By on October 11, 2019

Our last update on the GM-UAW strike revolved around union reps playing hardball on issues like health care, wages, temporary employees, skilled trades, and job security. The United Auto Workers sent General Motors’ proposals back, holding its nose in disapproval.

With the strike now roughly one month deep and looking like it may disrupt the automaker’s well-laid plans, GM is firing back by suggesting the workers’ union is intentionally wasting everybody’s time. The company’s latest contract offer was issued Monday, with the union having yet to offer any formal feedback. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra even joined negotiations on Wednesday in an effort to speed up discussions. But the UAW has said it will only issue a counter proposal after five separate committees address a “series of issues” and the automaker publicly furnishes its suggestions.

“We object to having bargaining placed on hold pending a resolution of these five areas,” Scott Sandefur, GM’s vice president of North American labor relations, wrote to UAW Vice President Terry Dittes on Thursday. “As we have urged repeatedly, we should engage in bargaining over all issues around-the-clock to get an agreement.” 

The document was later intercepted by Bloomberg, and seems to indicate Barra’s meeting with Dittes and UAW President Gary Jones earlier in the week could have gone better.

From Bloomberg:

The messages mark a turning point for GM in the fourth week of a strike that’s halted production at 34 U.S. plants and disrupted output at factories in Mexico and Canada. While GM publicly released details of its first formal offer to the union on Sept. 15 — the day the UAW announced a walkout — the company had kept a lid on public criticism of union leaders, who themselves are dealing with a credibility crisis linked to a federal corruption investigation. GM is now upping the pressure on UAW negotiators in a bid to clinch an agreement.

GM’s latest offer boosts wages and lump-sum payments, and preserves health care benefits, Gerald Johnson, the automaker’s executive vice president of manufacturing, wrote to employees Friday. It enhances profit-sharing, including by lifting the cap on how much is paid out based on the company’s earnings. UAW members would receive bigger ratification bonuses than in 2015, when each worker was paid $8,000 signing bonuses. And the offer gives temporary workers a clear path to permanent status, Johnson said.

“We have advised the union that it’s critical that we get back to producing quality vehicles for our customers,” he wrote.

Even before the strike began, Dittes has repeatedly suggested that one of the biggest issues for the UAW is job security. GM has reduced its work force at several factories and workers are apprehensive that they could endure the same fate as Lordstown Assembly — which never got a replacement for the Chevrolet Cruze and ended up being idled. However the company has since hinted that there may be a battery plant moving into Lordstown, offering the potential promise of replacement jobs.

General Motors has also proposed investing $7 billion into U.S. facilities it said would support over 5,000 assignments and is attempting to define a pathway for temporary workers to attain full-time status. Union sources have also claimed that the most-recent health care plan being offered has received few complaints.

Consider that the silver lining. Overall, negotiations are still a bit of a mess and all sides are suffering. GM shares have fallen 11 percent since the strike began and analysts believe the company is closing in on a $1 billion profit loss. Meanwhile, direct wage losses for all employees have already surpassed $400 million and continue to climb.

 

[Image: Linda Parton/Shutterstock]

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152 Comments on “UAW Strike: General Motors Reportedly Fed Up...”


  • avatar

    since 2007, GM has cut 25,000 US hourly employees. job security is critical.

    forget raises and bonuses. Tier One for Everyone!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Job security is the last thing GM will grant in a contract.

      GM didn’t cut those 25k workers because they didn’t like them; they were cut because they were no longer needed.

      GM isn’t running a charity jobs program; its customers demand competitive prices, and its shareholders demand high share performance. Promising jobs to unneeded workers undermines both of those principles.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        It isn’t that they no longer needed them, SCE to AUX, it’s that they could no longer AFFORD them. That’s why they went bankrupt 11 years ago.

        Sure, GM management has made many mistakes; letting the union run roughshod over their budget was just one of those mistakes.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Vulpine: That’s what I meant, but really the two go hand in hand. Once you can’t afford your employees, then you find ways to no longer need them.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Robotics is the answer. Replace assembly line workers with robots.

            That will eliminate Quality Control checkers as well.

            Every industry that has replaced the human variable with robots has been a winner, seen greater profits, more productivity, less down time, fewer sick outs, lower expenses and overhead; the list of successes is loooooong.

            Replace humans with robots wherever you can.

            Seriously!

          • 0 avatar

            “Replace assembly line workers with robots.”

            I would suggest replacing consumers with robots too. Because only robots will be able to afford buying new car.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            >>That will eliminate Quality Control checkers as well.<<

            @highdesertcat

            Watching a build film from a very highly automated plant, like VW Wolfsburg, the largest number of people I see, outside of the final assembly line, appear to be QC checkers. While human assembly errors are random, a robot that gets out of adjustment will make a lot of identical errors in a hurry, so they have a lot of people checking the robot's work.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Steve203, I’m a great fan of “How It’s Made” and I was referring to the QC/QA work being done by cameras and rejection routines as demonstrated in a number of their production videos.

            The stuff that roboticized QA/QC can do in all production disciplines, among them the critical medical instruments field, is phenomenal, all while displacing the human element.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            @highdesertcat

            >> I’m a great fan of “How It’s Made” and I was referring to the QC/QA work being done by cameras and rejection routines as demonstrated in a number of their production videos.<<

            Then that technology is probably on the way for plants in high labor cost environments like Wolfsburg. What I saw the QC people doing was mostly using feeler gauges to measure panel gaps and using devices to measure paint thickness, as well as generally eyeballing the car bodies.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Understood, and none too soon, IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          That’s not why they went bankrupt. They stopped efficient car investment in favor of high margin (because of slack safety and pollution regs) SUVs. When gas prices went up – they were left with their dicks in there hands. These were management decisions.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Fuel prices had nothing to do with it (wives tale).

            Enormous pickup truck profits increasingly hid “Big 3” inefficient and sloppy business practices, growing legacy costs, and others.

            When the housing boom ate dirt, contractors, flippers, etc, stopped buying pickups, personal and otherwise (among other things). F-series sales in 2009, F-150 to F-450 pickups dropped to 412K (from 901K in 2005). And they’re the sales leaders.

            166K Mustang sales in 2006, and just 66K in 2009. They’re not exactly bought for fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Simple observation proves you wrong, DM. While I might agree that the housing thing may have been part of it, that certainly doesn’t explain why pickup trucks–often relatively new trucks–could be found en-masse in almost every used car lot at well below market prices while much smaller, fuel-efficient cars simply flowed through the showrooms–selling almost as fast as they arrived. We saw a similar event right around Y2K when oil prices spiked and the economy fell.

            And yes, Mustangs performed similarly around those times.

          • 0 avatar
            Snooder

            And the reason they focused on high margin vehicles is because they could bury high legacy costs in those high margins.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Thanks for the anecdotal info! But got facts?

            The Corolla sold 387K in 2006 and 296K in 2009. If there were some minor bright spots for economy cars in the same time frame, most suffered lost sales to a smaller or greater degree. So did any segments or specific vehicles enjoy ‘worth mentioning’ increases what so ever?

            If you’re like most (misinformed), they just love to hear themselves bark about how The Big 3 dummies didn’t learn anything from the last bankruptcy snafu fubar go around.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Most of those took a buyout or retired, both with plump cash packages to leave or retire early.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Fire em all. The gall of these adult children to complain and demand more is astounding. You put in a headlight switch, there is no reason you should be paid what you currently are.

    Get people in there that will appreciate having a job.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Yet millenials who design something as trivial as video games should be paid exponentially more, amiright?

