By on September 14, 2012

As negotiations between the Big Three and the CAW continue to grind away, Sergio Marchionne had more strong language for the union.

Speaking at a charity event for the United Way in Detroit, Marchionne told Reuters

“The facts are the facts and I think that ignoring them or sweeping them under the carpet is not going to make anybody’s life better…”My sincere hope is that we all come to the stark realization of where we are and then we move it on from here,” 

Marchionne wouldn’t elaborate on his comments, but having already developed a reputation as being the toughest of the Big Three negotiators, Chrysler is likely digging in their heels for a fight – but maybe not a strike.

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26 Comments on “Marchione: CAW Must Come To “Stark Realization” Of The Facts...”

  • avatar

    The CAW has got to plug their nose and take the medicine.

    Sergio’s simply telling it like it is–enough of the ignoring of the reality that drove the domestic car manufacturing to the dismal state that it’s in today.

    A few weeks ago, it was the retiree’s that were goading the CAW to get their benefits restored in this round…. give me a break.

    • 0 avatar

      Small correction: Canada doesn’t have a “domestic” auto industry. It’s mostly American or Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Do the CAW/manufacturers have a contractual obligation for retiree benefits or did the retirees get thrown under the bus? It might be ugly and/or objectionable to some, but a contract is a contract. If this issue goes to court lawyers will make money off of both sides.

  • avatar

    I was not aware that Sergio was going to star in a remake of “The Santa Clause”. Clean yourself up man!

    Once again Sergio is one of the few in the North American market speaking truth.

    • 0 avatar


      Off-topic (kind of), but I commend you on your response regarding teachers and their unions the other day.

      I’m happy and proud to say our daughter and our new son-in-law are both dedicated teachers and bust their humps every day and actually care about what they do and how they do it.

      Well said.

      • 0 avatar

        I have a family full of educators. Your daughter and son in law are sadly part of a minority in teacher’s unions. Most of them truly live in a world that is a bubble far bigger and more rosy colored than any auto-worker union.

        While I love my family and we generally get a long, but gatherings some times play out with someone whining about some entitlement and end with 3-4 career teachers ganging up on me repeating, “You’re wrong! you’re just wrong! You don’t understand!”.

        Maybe I don’t understand. I work in an environment where I’m rewarded solely on merit.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Danio I used to be in a trade union. We had to do a quality job, on time, and on budget. You had to have classroom training and hours on the jobsite to move to the next level. My work was inspected by the company, I often worked as a subcontractor; and my work was often inspected by govt inspectors. Won’t do the training?, come to work?, stupid?, or just lazy? Have fun at your new career. I was an iron-worker and we followed safety rules like religion. I’m not kvetching at you personally; the “A union is a union” mentality on here irks me.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Thousands of U.S. workers will jump at the chance to do the jobs for the wages the CAW is rejecting. If it doesn’t come to it’s senses they will get that opportunity. Ford has already closed the St. Thomas plant and GM is closing another Oshawa plant. The handwriting on the wall is saying “Goodbye.”

    • 0 avatar

      I wish the UAW had the balls to say so publicly , “Hey we’ll do the job if they won’t”

      But International Solidarity with their union brothers will prevent that.

      • 0 avatar

        “But International Solidarity with their union brothers will prevent that.”

        If there was actual, international solidarity, you can bet unions would be illegal. The very idea of transnational labour and collective bargaining scares the crap out business.

        The Marchionne is even able to say any of this is evidence that solidarity is barely past the plant level.

      • 0 avatar


        That’s because it’s unreasonable.

        Don’t like your job? Leave. Don’t like your pay? Leave. Like the rest of us.

        Whining and b*tching for more money and more benefits is obnoxious and childish. Instead of improving the quality of the worker, they’re encouraging the exact opposite, all the while demanding more money.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        There’s not International Solidarity within the AFL-CIO. Seems some trade unions are (gasp) are sending money to the Republicans. We always knew we were better :P

      • 0 avatar

        “Don’t like your job? Leave. Don’t like your pay? Leave. Like the rest of us.”

