What Will GM Do About the American Axle Strike?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
what will gm do about the american axle strike

In less than a week, GM will run out of the parts it " found" to keep the Malibu production line running. At that point, they're left with a dilemma: either shut down production on one of their better-selling vehicles or get involved in the UAW/American Axle strike negotiations. After sinking more than $7.5b into Delphi to help them settle a strike and restructure (they have a few billion more to pay to bail Delphi out of Chapter 11), The General may be reluctant to get involved with another supplier. On the other hand, they can't keep closing factories– now that the closures are expanding past slow-selling trucks. If GM decides to intervene, it could offer to "buy down" AA workers with one-time bonuses from their seemingly bottomless cash stash. Or, they could offer to let AA workers transfer to GM where they'd retain their union seniority and pay, so AA could hire new, lower-paid workers. Anyway GM looks at this, they lose.

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  • Gamper Gamper on Apr 14, 2008

    American Axle is, if I am not mistaken, a former GM unit which was spun off. I believe it used to be called Chevrolet Gear and Axle. Anyway, it would be a mistake for GM to set a precident for bailing out suppliers and or non-GM UAW workers. GM was contractually on the hook for Delphi workers wages and benefits, an agreement that was made when GM spun off its parts subsidiary. This is a different story. You already have instances where suppliers are holding automakers hostage (Plastech v. Chrysler), now UAW workers nationwide are going to hold the automakers hostage to maintain their outrageously high wages and benefits? These tactics by suppliers and the UAW will only hasten the outsourcing of jobs and contracts to China, India, etc. I certainly wouldnt blame them.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Apr 14, 2008

    $26/hr is outrageous? This better not leak out to my boss, he might want to replace me.

  • Menno Menno on Apr 14, 2008

    $28 an hour for, let's be honest, a factory rat job is pretty high considering the total package of costs for the employer is more like $70 per hour. We're not talking brain surgery. We're not even talking about a level of skill required of someone such as an RN (nurse). We're talking the equivalent of a nurse's aide, here, for better than RN money. As for some of these folks (not at AmAxle) in the auto industry who are "willing and able" to just sit and play cards at a plant while on the "jobs bank", that just has managed to make sure that fewer and fewer Americans have much sympathy for them. Now the flip side. It's absolutely outrageous that the CEO of AmAxle is paid some $10 million over the past few years. The big-wigs don't mind raking in the big bucks then when they decide it's time to pare the wages, they likewise don't seem to be willing to step up to the plate themselves and take a 50% cut in take-home, with a few notable exceptions like Benson Ford and (earlier decades) Lee Iacocca. Damn sight easier to live on $5 million than it is $14 an hour. Perhaps the brainiacs in Washington should spend less time taxing the crap out of us, dreaming up more and more ways of taking away our civil rights for the supposed sake of our safety in the ongoing war on terror and step back and figure out why our country is going to the crapper. Starting out with culling the billions of dollars wasted on illegal aliens for prison (300% more likely to be in prison than the majority of Americans by race), and having illegal aliens receiving more and better care than average working Americans at hospitals paid by tax money. Next, we could bring our troops home from 130 nations in the world and let the nations defend themselves from whatever threats they might or might not have. Who made the United States the police force of the world, anyway? Certainly Israel, South Korea, Japan, Europe and the UK are wealthy enough to defend themselves. Perhaps they could also figure out in Washington DC that getting rid of the IRS and putting legal and constitutional tariffs into place would start to even the playing field a bit in regards to making it profitable for companies to actually manufacture items in America for Americans with American labor. You know, by actually leaving the American dream to flourish instead of taxing (bleeding) it to death. Certainly Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru et al are willing and able to do so and make a profit. Survival of the fittest, GM always crowed; that's why the "independent auto makers" failed. Their executives would explain if asked that it wasn't GM and Ford dealers being forced to take hundreds of un-ordered cars in the car wars of 1954-1955 and being forced to sell them at $20 over cost, nearly making ruination for Chrysler, American Motors and making for the ruination of the Hudson, Nash, Packard, eventually Studebaker, Kaiser and Willys brands. In reality, GM and Ford and Chrysler too, deserve the fate that they have made for themselves. No unfair competition this time - they've dug their own graves. We could see electronics, household goods, clothing and other essential production coming home to America instead of importing everything. But then, I'm just some dummy who believes in God and owns a gun, earns my own daily bread and pays my outrageous taxes. I'm no "smart guy" who has everything all figured out like the Obama-nation. http://www.renewamerica.us/news/080413fischer.htm

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Apr 14, 2008

    $28/hr was outrageous.....in 1990. Gas prices, up. Heat and utility prices, up. Food prices, up. Property taxes, up. Medical premiums and expenses, up. Mortgages and rent, up (even though the value of the house that is mortgaged is down) Tuition for private schools, up. And how are all of those needs going to be met when the paycheck goes down? I find it ironic that you desire a return of manufactured goods to American factories, yet you blithely dismiss the people who make these goods as undeserving of their salary based on an arbitrary guesstimate of what a fair salary is.