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Arbeit macht frei !!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Nah, they know their auto assembly careers are circling the drain. Since it takes a while to set up assembly in Mexico/China/etc, might as well go for broke.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      “You put in a headlight switch, there is no reason you should be paid what you currently are.”

      Exactly. We all would love to make more money but it’s hard to see the value in what these people do. Essentially a non skilled position. $8k sign on bonus? Seriously? I’ve been involved in skilled trades 20+ years, guys aren’t even getting that to relocate across country. If the UAW isn’t honest with themselves about their actual worth they’re going to negotiate themselves right out of existence.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    “the strike now roughly one month deep and looking like it may disrupt the automaker’s well-laid plans”

    Well fortunately, GM’s best laid plans are usually full of fault, and five years down the road look quite stupid and short-sighted. And they fire the first person to say that.

    GM management has done more damage to the company throughout history than any ‘asked for items’ on a UAW bargaining table.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I suppose management did agree at some point to the UAW entitlements that eventually bankrupted them. Stupid of them for caving.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        That event goes back to a different era. GM had 50% of the market and was making money hand over fist. Even in recessions, the company was making net profits:

        “The General Motors Corporation reported yesterday that profit for the fourth quarter of 1973 fell 22 per cent to $517‐million, equal to $1.80 a common share, from $667‐million, or $2.32 a share, the year before.” -New York Times 2/01/1974

        GM could easily afford the concessions in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, before imports took a huge chunk of the market. The market has changed, but the UAW’s contract demands haven’t.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …GM management has done more damage to the company throughout history than any ‘asked for items’ on a UAW bargaining table…

      This. GM (at least back to the Vega) produced quite a number of products that were a disaster because they were either bean-counted to death or pushed into the market before they were ready. Neither of them had anything to do with the workers. Factories rewarded production managers for higher output which eroded assembly quality and reliability. GM would run from the responsibility of their problems as soon as the warranty ran out and shafted the customer. This went on for at least two decades and GM hemorrhaged customers who fled to the Japanese. Those Japanese companies were pretty liberal with goodwill warranty extensions to boot. Not too much of this can be put at the feet of the workers. If you say the costs of those unionized workers caused GM to do this to be profitable, well, there’s a nice bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it. GM’s corporate mentality was such that no profit was ever enough.

      …GM could easily afford the concessions in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, before imports took a huge chunk of the market. The market has changed, but the UAW’s contract demands haven’t…

      See above. Those market share losses are on the lap of GM itself – not the guys/gals working on the floor.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        Husky, none of that addresses the fact the UAW has historically demanded much more than they are worth.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Back when a typical high-paying job paid less than $10/hour, the UAW was pushing $25/hour. Think about it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…pushing $25/hour. Think about it…”

            Bingo! It’s just like how you were saying about “inefficiencies” within the industry. Oh wait, that was me!

            They can overpay employees and overcharge for cars, and it may work for a while, but it’ll catch up with them.

            The automaker may feel justified, but the marketplace will set them straight.

            They can pay employees 2X the (Toyota) going rate, all kinds of perks, except those employees will start to feel that’s exactly what they’re worth and demand even more. And it’s partly because most try to live beyond their means, no matter what they earn, but that’s a different story.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: For once I agree with you.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    The union: we’re going to shut down all of your US assembly plants until we get what we want.

    Also the union: why aren’t you putting more work in US assembly plants?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Kabuki theatre.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    The UAW will continue to strike until GM convinces VW into joining the UAW.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    In the late 1970s, when GM US employment peaked at nearly 700,000 people, a GM strike could harm the economy. Having already lost around 90% of the US jobs, no one (except GM employees) cares if the other 10% of jobs are lost. Mary Barra and the UAW, a match made in hell. UAW wants to extort more cash from a dying GM. Yes, even GE made a lot of cash until the bottom fell out.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    During the decades of D3 dominance it did not matter how much GM paid their auto workers, as long as it was comparable to Ford and Chrysler. That was the competition. Their costs remained similar.

    However the demand for blue collar workers and resultant high blue collar wages during the USA’s half-century of dominance, helped to create a very strong American economy. And the world’s highest standard of living and greatest social mobility rates.

    The American standard of living is no longer #1. Social mobility in the USA is now far below many other nations. And America’s economic dominance (on which its military dominance depends) is now being challenged.

    GM downloaded some of its burdens on its workers/retirees. The UAW agreed to the use of large number of temporary workers. And changes to the pay structure grid, creating lower wages for new hires.

    The world has changed and it appears that the UAW changed in a much more progressive manner than did GM’s management.

    Management at GM still cannot figure out if it is punched or bored. Just what does Cadillac stand for? Is Buick a Chinese vehicle? Just what kind of vehicles do Europeans want to buy? GM’s management seems to have no idea regarding any of these.

    The UAW will eventually reduce their demands on probably 3 of these 4 issues. However think of how anxious the UAW and their GM workers must be knowing that their livelihood depends on the ‘no nothings’ in GM’s executive suites. Maybe the workers are better off trying to get as much as they possibly can, as quickly as possible?

    • 0 avatar

      This is a rare time in history that the unions are almost absolved from blame. This mess was started solely by “short-term” Barra and her unrealistic quick rich electric car scheme. She is living in a fools paradise if she thinks GM buyers will purchase mostly electric vehicles. Heck, GM can barely sell 15,000 Bolts a year, which makes it GM’s poorest selling vehicle. Even the Impala and XTS outsell the Bolt.

      This whole thing is utter madness.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        This mess actually goes back to the 1940s, and the postwar economic boom. After some massive strikes in the early 1950s, the Detroit three decided to buy off the UAW with contract concessions unheard of before the war.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    As long as the taxpayer isn’t on the hook for bailing out the union or GM, let them have their fight.

    I don’t think most people care about this strike or even know it’s happening. Look at the headlines over the last few weeks in newspapers. Outside of a few states, the strike seems to be getting ignored.

    We talk about it here, but outside of blogs like this, it’s page 11 news.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    I’ll never forget watching a documentary on a soon to be laid off GM autoworker in the early 1980s, with my Dad. Dad milked 28 cows and farmed all by himself, my mother unable to do much for health reasons & I was pretty young. We were far from well to do.

    Towards the end of the show, the family pulls up to their house and gets out of a late model Chevy Citation. Dad gets up from his chair and leaves the room, mumbling something to the effect of “Yeah, drivin’ a new car. Tell me how tough you got it.”

  • avatar
    moparman42434445

    GM should show these morons the door and hire a new work force made up of no union workers as they are the reason car & truck prices are so rediculously high…….as a matter of fact the entire auto industry should can all the union workers and hire a completely new workforce made up of people who would actually appreciate having a great paying job thereby allowing the auto manufacturers to substantially reduce prices making them much more competitive with foreign automakers!!!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    there was time when a GM strike would have had big economic effect, but not anymore.

    there’s nothing GM makes that can’t be gotten elsewhere and better to boot

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    This 4 year ritual is so dumb for everyone. Such a waste of time and money.

    I like people to have good work.

    But the current business and legal reality is not beneficial to the union. They really don’t have much of a leg to stand on. We can debate policies, trade,etc but as of today if american factories aren’t competitive they can have vehicles moved to Mexico or China etc.

    So I don’t know the ins and outs but I do know anything too high for the company and hello Mexico.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Yes, yes, show them the door!

    Let’s say it takes a carmaker FORTY hours to make a car or truck (it varies from 20 to 50 typically).