        When labour can move from country to country with relatively few barriers then you will have a point, and this is why I fully support open borders.

        But right now, capital is far, far more freedom to move than labour does.

        “Whining and b*tching for more money and more benefits is obnoxious and childish.”

        By that metric, lobbying is childish and rentier capitalism is the ultimate in “money for nothing” infantilism.

        So again, why the dual standard? Why is corporate personhood, free trade and lobbying okay, but collective bargaining, open borders and labour action not? The answer: it isn’t. You just don’t like unions.

        And that’s okay. I don’t like capitalists, but at least recognize the inherent unfairness of the situation. Marchionne et al hold most of the cards in these situations.

      • 0 avatar


        Lobbying is gross, too.

        Who gives me my paycheck is in an industry that has a ton of lobbying. I don’t agree with it, but then again I personally don’t do it.

        The point is, I can’t go to some magical third party and demand I get paid 25% more money to do the same, or less, work, and neither should anybody else. It’s stupid, unrealistic and what drove the big three to bankruptcy.

        The cost of health care can’t be overlooked, either, and that, too, was obtained by use of unions.

      • 0 avatar

        “The point is, I can’t go to some magical third party and demand I get paid 25% more money to do the same, or less, work, and neither should anybody else.”

        Sure there is, only it’s not a third party. It’s your employer.

        If you think you’re worth 25% more than they’re paying you, then say you want 25% more or you quit.

        I’ve had considerable success with this technique, as have many friends and colleagues. You’ll never know what you’re truly worth to your employer until they see you headed towards the door and decide that they want to keep you.

      • 0 avatar

        Lobbying = petitioning the government for redress of grievances.

  • avatar

    There’s always somewhere else that will do a job for cheaper that manufacturers have to “compete” with.
    Some mythical factory in some far off land that will work for $1 less an hour so give us some concessions and tax breaks.
    Where in the USA is this mythical factory? Pretty much all of Chrysler’s USA plants are running at capacity.
    Amazing how many folks want to support something that is directly counter to their best interests.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      You’re being naive. It wouldn’t be the first time a company has signed a union contract containing unacceptable terms and immediately started planning closing the plant.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure that the CAW is asking for more, I think they are trying to save what they have, there is quite a difference between the two.

    Like it or not, a deal is a deal (contract), and guess what, the automakers now want to renege on that deal.

    I made a deal (contract) with a dealership to repair my car. they did not do the work that was promised, yet I was FORCED BY THE COURTS to pay for improper and undone work, because I agreed to the deal (contract).

    So, if I as an individual, am forced to abide by the terms of an agreement I willingly entered into, why shouldn’t the automakers be held to the same terms of the law?

    Or is the law solely dependent on the amount of cash you have to spend on legal fees?

  • avatar

    Just like gambling casinos, the house always wins So does management.

    The unions just don’t see that, there is mistrust. They should know that regardless of how much a union may “win”, it’s only as good a deal until the plant closes, the company goes out of business or sells for “assets only” and everyone loses.

    The “fat cats” always get theirs, right or wrong. The sooner everyone understands that and accepts that, the better. For better or for worse…

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Management doesn’t always win. Lots of businesses fail and lots of managers are terminated from their jobs. I can hop on board and point out some I thought should have been gone, too, though!

      No doubt we know about the high profile hot shots who negotiated huge severance agreements in advance of taking the jobs, but that is no different than talent in entertainment and sports, and is more the exception than the rule in industry.

      It is wise to recognize that the rich will always figure out how to hold onto their wealth, even if it means investing in businesses in low cost locales and nations.

  • avatar

    So Sergio wants the spread of shitty jobs ?
    Wait until the hard reality will kick in (already started) that the X-ers and Y-ers don’t have money.
    That flat of wages since ’73 onward has only increased debt.

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