the term "uneducated".  I look at all of the Harvard and Yale graduates who just took us to war in Iraq, destroying our country in the process.  I see all of the Princeton and Columbia graduates, all of the educated with their MBA's and finance degrees, and the economic crisis they created.  It was NOT the uneducated running Wall Street or CIA intelligence or the White House or even Congress.  It is, unfortunately, the "uneducated masses" who will suffer most for the mistakes of the "educated" and there will be no golden parachutes for the laborer.  If corporations treated their workers like humans, there would be no need for the workers to organize.

All of the policy wonks in America have come, for the most part, from Harvard and Yale. Throughout my lifetime, they keep making the same decisions over and over again hoping for different results.  I think burning these two schools to the ground would go a long way towards transforming the United States into a noble country. 

Offline Dennis

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2008, 10:41:12 AM »
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here.  But since you asked; Yes, I do think I could walk onto an assembly line and produce a day's worth of work without injuring myself.  Of course, I would require proper training, just as any other assembly worker would receive.

And please understand, I'm not STARTING my life in debt. I'm 37 (soon to be 38) years old. And my parents do make a decent wage.  However, my education is my responsibility, not theirs. It was my decision to go back and continue school rather than continue working in the hospitality field for a wage not too far above minimum.  An industry which has evolved over the years since 9-11, and with the advent of technology is not as lucrative as it once was.  Many travel agencies, hotels, airlines, etc. have shut down. It was my choice what field of work to enter into early in my life.  It was my choice to go back to school to learn a marketable skill that will benefit me.  The autoworkers have these same choice available to them.  Their industry has evolved and changed.

And can we really blame those in congress and Washington for sending us to war and destroying the country or should we blame those individuals who voted for them?  And for the banking industry...do we blame the bankers or the individuals who borrowed money irresponsibly and failed to pay back their debt. Or the individuals who failed to read and understand their loan documents, while realizing the consequences should they fail to afford to make that large balloon payment coming due in 5 years.

Is a CEO's salary and their lifestyle really to blame for the fallout of the industry or we just jealous.  Would you turn down such a salary and lifestyle if it were offered to you?

It wasn't my intent to demonize the autoworkers, even though everyone is trying to place blame on the CEO's and the union or even the government.  The autoworkers themselves do have a small part to play in this and they do have choices and life will go on. 


Quote
While I have great respect for your education and understand the dilemma of school loans, do you think for one minute that you, an educated person, could walk onto the assembly line and produce a day's worth of work?  Without injuring yourself?  If your parents had made a decent wage, would you even need to have taken out school loans and start your life in debt?

I am uncomfortable with the term "uneducated".  I look at all of the Harvard and Yale graduates who just took us to war in Iraq, destroying our country in the process.  I see all of the Princeton and Columbia graduates, all of the educated with their MBA's and finance degrees, and the economic crisis they created.  It was NOT the uneducated running Wall Street or CIA intelligence or the White House or even Congress.  It is, unfortunately, the "uneducated masses" who will suffer most for the mistakes of the "educated" and there will be no golden parachutes for the laborer.  If corporations treated their workers like humans, there would be no need for the workers to organize.

All of the policy wonks in America have come, for the most part, from Harvard and Yale. Throughout my lifetime, they keep making the same decisions over and over again hoping for different results.  I think burning these two schools to the ground would go a long way towards transforming the United States into a noble country. 
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 10:42:50 AM by Dennis »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2008, 11:54:32 AM »
I say let them file for bankruptcy.  The impact will be less than what people think.  No one is really interested in seeing GM or Chrysler going out of business.  With bankruptcy protection, the companies will be able to reorganise their business, including amending some of their expensive wage/vender contracts without having the threat of a strike held over their heads.  Or another company, a foreign one most likely, can come in and take them over.

Airlines do this all the time.  Just becuase a company files for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all employees automatically lose their jobs.  I think a government loan is just going to allow the companies to conduct business as usual and 5 years from now we'll be facing these same issues all over again!

Would anyone really want to purchase a vehicle from a company in bankruptcy?  That's the basic argument in DC for NOT allowing that.  The comparison with the airlines is not accurate from what I've heard.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What do Republicans have against middle-class union workers??
« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2008, 11:57:23 AM »
Actually, from everything I've read, bankruptcy for the big 3 would be game over, and nothing like the airline bankruptcies. 

With an airline bankruptcy, they are generally able to continue selling tickets during reorganization because the buyer feels much less risk -- the risk of the airline actually closing down during a your round-trip vacation or business trip is very, very slim.  All airline purchases are very time limited (days or weeks), so many buyers decide the risk is worth it.

With the car companies, folks risk much, much more.  All new car warranties would be void if the car company actually went under.  So buying a new car carries a multi-year risk.  Therefore, if a car company files for Chapter 11, and tries to reorganize, they won't live long enough to do so.  Unlike an airline, their sales will completely dry up, and they'd run out of cash.

This effect is already happening to the big 3. 

indeed
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