    I read GM’s hourly costs (including benefits) in the USA is $63 an hour, about $13 higher than Toyota’s AMERICAN labor costs.

    So, 40 x 63 = $2520 in labor to build that car or truck. If GM could use slave labor in the USA, it would cost $2500 less to make. So the price would drop by say, $5000. (maybe not. Even slaves have to eat and sleep, so some one would have to cover that cost)

    But wait, the Mexican cars are made with workers making A LOT less. IF they make $10 / hour with benefits, GM has already cut their labor cost on that nice Silverado or Equinox by a cool $2000. And still, they cost a lot, don’t they?

    The average GM product transaction price is around $35,000 (or is that the AVERAGE of everyone? A lot of money IMO).

    On the other hand, I always enjoy Arthur’s comments. Well-thought, composed, and logical. Thanks!

    And I empathize with the farmer–my dad felt the same on the one hand. On the other, except for a new 67 Beetle, he would buy only American cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Thanks for using numbers rather than the vitriol we see too often from some others.

      And thanks for the compliment.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ..But wait, the Mexican cars are made with workers making A LOT less. IF they make $10 / hour with benefits, GM has already cut their labor cost on that nice Silverado or Equinox by a cool $2000. And still, they cost a lot, don’t they?..

      Of course they do. Corporate America is about itself, not those who enable them to make their company profitable. Those two groups – those who provide the product and those who buy them – were shafted for years. It takes a lot of effort to throw away so much market share. Workers are not blameless; no doubt there was a lot of indifference in assembly at times. But you have to ask why is that the case. Sure there are some who don’t care regardless, but that is clearly the minority. Maybe Mikey could weigh in on the worker’s mindset on the factory floor…

  • avatar
    Steve203

    Job security is a big issue. Even though GM still has a larger market share than Ford or FCA, GM has fewer UAW workers, something like 8-9,000 fewer than Ford and something like 1500 fewer than FCA.

    A piece on the website of one of the local Detroit TV stations earlier this morning said the union is pushing for all the Mexican plants to be closed, with the work moved back to the US, and electric car programs to be shut down. (I presume because electric cars are supposed to require fewer man/hours to build)

    Moving all Mexican production to the US would probably be practicable, given Lordstown is idle, D-Ham is supposed to be idled this coming January, Warren transmission is idle, and Fairfax, Lansing Grand River and Orion are all running at 50% of capacity or less, so GM has plenty of places to build the products that currently come from Mexico.

    The D2 platform Equinox and Terrain could be moved from San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe to Lordstown, where the D2 platform Cruz was built. The Gamma II platform Trax could be moved from San Luis Potosí to Orion, where the Gamma II based Sonic is built. The C1 Blazer could move to Spring Hill, where the C1 Acadia/XT5/XT6 are built, or Lansing Delta Township, where the C1 Traverse and Enclave are built. D-Ham could be reconfigured to build the Silverado to replace Silao Assembly.

    Of course, GM’s profits would be severely pinched by paying middle class wages, vs Mexican rates.

    If GM did it, they would make brownie points with the POTUS.

    Are brownie points worth more than cash?

    Is the union expecting Presidential support and overplaying it’s hand?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      GM will never put job security in a contract again. It destroys their ability to load balance their plants and products, forcing them to pay people to do nothing just to honor a contract.

      At best, “job security” might mean a laid off worker will be given the option to move 4 hours away.

      Serious question: I would like to know what other workers in the US have contractually-guaranteed job security, and for how long. I can’t think of any.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        >>At best, “job security” might mean a laid off worker will be given the option to move 4 hours away.<<

        I don't think they are asking for each worker to have a guaranteed job for life, but, rather, asking that GM stop offshoring production and bring back what has been offshored, which is the same thing the POTUS has been making speeches about. If production was moved from Mexico to the US as I laid out, the people in Lordstown and D-Ham would not be looking for another job, a job that probably has lower pay and no retirement benefits.

        • 0 avatar
          ttiguy

          “If production was moved from Mexico to the US as I laid out”

          Yeah but your plan is the stupidest, more ignorant plan ever hatched. What do you think, you just throw a few tools in a box and send them to Spring Hill and BAM, now you can build the Blazer?

          Believe me, you have no damn clue what it takes to tool up a factory to build a vehicle. It takes YEARS of planning, design and engineering. You don’t just snap a finger and make it happen. But you seem to think winning favor with “POTUS” carries some sort of value so I’m pretty sure you’re intellectually challenged.

          Jeez some of the people on this site are a bunch of morons.

          • 0 avatar
            AdamOfAus

            Hah, what a charming D bag you are.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            >>What do you think, you just throw a few tools in a box and send them to Spring Hill and BAM, now you can build the Blazer? <<

            Setting the ad hominem attacks aside, automakers will move existing tooling to a different plant, if it serves a need.

            A couple years ago, Jeep packed up the existing Cherokee tooling at Toledo and moved it to Belvidere, as Belvidere was without product and they wanted to clear Toledo for renovation for the new Wrangler.

            In the late 80s, Chrysler packed up the existing M-body and L-body tooling and moved it to the recently acquired AMC plant in Kenosha, to clear capacity at other plants.

            This year, to clear the existing buildings on Mack Ave for redevelopment as an assembly plant, the Pentastar V6 line was packed up at Mack Av Engine I and moved to Dundee Engine.

            Moving existing tooling isn't cheap. The Cherokee move to Belvidere cost about $350M, so I would expect moving the Equinox from the two plants in Mexico that build it now to Lordstown would cost in the same ballpark. How much is this strike costing GM?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @ttiguy…$#!+bird

          • 0 avatar
            ttiguy

            @ Adamofaus, Steve203 and Artvandelay

            Truth hurts sometimes huh? Sorry but you boys are out of your league here and you have NO CLUE what you are talking about. Kinda sad really that you would waste your time on this subject when you are sorry sinfully clueless. And as far as the example of Chrysler in the 80’s…. I can guarantee that that there was at least a 3 YEAR gap between when planning began and the first tooling fixture was first unbolted and prepped for shipment to another facility. Assuming the same task could be accomplished in 2 years nowadays, it makes would be financial suicide to do so considering the 5-6 year lifecycle of a typical vehicle. Yeah yeah I know DETAILS!

            Whatever, carry on and continue to waste your time on this subject.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @tiguy…I don’t disagree with you…My insult was directed at you squarely due to the fact that you are an internet tough guy douche. If the shoe fits…cram it up your A$$

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “Serious question: I would like to know what other workers in the US have contractually-guaranteed job security, and for how long. I can’t think of any.”

        The last time a federal government employee was let go without cause was when the Clintons fired 93 US Attorneys one day to enable their criminal regime.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        State and federal civil service workers have pretty good job security, and it lasts until a pretty good retirement package kicks in.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The President comes and goes, but factories last for decades. Any effort to score points with the President is short-sighted, especially this one.

    • 0 avatar

      The union is counting on Barra still being in Trump’s dog house. Barra really has no where to turn now.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        >>The union is counting on Barra still being in Trump’s dog house. Barra really has no where to turn now.<<

        Barra went to DC for a meeting with Trump just before the strike.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Chances are excellent that President Trump reminded Ms Barra that GM owes its existence to the taxpayers and for her to find a resolution with the UAW muy pronto.

          OTOH, the longer this strike lasts the more depleted the UAW strike-fund becomes.

