The Truth About Cars » Workers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:20:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Workers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Reuters: Subaru Success Fueled By Marginalized Foreign Workers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128529 Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and […]

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2015-Subaru-Forester

Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and third-class workers. Another program meant to help Chinese citizens learn manufacturing skills in Japan is also implicated in helping Subaru take advantage of marginalized immigrant workers.

Subaru isn’t the only automotive manufacturer named as the same suppliers also feed parts to Honda and Toyota.

The long, detailed report states there are nearly 18,000 foreign residents in Ota, Subaru’s manufacturing home base in Japan, “making it a rare example of multiculturalism in a country stubbornly resistant to immigration” at three times the national average by percentage of population.

However, that immigration isn’t officially of the economic variety as is typically seen between industrialized nations, but of asylum seekers looking for a better life and finding their way into Japan through labor brokers and as indebted trainees. The situation has also been an example of institutionalized racism within Japan.

From Reuters:

In Ota’s auto industry, labor brokers and a manager at a Subaru supplier said ethnicity plays a part in how workers are placed: Japanese workers are at the top of the chain, followed by Brazilians of Japanese descent, who have been in the country longer under a special visa category and can speak the language. They’re followed by South Asians, many of them asylum seekers, and lastly, African workers at the bottom of the pyramid. An executive at one local manufacturer said he favored asylum seekers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, who he said are more willing to take on difficult jobs for lower pay.

“We carefully examined the matter and confirmed that this was not the case,” Subaru said in a written response to questions from Reuters.

The conditions for asylum-seekers-turned-workers in Ota are fueled by Subaru’s popular Forester, Reuters states in the report, running counter to the company’s “Love Promise” to make “a positive impact in the world.” Some workers make as little as minimum wage — $6.60 an hour — before labor brokers take their own cut off the top for housing, utilities and “dispatch fees” for arranging employment.

Many of the employees, typically on short-term contracts, are working illegally while on provisional release from immigration detention centers.

From Reuters:

Asked how people on provisional release were supposed to survive if they were barred from working, Hidetoshi Ogawa, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they should rely on support from their relatives, friends and local charities. He said provisional release was a humanitarian measure to avoid long-term detention, “but in truth, these people should leave the country.”

The terms of employment, conditions of work, and treatment of the workers is fully detailed in the report and not what you’d expect from a supposed First World country like Japan.

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Chrysler’s Drunk, Stoned Autoworkers Are Back Making Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/chryslers-drunk-stoned-autoworkers-are-back-making-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/chryslers-drunk-stoned-autoworkers-are-back-making-cars/#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 16:37:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469790 They are back! Two years ago, a group of Chrysler workers were caught were caught drinking and doobing on their lunch break. Not just that, they were caught on camera by a local TV station. The video went viral, and Chrysler was forthwith associated with quality enhanced by booze and marijuana. 13 workers were fired. […]

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They are back! Two years ago, a group of Chrysler workers were caught were caught drinking and doobing on their lunch break. Not just that, they were caught on camera by a local TV station. The video went viral, and Chrysler was forthwith associated with quality enhanced by booze and marijuana. 13 workers were fired. Yesterday, they got their jobs back, courtesy of Chrysler’s contract with the UAW.

The workers followed a grievance procedure process outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers. The matter went to arbitration. Two years later, an arbitrator decided in the workers’ favor, citing “insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold the dismissals.”  Apparently, a video wasn’t good enough.

In a statement, Chrysler says it does not agree with the decision. However, the company is “in the tough spot of having to accept the arbitrator’s decision, just as the Union must when the ruling is in the favor of the company.”

The UAW has not commented.

Moral: If you want to drink and smoke dope on your lunch break, the union makes you strong.

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CAW Mulling Strikes At All Three Automakers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/caw-mulling-strikes-at-all-three-automakers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/caw-mulling-strikes-at-all-three-automakers/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 17:05:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459065 A report by Reuters suggests that the Canadian Auto Worker’s union may take the unprecedented step of striking at the plants of all three domestic automakers. Traditionally, the union targets one company for bargaining and a possible strike, and that sets the precedent for contracts with the other two. This round of negotiations has been […]

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A report by Reuters suggests that the Canadian Auto Worker’s union may take the unprecedented step of striking at the plants of all three domestic automakers.

Traditionally, the union targets one company for bargaining and a possible strike, and that sets the precedent for contracts with the other two. This round of negotiations has been particularly tense; labor costs in Canada are considered to be the highest in the world, and auto makers are looking to bring them down to the level offered in the United States.

Reuters sums up the matter, stating

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) said strike committees will be formed by local unions at Ford of Canada, General Motors of Canada and Chrysler Canada this week, ahead of the union’s strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. eastern (0359 GMT) on September 17.

“It is our hope and intention to reach an agreement with at least one of the three companies before the deadline,” the union said in a leaflet distributed to members. “We must be prepared, though, to shut down operations at all three, should we be unable to reach an agreement.”

The unions are demanding that no more concessions be made on their end, in light of their sacrifices made during the bailout period contract negotiations. Compromises, such as profit sharing, have been floated by the auto makers, but only recently has the CAW changed their hardline stance against it.

TTAC readers with experience working in auto plants have suggested that a strike won’t happen, and that negotiations will eventually lead to an equitable settlement. It’s likely that talk of a strike at all three automakers is simply rhetoric in the run-up to more intense negotiations.

Reuters quotes Gary Beck, chairman of the CAW’s Ford master bargaining committee as stating

“We have been sitting down with all three companies, and no one has taken the initiative to lead,” he said. “This will, hopefully, wake them up.”

In our eyes, that’s a fairly strong piece of evidence to support the above theory.

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Ford Buyout Offer Draws Little Interest http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/ford-buyout-offer-draws-little-interest/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/ford-buyout-offer-draws-little-interest/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 15:36:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=342529 Ford may be trying to do their bit about overcapacity issues, but they’re having little success with it. The Freep reports that a buyout program by Ford, which was offered to 41,000 hourly workers, has few takers. Very few. The program was issued on December the 17th and due to expire on Friday the 22nd of […]

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Keep on truckin' (courtesy:mlive.com)

Ford may be trying to do their bit about overcapacity issues, but they’re having little success with it. The Freep reports that a buyout program by Ford, which was offered to 41,000 hourly workers, has few takers. Very few. The program was issued on December the 17th and due to expire on Friday the 22nd of January. “They’ve offered it so many times, the ones that wanted them already took them,” said Rocky Comito, president of UAW Local 862. The deal offers early retirement or a buyout lump sum of between $20,000 to $50,000 plus either a voucher for $25,000 or $20,000 for a new vehicle. Presumably, Mexican Fusions won’t be high on their shopping list. However, Ford may have a new problem surfacing. Due to Ford’s rising stock price, higher sales and substantial profits, workers will start to see the current buyout package as small and may hang on for a better deal. Couple that with the dour economic climate & low prospects of finding another job and that’s even less reason to take the buyout. “It doesn’t do much for people,” said Jeff Terry, president of UAW Local 228. Once again, the mere perception of relative success at Ford turns out to hurt as much as it helps.

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