Opel Knows What The EU Likes
Imagine you’re a Belgian worker at GM’s plant in Antwerp. You’ve had to endure jokes about being the “sick man” of GM Europe’s family and had the sword of Damocles hanging over you. You then get told that you’re being shut down at a time when the economy is fragile, at best. How would you feel? Bad? Angry? Helpless? Well, GM’s just about you kick you while you’re down. The BBC reports that GM Europe are going to create an extra 700 jobs at their plant at Gilwice, Poland. But wait! There’s more! The reason these new jobs have come about is because they want to increase production of GM’s new Astra model, the very car which GM Antwerp made. The Gilwice plant will now operate 24 hours a day over three shifts. Ulrich Weber, Opel Spokesperson, told the BBC that “This has been planned for a long time, and will be in operation by the middle of the year,”. I’m sure that’ll come as some comfort for the Belgian employees. However, these new jobs in Poland don’t represent a change of heart from Vauxhall/Opel. They re-iterated their plans to cut 8,300 jobs across Europe. And by “across Europe” they mean those jobs in those expensive countries like Germany, Spain and The U.K.
There are many reasons that Unions came to be. The main reason was for worker protection and safety. Corporations were out of control, similar to the way conditions are in so many counties around the world. Unions, or something like a union, are the direct outcome of corporate abuse of workers. Now, with Corporations given the privilege/power to buy elections, I can imagine that the anti-union laws will get even stronger. Reagan was the beginning of the end of any protection for workers (think Air Traffic Controllers) in America.
This reminds me of IBM, who in the midst of laying off thousands of American professionals offered them jobs at their expanding operations in India -- at Indian pay scales. Jerks.
With the Politicians being financed by the large corporations, laws have been changed to allow IBM, GM, BofA and others to send American jobs and American money elsewhere in their crusade to destroy the American unions. This is what has happened since Americans started being fooled by "conservatives". They say one thing and do another (both parties).
If you own a piece of these corporations, then the corporations work for you. In such cases, you do have a voice in shareholder meeting to express your discontent about executive pay or whatever else bothers you. BUT, in all instances when you keep your mouth shut or go along with union or executive abuse, then you ought to swallow hard and let these corporations act in the best interest of their owners. As far as the worker is concerned, if he/she thinks they are being exploited, then quit and find a better job. NOBODY owes you a living.