          Each side can smell and taste victory, like a wet fart in an enclosed room, but the only losers are the buyers of GM products.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Note that historically speaking, our current President has no consideration of the workers, as long as the job gets done. Sure, he wants jobs brought back only because he wants to stay in office; any analysis of his speeches and ‘rallies’ will demonstrate that he tells the people what they want to hear, with absolutely no consideration of the truth in what he says. Meanwhile, he’s effectively driving ever more jobs overseas in order to reduce costs for the people running those businesses.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, you may very well be proven right.

            But there is one difference that offsets his history and that is that in the past he was not President of these Untied (yes, untied) States.

            “he wants to stay in office”, well, yeah, definitely, maybe. I can’t understand why he stepped down from his previous, infinitely better life, in the first place, to become President.

            I mean after he’s out of office, America will go back to its socialist welfare, freeloader way of life for the unemployed masses, yearning to receive America’s redistribution of wealth from the working taxpayers to the chronically and willfully unemployed. History shows us that. Free phones, free foodstamps and welfare for all. Been there. Done that 2009-2017.

            Barring Divine Intervention, President Trump will be re-elected in a landslide.

            It was Divine Intervention that got him the job; it’ll take Divine Intervention to get him out of the job.

            A huge number of Independents, including me, believe that and live their lives and plan their future accordingly.

            Also a huge number of Democrats fear exactly that and do their utmost to tarnish his Presidency and remove him from office.

            All to no avail.

            To the Trump Haters I say, “Suck it up and deal with it.” America had to endure and survive the incompetence, malfeasance and malpractice of the previous administration and it is refreshing and fortuitous for more Americans TODAY to have President Trump in office.

            Goes to show that what works for the ghettos of Chicago, doesn’t always work in the rest of America.

            My life has never been better.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: ““he wants to stay in office”, well, yeah, definitely, maybe. I can’t understand why he stepped down from his previous, infinitely better life, in the first place, to become President.”
            — That one’s obvious; he believed, as he still does, that he would be immune to any criminal charges while as President and he thought (still thinks) that he can pardon himself for all prior crimes, of which there were many, even if not QUITE prosecutable offenses. Nearly every business he has ever owned has bankrupted and those surviving do so due to foreign or direct US Governmental assistance, especially when you consider he STILL owns the hotels that bear his name, along with other luxury resorts, that receive direct benefits through governmental contracts and transportation benefits–to the order of several hundred dollars per night per Government Employee (including military) visit. Add up some of the higher-value employees (military officers) and legislators and that is millions of dollars per month of which he gets a cut–very probably an under-the-table cut. You see, I’ve been aware of his activities since the mid-80s and he has always operated right at the bleeding edge of the law and is known to have crossed that edge more than once–though lacking solid enough evidence to gain a court conviction. Fraud is the least of his crimes, though he has ‘settled’ most of those charges in manners similar to what some of the more recent charges are recognizing.

            Proof? Hiding in tax returns that he refuses to release publicly that will show his short-changing of contractors when compared to those contractors’ own books and other likely crimes against those he has paid, or not paid, in one way or another. Atlantic City is one of the most obvious examples of his malfeasance and that was long, LONG before he consider trying for any governmental office, much less the top one.

            Oh, he does have a way with words–or did. He makes sure that his audience hears what they want to hear. But when you follow his actions after those words and he’s simply thrown those people he claimed to support under the bus–just as he has much of his staff over the last three years. He knows, in his heart, he can get away with it. But he is now in such a public position where what he says and does is constantly under the public microscope that what might have been little more than a misdemeanor in his private life may well be a full criminal offense in his governmental life. He may end up being the first President ever to go to jail after his term(s) of office. Don’t expect it, mind you, but I also bet that he will be kept under a very tight leash if found guilty of ANY crime.

            And don’t even ask me about any conspiracy theories… Those lead to possible and actionable treason if ever proven.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            At least you’re consistent.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Often that eye is blinded by hate. And reasoning displaced by prejudice.

            So it is true that in America people are far too often convicted on innuendo, false testimony and hearsay.

            All too often we hear of people being freed from prison because suppressed evidence proved they were innocent.

            I’m a proponent of evidence, facing one’s accusers, and a fair and impartial trial, if appropriate.

            I’ve been Jury Foreman and sat on Fed/State/Local Grand Juries numerous times over the decades and it is harder to PROVE someone guilty of a crime than it is to bad-mouth them.

            And that’s why Juries and Grand Juries exist; to ensure that the evidence is considered in a fair and impartial way, and also to protect the rights of the target, or accused.

            Remember, the accusers have to PROVE all these allegations and it if was easy they would have done so long before now.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Like it or not, hdc, it takes evidence to convict and that evidence does exist. Federal law allows for criminal investigation of income tax forms but one individual has managed, so far, to suppress access to those forms until recently. The only reason those forms would be so tightly concealed would be that the individual for whom those forms represent BELIEVES they hold evidence that could convict him. If he had nothing to fear, he wouldn’t be trying so hard to prevent their release.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, I doubt that with all the accounting parties and firms involved there would be any collusion to hide wrongdoing in tax returns by so many individuals.

            If the ‘crats think they have a case for impeachment, they should have a House Vote to start official procedures. I doubt that will happen. Then all sides have legal recourse and access to anything deemed relevant to prove someone’s guilt.

            Until then, a person’s tax returns are supposed to be private, according to law. That includes yours and mine. What also applies in America is the presumption of innocence. Until PROVEN guilty.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: Then I suggest we just wait and see, because I’m not as certain as you that it won’t come to a House vote. And if it does, the Senate will be forced to investigate, even if they don’t want to. It won’t stop them from arbitrarily declaring innocence but it will force them to follow Constitutional procedure.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, I am all for investigation IF the House holds a Floor Vote and passes an OFFICIAL Impeachment procedure. Once the OFFICIAL Impeachment procedure has been initiated by affirmation in the House, the ‘crats MUST prove their basis in the crimes for which they wish to impeach.

            Until then, this whole thing is a sham, based on innuendo, hearsay, and not substantiated by fact.

            How would you like it if someone made unsubstantiated claims against YOU?

            With Clinton there was that little Blue Dress with semen on it.

            With Nixon there was the Watergate break-in.

            With President Trump, there’s NOTHING? Just words, empty, unsubstantiated, unsolicited testimony from some secret source.

            You wouldn’t want to be convicted that way. Would you?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: You seem to miss the point that the committees have to do enough investigation to see if there is enough cause to TAKE it to that floor vote. That’s where they are now and the President and his staff are doing everything they can, even going so far as intentional and potentially illegal suppression of evidence, to prevent the investigation from reaching that floor vote. Even if the initial cause of the investigation doesn’t reach the Floor, the efforts to block the investigation itself have become a cause for investigation.

            There’s an old saying which seems to be quite true in this case: “Methinks thou doth protest TOO much!”

            Oh, and if someone made unsubstantiated accusations against me I would certainly tell them to prove it–but I would NOT then actively try to hide it IF it were unsubstantiated.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Sorry, guys, but Trump f**ked up good and proper with this Ukraine thing. Maybe impeaching the guy – which, by the way, *can* be done even if no law’s been broken – is the only way to keep him from doing galactically dumb stuff like leaning on Ukraine to take out one of his political rivals AFTER the whole Muller thing.

            Democrats aren’t threatening Trump – he’s threatening *himself*. There’s no way around that. So, if you support the guy, I’d say your best move is to quit whining about Democrats and start writing the White House to implore Trump to smarten up already. Tell him to stop twitter-baiting Chrissy Teigen and start acting like a president that people can actually get behind, or he may be out of a job one way or the other.

