“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Union mobsters punish Ford for being successful

The insidious auto-worker unions found a way to punish Ford for not taking bailout money....

From Slate -- The new UAW contract with Ford apparently does not give America's surviving non-bankrupt automaker parity with GM and Chrysler, reports Bloomberg: "The plan doesn’t include cuts to retiree benefits, such as vision coverage, that were granted to GM and Chrysler." Rather, the pain seems even more concentrated on future hires (if there are any) than with the GM/Chrysler deals.

Because Obama handed over on a silver platter, as payback for election support, partial ownership in GM and Chrysler, the dastardly union cretins are hamstringing the only healthy auto maker in the US. It would have been so much better to let the auto makers go completely bankrupt and utterly fail, which is exactly what they and the labor unions deserved. The labor market is so out of whack in Michigan it's preposterous. Auto assembly work should be subject to market forces just like 7-11 clerk, lab technician, and truck driver. Think how much more competitive the American auto companies would be, and how much cheaper car prices would be, if their labor costs were market driven rather than union-contract driven?

I will never again buy a General Motors or Chrysler vehicle for this reason alone. If I buy American, it'll be a Ford as long as they don't take bailout money.


MAS1916 said...

Nice catch on the labor market angle!

It is now really comical to watch the unions protest the health care plan that taxes high-end health care plans.

Unions are the primary driver for moving jobs to China. They will kill the American industries they are attached to.

ed said...

Right you are MAS! The prohibitive cost of factory labor in the US forces jobs to China, Mexico, and other places where the labor markets operate as markets rather than extortion rackets.

Bill Lockhart said...

Cashiers in CA make $50 an hour. $5 an hour less than I made moonlighting as a PHYSICIAN 10 years ago.

ed said...

$50/hour? Seriously? The labor market would probably bear $10/hour at most and there would be tons of people trying to get those jobs. At $10/hour instead of $50, think how much less the products at that store could cost the rest of us. Labor unions are bad for markets, bad for capitalism, and bad for America.

Bill Lockhart said...

One of my favorite things about Reagan was how he handled PATCO- they treatened to go on strike- he said you do and you're fired- they struck-he fired. Problem solved. They should have let the automakers fail so that the Unions could fall with them and a new auto industry could arise with reasonably paid workers to get a decent car at a decent price.

ed said...

Correctomundo, Billy.

Anonymous said...

As a Visteon worker at a Ford facility, let me clue you in on what goes on inside the plant and maybe you'd change your tune about buying Ford products.

First of all, yes, I'm bitter that I was hired in on the two-tier wage system which means I work side-by-side with a Ford worker doing the exact same job and get paid $14/hr to their $28+/hr.

Add insult to injury by the fact that they have benefits and we have virtually none: only a major medical catastrophic illness insurance policy that will help you exit this world, not keep you well while you're in it, plus we have no vacation days (wait, they gave us 2 paid days off that were to last us 2 years), no sick days, no dental, no vision, no sub pay, no short work week (if Ford workers work less than a 40-hr work week they still get paid for 37 1/2) JUST TO NAME A FEW.

But that's not why you wouldn't buy a Ford. Well, maybe you would even after I rant, but rant I'm gonna do anyway: Unions have created the most unethical, disgusting workforce that I have ever seen in my life! I've never seen horrid work ethics actually PROTECTED BY THE UNION as in the UAW!

My jaw's dropped on more than one occassion. A guy passed out on the line with a hypodermic needle in his arm (yes he was a junkie) yet he was able to keep his job! Try that in the real world, folks. Your ass would get booted.

Ford workers abuse the FMLA program. "Oh I had to study for my test," or "I didn't feel like coming in today," or, "I was so hung over!" Pffft! Yeah, I blame the doctors in this scheme too.

On my line alone, the majority of Ford workers miss AT LEAST 1 day per week and the bosses readily cover their asses while disciplining Visteon employees for lesser offenses. The absentee rate amongst Ford workers is astronomical on any given day.

And why the hell not? They'll still be making twice as much as we do as we slog along at our 40-hour workweek. Their exhorbitant wage makes it possible to abuse the system and still live comfortably.

Don't get me started on slothfulness and laziness of the Ford autoworker. Not all of them can be catagorized as such but many, many of them can AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Yes, I blame the union for OUR sad state of affairs (as Visteon employees). During my employment, Visteon agreed to a strike vote FOR our Ford brothers and sisters (with absolutely nothing in it for us) yet when it came time to stick up for their Visteon brothers and sisters come contract time, guess who was left out in the cold to fend for ourselves? You guessed it. Visteon. With a weak-ass union who blames "The International" union for our contract woes. Bullshit.

I value my job. Jobs are hard to find. I bulid quality parts because that is my work ethic. When I see Ford bullshit all around me, I seethe inside but continue to produce quality parts because I always think of the end customer and their safety.

You think that junkie was thinking of the end customer as he shot up on the line?

And don't get me started on whiskey bottles scattered hither and yon and all the beer drinkin' that 'used to' go on in the facility according to Ford employees and management alike.

Factories are a whole different culture. Like the underbelly of the American Workforce.

While Ford didn't take the buyout/bailout, it hasn't been all that rosy for us either. We've been laid off about 3 months so far this year and we're told a permanent layoff is coming in January.

I've never owned a Ford vehicle in my life til I started working there. Bought one thinking, "Hey, I'll be helping us all out." Know what my Ford counterparts are driving? Crossfires, Hummers, Cadillacs, yes, even Toyotas. That's bitin' the hand that feeds ya, now ain't it?

I've always believed in unions "for the working man." I don't think they're useful anymore. I think they're organized bullies gettin' rich off my sweat.