            He won’t listen to a Jewish Democrat like me, God knows – I’m disloyal, after all.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, that’s not how the law works. A crime has to be committed BEFORE an individual is accused and afforded the right to defend themself in open court with a jury of their peers.

            Right now the ‘crats have nothing. The ‘crats had nothing with Russia-gate. The ‘crats have nothing but think they are entitled they can investigate, investigate, investigate, in the hope of finding something.

            That’s not how America works.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: I strongly recommend reading the Constitution; it lays out all of the rules for how, and why, an impeachment can be started. The first rule is that the House determine if there is reason to impeach… THEN put it up for a vote.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, exactly.

            “The first rule is that the House determine if there is reason to impeach… THEN put it up for a vote.”

            But that does not mean that they do endless inquiries in search of a crime. I say put it to a vote tomorrow!

            But they will get to the bottom of it. They tried with Russia-gate and found…..zip.

            As I understand it, there are still several investigations going on by the IG to determine what led up to all this, and I hope that they will find collusion and crimes on the part of the ‘crats, the FBI and the Deep State Intel community. Now that would be fun to read about.

            I saw Joe Biden today tell us about his son resigning from the dealings with China and Ukraine, and Joe told the world that if HE is elected president in 2020, HE will keep family members from foreign business dealings.

            But it was OK for all this when Joe was Vice President.

            S W A M P

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: “Endless inquiries”? It’s only been two weeks. That’s hardly “endless.” So far the House is perfectly within the law–unlike the individual they’re investigating. Or have you forgotten that we have a three-part government for a reason?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LOL…”endless inquiries”…

            It’s like a pitcher complaining that the ump keeps walking opposing batters every time he hits them with a pitch.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I had predicted a long strike from the beginning. The UAW has lost face over the corruption scandal, and being rejected yet again by VW workers in Tennessee hasn’t helped them either. With this background, I anticipated that the UAW feels the need to show that they can really bring home the bacon. So, they’ve elected to stand firm on everything until GM cries Uncle. To quote the Union President of a now defunct airline “We do not want to kill the goose that lays our golden egg. We just want to choke it by the neck until it gives us every last egg.”

    Well, the UAW’s problem here is that their U.S. members are becoming less and less important to GM every year. GM has already moved to China (where there is not only cheaper labor but many millions of potential customers) and worse for the UAW announced their attention to essentially building ICE cars in the U.S. So GM can afford to fight this battle because they are not dependent on earnings from their U.S. plants, and they also have a strong incentive to stand firm on the two tier system and to keep job security to a minimum.

    So the fight will continue for a while. However, at this point the UAW is just feeding the fat lady before her performance; that is the UAW has shown that they can’t be reasoned with. So while it’s possible they may win the battle, I think this will ultimately lose them the war. No, they won’t disappear completely but in 15 years they’ll be as powerful as a group of Confederate Civil War veterans.

    Don’t believe me? Well, did you ever think that GM would go bankrupt?

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Time to ramp up development of advanced robots.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      They already exist, but the UAW is fighting their implementation tooth and nail because that means losing UAW jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Maybe the UAW should try to organize those robotics installers/maintainers/programmers. Fact is changes in technology causes changes in the make up of the workforce. Steel workers are far fewer today. Coal jobs dry up in favor of workers in the natural gas industry, and on and on…The biggest risk to the manufacturing sector is robotics – not regulations, who the president is, etc. That is just the fact of life. Young people today need to make sure they select careers that can’t be outsourced overseas. Not so easy to predict.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          In just about any discipline America has led, it wasn’t long before others outside America could do it better, cheaper and faster.

          So there really is no career in America that cannot be outsourced.

          But a young person today can choose wisely. Most importantly of all, a wise young person will choose a career that they will love doing.

          Too many people today HATE the work they are doing. I met a lot of them who retired early to live outside of the US. Among them Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Dentists, Software developers, Bankers, Investment Brokers, and Pharma Reps.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Considering the old contract is expired, I could see GM flat out firing all of the employees in this strike and shutting down the plants. I could also see them declaring bankruptcy again because of the tactics the Union is using to bully GM into accepting a deal that would bankrupt them anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      GM had better have all their lawyers lined up, if they try to decertify the union during a contract dispute. The legal proceedings would last for years, and only the lawyers will get rich.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        No argument, Lorenzo. But if the unions drive GM into bankruptcy again, they all lose their jobs anyway… with almost no chance of finding similar work.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The US gov’t will not let GM go bankrupt again, no matter who resides in the White House and no matter who runs the Hill.

          All sides bet on that!

          Just like with Freddie and Fannie, and other financial entities, they will simply become a ward of the Federal Gov’t.

          GM was at one time, after Nationalization, and can be again.

          A fact not lost on GM Mgt or the UAW.

          That’s why real-world buyers should switch to buying from non-union transplant automakers located in the Deep South.

          No drama. No Muss. No Fuss. No UAW.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            There were a lot of complaints about that nationalism of GM the first time as a waste of Government money. The GOP is already complaining about national debt and they certainly don’t want to be seen as the one wasting another multi-billion dollars on a poorly-run company. I’d be willing to bet they would use another takeover as a means to de-certify the UAW and reduce labor costs… which would destroy the GOP as a whole in the voting booth.

            They would most certainly try to push that result on the Democrats and willingly sacrifice their Presidential office for however many terms it takes for the Democratic Party to be shut down instead.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Both the GOP and the ‘crats complain about the National Debt, until…….. wait for it….they assume power of office.

            Then it’s balls to the walls to spend as much money as they can to support their own causes, leaving the taxpayers and their descendants, to foot the bill.

            The bottom line though, is how well any administration enhances or diminishes the taxpayers’ life style in the here and now.

            The last administration was as useless to US taxpayers as t!ts on a boar hog, and the ruin of many a hardworking American, now living on the streets of SFO and LAX.

            You have to keep this in perspective. Bottom line, “How many Americans REALLY give a tinker’s damn about the UAW and/or GM?”

            My WAG is that most Americans have moved on from GM and Ford and are now fully embracing the transplants and other foreign automakers, well into the future.

            Watch the largest vehicles from VW, Hyundai, KIA, Fiatsler and others start to displace those from GM and Ford on America’s roads, highways and byways.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: This has gone seriously off-topic, my friend but I have to respond.

            Take another look at how our government has operated over the last 50 years. The Republicans have always complained about Democratic “Tax and Spend” and yet what we’ve seen is the Democrats pulling our country away from debt, unfortunately by being forced to tax by the Republicans’ spending sprees after cutting taxes. Interestingly, however, is that one of our nation’s biggest tax increases came from a Republican who declared during his campaign, “Read My Lips, No New Taxes.” That’s right, HE increased taxes and started our country towards a budget towards a point that under his successor it finally came into the black… meaning more money was coming into the government than it was spending. His successor was a Democrat, by the way. So the old “Tax and Spend” meme is a lie and they know it, even if you don’t.

            And you’re totally wrong about the “last administration.” Our national debt was diving into record depths when he came into office and he managed to turn that around and send it back up towards the black again, though it didn’t quite make it during his term. His successor? We’re again headed into record deep waters because of him but he is grinding his heels on the bodies of those who can’t afford it in the process. Sure, our tax rates are lower now… but our country simply can’t pay its bills AND the spending for unnecessary projects has gone through the roof! In Just Three Years!

            The Big Three American automotive brands have used governmental support to protect themselves from competition. All that support has done is driven them into bankruptcy; in the case of Chrysler, twice and GM possibly twice so far, with Ford not far behind. GM, Ford and FCA have now almost completely abandoned cars in order to support their one profitable product type–obviously American trucks and SUVs. They simply can’t compete with the imports on cars, even when said imports have to be built here in the US. The competition did what they believed legislation would prevent–they left a loophole in that legislation that let the imports bring their products to the States and thereafter completely dominate the automotive business. Even you have admitted that by praising so many of those foreign brands on these boards when it comes to anything but trucks.

            What if, as seems possible, the Big 2.5 as they’re now known, truly become truck-only manufacturers and then some sort of oil crisis arrives that forces their product off the roads? This could be high fuel prices OR it could be simply a complete switch away from oil-based fuels into full electric drives lacking the ICE. With the Big 2.5 be able to transition quickly enough? Will they be able to offer the same kinds of capabilities in that transition? I don’t think so, on both counts. Americans are going to be forced to re-think their desires over their needs. And if the Big 2.5 can’t recognize the shift or potentially CREATE that shift quickly enough, what happened in Australia will happen here in the US, where GM, Ford and the Chrysler part of FCA may disappear. Or at best they become niche players as Jeep has been since its beginning.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, all excellent aspects from your point of view, your value system, and your beliefs.

            As a political Independent, my views, my judgement, my opinion tends to encompass America in a “macro-economic” way. That’s why I never was a good “crat, like my wife, nor was I a good Republican.

            As an Independent I can see both sides, most political points of view, and choose my path through the quagmire to live my life according to MY beliefs.

            And that’s really the bottom line to living life, IMO. Worry only about the things you have control over.

            And Vote.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: I would note that I’m a registered Republican and have been for life. When it comes to voting, I don’t necessarily follow party lines. At no point did I ever make my mark for Trump, in the primaries or in the general election. As I said, I’ve known the man’s personality and abilities since long, long before his intentions for office… and even before Marla Maples of Dalton, GA.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, yes, I remembered that you are a Republican.

            I didn’t vote for candidate Trump either, didn’t even know who he was until after the election.

            But I’m sure glad he got elected. His administration has been good for me, and millions like me.

            Plus, we get a 1.6% raise in military retirement pay AND social security in Jan 2020.

            Trump may not be the best human being on the planet, but he is the best man for the job of POTUS.

            And for the majority of Americans that remains the burning, money-making question: “How well do President Trump and his policies work for me?”

            He’s got my vote in 2020. And surprisingly, he also has the vote of my Bluer-than-Blue dyed-in-the-wool Democrat wife.

            I went into shock when she told me that.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve203

          @Vulpine

          >>No argument, Lorenzo. But if the unions drive GM into bankruptcy again, they all lose their jobs anyway… with almost no chance of finding similar work.<<

          No. I heard that same argument advanced in 2009, and when Chrysler was in trouble in 79. The argument is based on a false assumption: that everyone who can't buy a car from the troubled company, will never buy another car in their life.

          I grew up in a family owning Studebakers and Ramblers. When those companies exited the industry, they bought from other companies.

          If GM, or Chrysler, or any other, exited the industry, people would buy from another company and that other company would need to add staff to meet the additional demand. So there will be no net loss of production jobs from a collapse of GM. Right now, I bet the staff at GM D-Ham, scheduled to idle in January, are putting in applications for FCA Mack Ave Assembly, which is maybe 6 miles away from D-Ham, and scheduled to open at the end of 2020.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lorenzo: “No. I heard that same argument advanced in 2009, and when Chrysler was in trouble in 79. The argument is based on a false assumption: that everyone who can’t buy a car from the troubled company, will never buy another car in their life.”

            — Illogical argument. Those other brands have their own workforce AND most of the foreign brands, both Asian and European, do not have UAW workers here in the States. And with the exception of those foreign brands, the UAW in the remaining companies is going to be under pressure to avoid bankrupting their bankroll. GM may end up being the crack in the UAW’s wall that sees the union crumble in its entirety simply because the foreign brands have proven the union is unnecessary today.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            >>Those other brands have their own workforce AND most of the foreign brands, both Asian and European, do not have UAW workers here in the States. <<

            The foreign brand plants in the US have a workforce adequate to meet current need. If GM closed, nearly 17% of buyers would be up for grabs. Ford, FCA and the foreign plants would need to add shifts to meet the extra demand.

            As to the necessity of the union, the foreign plants are non-union because they offer at least remotely competitive compensation. If, say, Honda in Ohio decided to really go social Darwinist and cut compensation to the point where it's no better than McDonald's, either a union would be voted in, or their workforce would walk. Workers at plants in the deep south don't have quite the employment opportunities that people in Ohio have, so the bar would be set lower there, but, even there, if workers were treated badly enough, they would walk or vote in a union.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Steve203: But as GM itself has realized, UAW workers at one plant aren’t always willing to move 50-500 miles away just to get the same kind of work; they’d rather go on unemployment and try to force the local plant to re-open. I would also note that I live within 5 miles of where a former Chrysler plant used to stand… now completely gone, along with a GM plant about 15 miles from here. Do you think all those workers just up and followed their jobs to another part of the country? Oh, some certainly will… but by no means all and very likely that not even most.

            You are right about one point, though. If you look, you’ll see that the foreign brands are paying similar wages without all the deductions required by union fees, etc.; those wages more in line with the local cost of living rather than a set, across the board wage that would be ridiculously high in that region as compared to cost of living in Detroit, for example.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            @Vulpine Don’t respond to me, but @Steve203. He disagreed with your comment on my simple ‘lawyer up’ comment. You two duke it out and include me out.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            @Vulpine
            >>But as GM itself has realized, UAW workers at one plant aren’t always willing to move 50-500 miles away just to get the same kind of work; they’d rather go on unemployment and try to force the local plant to re-open.<<

            Whether to relocate or not is up to the worker. If a GM worker refuses to relocate from, say Lordstown, to Detroit to apply for a job at FCA Mack Ave Assembly, that is his business.

            fwiw, my uncle, who worked for Western Electric, over the course of 20 years moved from Cleveland, to Baltimore, to Philly, to Columbus, OH.

            So all the people from Lordstown refuse to move? Then FCA will hire other people to staff Mack Ave.

            Bottom line, in the scenario of GM going toes up, there will not be a *net* loss of production jobs. Doesn't matter if the GM workers move to a city where a Ford or FCA plant is adding staff or not. If the experienced GM workers refuse to move, Ford and FCA will hire other people to man the additional shits they will put on to meet demand.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            WRT the necessity of the UAW to assemble cars: The main reason why the transplants offer as much as they do is because of the UAW, at least in the early years when transplant factories were mid-west adjacent. Now that they’re spread out all over the country, it’s not so important. However, I do believe that they would cut wages or benefits and add on more temporary staff if given the opportunity.

            The whole temporary staff issue is another debacle in and of itself, but it’s a tactic that both domestic and transplant companies use. In addition, I have read about workers at transplant factories who have been injured and demoted or even fired because of their injuries, which decreased their ability to work at the proscribed rate.

            One of the reasons for the decline of the union is the government. The government has taken over many of the functions of the union, i.e. safety, workplace fairness, etc. I think that if the Big 3 could do without the UAW in the in the US, they would. But that’s what the temporary workers and Mexico are for…

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Apparently, the edit function has taken the weekend off…

            WRT Mexico: Even the Japanese are joining the fun south of the border. Keeping up with near UAW wages can’t be easy not to mention our suite of Federal, State and Local laws. The Mexican workforce is much less expensive than the US; the environmental laws may or may not be enforced and Mexico has different free trade agreements that the US is not part of.

            It’s tough to argue about building facilities in Mexico vs the US, the UAW is just a small factor in all of that. As overcapacity continues, hell, increases, I look to see the transplants close their factories.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Edit hosed me again: I look to see transplants close their factories in the US…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Geozinger: Of course, there are Federal laws in place now that can limit and reverse such effects as you describe in a union-less society, but I agree they’re not perfect. Honestly, I do agree that unions do serve their purpose but union management has become abusive–greedy… most union bosses raking in money from both sides of the argument and not really considering what their unreasonable demands are doing to the company they are “protecting” their members from. Now, this isn’t true of all unions but I have seen this occur with multiple unions and I, myself, was a victim of having a job outsourced because union wages made production cost-prohibitive. A modest look into the automotive industry and you can see the same thing happening.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM might be money ahead by declaring bankruptcy especially Barra and Co would get a golden parachute. GM could declare bankruptcy, layoff all US and Canadian workers, and then become a Chinese company. This might be one reason why GM is not in a hurry to reach a settlement with the UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      From the sound of it, GM -IS- anxious to reach a settlement, but the UAW is not. As was pointed out in the article, the scandals and plant closings have backed the UAW into having to show its muscle to retain relevance. Otherwise, they’ll end up like the pro football players’ union, still in existence, but dictated to by management.

  • avatar

    Welcome to the club! The employees of GM have been fed up with Barra for nearly 10 months. I have no idea how Barra did in grade school statistics and analyst, but her belief that GM can go from selling 15,000 Bolts a year to selling 1 million EVs in the next several years is ludicrous. Her obsession with autonomous cars is even more ridiculous when you considered the immense technical problems the technology is having. GM should follow the measured approach Toyota is taking with electric cars. Toyota is investing in electric vehicles, but in the process, they are not cancelling entire carlines. All that does is alienate your customers and force them to purchase vehicles from the competition. Maybe it is not that Mary Barra is math is off, but she is merely trying to placate investors on wall street.

    Unless Mary Barra comes to her senses she will eventually lose her job. This strike is going on for at least 100 days.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      GM’s EV dreams may be folly, but what does that have to do with this strike?

      • 0 avatar

        You have not been reading the news. The strikers are worried about GM electric vehicle push costing them their jobs. Apparently, it takes less workers to build electric vehicles. If customers don’t buy these electric cars then the entire company is in trouble

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          The workers needn’t worry. GM isn’t really serious about EVs.

          As for the labor content, I’m not so sure. Tesla employees far more people per vehicle sold than GM does.

          With the low maintenance of an EV, it’s really the dealers who should be upset.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Doing the math, Tesla employees 4x as many people per vehicle sold as does GM.

          How that converts on the mfg floor, I don’t know, but that’s a big difference.

  • avatar
    micko4472

    GM needs to tell the UAW to bargain, or GM will start hiring replacements who will NOT be fired once the union workers decide they want to work again. Does GM have the balls to do that?

    • 0 avatar

      These so-called new workers need to be trained. Who will train them?

    • 0 avatar

      These so-called new workers need to be trained. Who will train them?

      • 0 avatar
        Matt51

        The manufacturing engineers will train them. When the Teamsters struck Sikorsky helicopters years ago, productivity improved when the engineers took over manufacturing in the shop. Today’s UAW workers are readily replaceable with non-union employees.

        • 0 avatar
          ttiguy

          You are on the right path but the devil is in the details.

          The problem GM will have is that there aren’t enough manufacturing engineers within the company to go around. The manufacturing processes at GM are magnitudes larger than at a helicopter factory. Each GM plant churns out thousands of cars every month. Sikorsky probably churns out 10’s of helicopter’s per month (just a guess). Keep in mind that at an OEM there are a smallish (relatively speaking) core group of ME’s that rotate from plant to plant as new products are launching then move on once regular production begins. Yes, some ME’s are permanently at each plant but the numbers aren’t enough to train large groups of new employees all at once.

          Signed,

          A manufacturing engineer :)

  • avatar
    dswanson2609

    The Fed has just turned the money pump up again with another program. This time monetizing $60 Billion US Debt per month. They are still keeping the other programs that are keeping the banks from collapsing at night. Welcome to 2007, but this time with double the debt, and even worse entitlements. When is the end of the system. GM will soon be bankrupt again. This strike is disgusting.

  • avatar
    moparman42434445

    If Mexican workers can build cars I’m fairly sure Americans can do it without a union suckling money out of their pockets simply to retain power over them!!! Anyone who thinks theres still a need for unions should work for free seeing that’s how the unions have existed for almost 100 years now and that is quite sad yet you have imbecils still acting like these unions are in it “FOR THE WORKERS” HAHAHAHA FOOLS!!!

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    It occurs to me we could have killed off both GM and the UAW 10 years ago, but instead our dear leaders opted to kick that can down the road. Welcome now to the inevitable reckoning with their shortsightedness.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      They claimed that the collapse of GM would have caused economic havoc, although what they really meant was that the business cycle would have created new opportunities without the meddling of aspiring totalitarians. To be fair, I haven’t heard anyone talking about the GM strike. What was once a terrifying outcome to the great unwashed is a non issue now, and it will barely cause a ripple if they pack up and leave for China officially.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Agreed.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        In the 1950s there were 300,000 workers building 50% of the vehicles sold in the US. Now there are 58,000 US workers building less than 16% of the market.

        Only parts availability affects the public, and this strike might just induce GM to farm out parts production for Canadian and Mexican production, if not much of US production too.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          With the new USMCA awaiting ratification, this may be exactly what will be happening upon its approval.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Semenak

            The new USMCA stipulates a much higher wage for Mexican workers. Probably, why Nancy Pelosi hasn’t allowed a vote on it. Too busy impeaching for that! Democrats saying “F*** the workers”.

          • 0 avatar

            “Democrats saying “F*** the workers”

            Democrats are on the side of robots vs American people. Some robots even get elected to Congress. Like AOC v1.2.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Jeff Semenak, from what I gathered the USMCA is enthusiastically supported by both the Canadians AND the Mexicans.

            It is only the House ‘crats led by Ms Pelosi who are against it because it would give President Trump a HUGE WIN!

            And they cannot let that happen while they run the House.

            But the GOP also lost some HUGE opportunities while they had the House majority with Paul Ryan in charge.

            As a political Independent I believe that Paul Ryan was THE major reason why the GOP lost the House majority. Paul Ryan was too focused on ‘being a separate branch of the government” that he forgot to be a team player and get things done for We, The People. When it suited him, he could crank out a lot of legislation. But his hate for candidate Trump who beat him so thoroughly carried forward against President Trump.

            Maybe the political pendulum will swing back when President Trump gets re-elected in Nov 2020, and the GOP will run everything again. It could happen. It already happened in 2016.

            In the mean time, the smart money is on “getting while the getting is good.” Make money, get your financial act together, etc etc, get ready for the bad times ahead when the ‘crats govern again.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am going to disagree with one of Vulpine’s points, the first Chrysler loan was backed by the Government and not a direct loan from the Government and that loan was fully paid ahead of time with interest. That loan was not at the expensive of the taxpayers. The other fact about Chrysler during the late 70s was Iacocca did not cause Chrysler’s financial woes he inherited them and under his leadership he put Chrysler back in the black. Iacocca was a leader, Barra and Hackett are not leaders.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    HDC–I am going to disagree with you on Trump in that Trump and his tweets and his constant vocal assaults on anyone who he deems a threat is not leadership. Also Trump blames others for any of the mistakes he has made. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” is not something that Trump follows. Trump is not a leader nor is he a entrepreneur, Trump is a self promoter and reality star. I hate to get into politics but regardless of party affiliation Trump is not a leader. One needs to look no further than his handling of the Kurds and his withdrawal of US troops.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Abandoning those who are responsible for the defeat of ISIS and leaving them to be assassinated (again) is reprehensible. Nobody should be surprised in the future when others tell America to go screw themselves. And screw Turkey as far as I am concerned. When Erdogan had his bodyguards jump out of his limo and attack Americans exercising their First Amendment rights on US soil our Secret Service should have shot those bodyguards on the spot. Fast forward to today that POS is being invited to the White House. How is this not sparking outrage!!! I could not ever imagined being so disillusioned with my country as I am now.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        The people responsible for the defeat of ISIS are known as Trump voters. The people who created and funded ISIS were members of the Obama regime. Your sudden concern for the Kurds is shameless, transparent and pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        golden2husky, I remember a lot of people were disillusioned by the last administration. I never saw the redistribution of America’s wealth to be the issue that the voters voted for. What works in the ghettos of Chicago doesn’t work well in mainstream America where the majority works hard and pays their taxes.

        Elections have consequences.

        This too shall pass.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @GoldenHusky I spent 2.5 years over there and 9 of those months were literally in the trenches with Kurds. People have been doing the same for 20 + years. At what point do we push the bird out of the nest? Or were you planning on sending your kids over because my family is finished with stupid middle eastern wars (my kids would be the third generation not counting a grandfather that was in North Africa during the big one).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, President Trump is a new kind of communicator, and the ‘crats just hate it because he is effective in communicating to the masses AND they didn’t think of it first, to use social media to their advantage. They are now, though.

      I’m with President Trump re the Kurds and withdrawal of troops (I’m retired military). The US should not nursemaid nor act as a policemen in matters that involve peoples who have been fighting each other for millennia, in some case all the way back to biblical times. It’s OK to work with sides in a conflict to achieve a goal, then it is time to pack up and go home.

      I hope President Trump closes out ALL the conflicts America is involved in, bring home the troops to strategic staging areas (bases) and then conduct punitive strikes when necessary. It’s been done for many decades since the end of WWII, i.e. Clinton’s cruise missile attack on tents and camels in the desert, etc.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I can see both sides of this. On one hand, every time I ever lost a job (for whatever reason), I was usually just kicked to the curb. Maybe they continued my health insurance for a period, usually because I prepaid it, but little else. Sayonara, sucker!

    On the other hand, jobs like these are what (forgive me, Trump fans and haters) made America (or at least her standard of living) great. Every company is depending on a customer base with the high-paying jobs that are severely dwindling now by a corporate attitude that would rather inherit a strong economy rather than invest in one. And considering that the workers took much of the hit when GM went bankrupt in 2009, maybe they do deserve some consideration.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Defending our President on backtracking on the Kurds is indefensible. If anything this action will allow ISIS to rebuild and become stronger and will necessitate us getting back in with more troops.

    As for the UAW GM strike when they reach a settlement it will be one in spite of what the POTUS tweets.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s defensible. The US achieved the goals it set out to do. Time to go home.

      And I want to add: long overdue!

      The US can always strike a resurgence again from a distance without endangering precious American lives.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The Army is hiring. Sign on up. We have been there for pushing 20 years. At what point do you cut the apron strings. Besides I didn’t hear all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth when the last guy cut us short and pulled out. I remember it’s being sold as a great victory when we put the lock on FOB Hammer and came home 2 months early (leaving our interpreters to grab up their families and get the heck out of Dodge in spite of the entire Company offering to sponsor and pay their expenses).

      Anyway, I don’t care for it now anymore than I cared for it then, the difference of course is the fact that the press is covering it now. Why do you suppose that is?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree that we have been there too long but the next time we ask for help in fighting a terrorist group we will not get any takers.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    HDC–I don’t care what you call it as President of the United States you never ask a foreign power to investigate another citizen of the US regardless of who they are. Even if the President is not serious. Whether or not it is an impeachable offense is another matter. A President should never use his position for personal benefit either. There are somethings that I don’t disagree with our POTUS on but regardless of political affiliation there are things you should not do when you hold any office of authority. Just using the excuse that another leader of another political party did something similar or just as bad should not be used as an excuse. Where do we draw the line?

    Getting back to the subject of this article both sides have something to gain and something to lose the longer this strike goes on but GM has the most to gain the longer the strike goes on. To the workers point and not so much the UAW the workers did make certain concessions to GM during GM’s bankruptcy. Now that GM is not in bankruptcy and is doing much better then the workers want something more at the very least not to have more plants closed and more products offshored. True GM has a right to put plants where ever they want and to close whatever plants they want but if and when GM goes bankrupt again then why should we as taxpayers be asked to bail them out again? GM and Ford are both badly mismanaged. Not taking the UAW’s side because they are just as bad or worse than Barra and Hackett. Poor leadership is not just in the UAW but it exists in the boardrooms of GM and Ford. The UAW has not helped their image with their recent corruption scandals. Eventually this strike will be settled and everyone will go about their business as if nothing ever happened. GM and Ford will continue to offshore more production just as most corporations have. Strikes in the past affected more people in the past as there were more union workers and more products were produced in the US. Regardless of what our politicians and our POTUS promises more offshoring and automation will eliminate more of the higher paying jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, America has asked its allies for decades to investigate American citizens because by law we cannot spy on our own citizens. And vice versa, America has spied on foreign nationals for their government.

      One such case involved Aldridge Ames who was fed bogus intel by one of our allies which was then immediately trackable. But this is generally not brought into the open like the ‘crats have done in their ploy to destroy America and turn it into a socialist welfare state like under the last administration.

      I’m all for more automation replacing the UAW. One benefit of that, consistently better assembly.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Art Vandelay–So are you asking me to volunteer in the Army? Is there an age limit to join the Army? I didn’t think the military was interested in recruits in their 60s. I don’t think the US should be the World police but I also think our pullout from Syria was less about our soldiers and more about a promise made in exchange for a new hotel in Turkey. Again if and when we ever need to ask another country to help us fight another terrorist group it will fall upon deaf ears.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      @jeffs I was there for the last fight. There really wasn’t much in the way of others helping anyways. But no…I’m not asking you to sign up…I’m to old as well now…I am asking you to sign your kids or grandkids up. Either that or quit asking and expecting others to do the same.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @HC–Maybe so but do you believe it is right to have a President ask publicly and openly for a foreign power to spy on a US citizen as a matter of fact I don’t remember a President ever openly asking for that to be done. Where do you draw the line? Would you draw the line if a President openly ask for a foreign power to assassinate a person that does not share his views? Do you approve of videos showing the President shooting those who oppose him whether this is done in jest? I hope our society has not reached that point.

    As for robotics that is what is happening even in countries where the labor is inexpensive. Better quality control and robots don’t strike or call in sick.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Art Vandelay–I don’t have any children but I have nephews with kids in the service. I would prefer the US stay out of any interventions but then that is not up to me. There is too much money to be made by the defense industry and too many campaign contributions to politicians to ever hope that we will never get in another conflict. My point is that as soon as Turkey invaded Syria the first thing they did was to free the ISIS prisoners which most likely we will go in again at some point in the future and fight them again. Not exactly a winning strategy but then wars make the defense industry lots of money and we have the best political system money can buy.

    Getting back to this article GM and the UAW will most likely not settle anytime soon and many of us on this forum have said this from the beginning of this strike.


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