Up until a few years ago, I avoided the automotive sector like the plague when looking for a job. I got canned at my previous position, so the first decent offer that came along I jumped at.
It placed me at a supplier (of sorts) to the Big Three, and for the last several years I’ve been working at one of the auto companies. Furthermore, not only have I been working for one of the auto companies, but also several other companies that supply domestic automakers with specific solutions (which my elusive nature forbids me to divulge). Needless to say, I have a lot of inside information about the American auto companies.
I can say, with some credibility, that the people running places like GM, Ford, and Chrysler had very little to do with their current predicament. Most of the failures at the Big Three were brought on by the federal government, and liberals in generals. So, I decided to do a series of posts on the reasons for the impending collapse of the auto industry.
In this post, we examine labor unions.
You want to know the major difference between the success of foreign automakers, and the failure of US automakers when it comes to making cars? The foreigners place their production facilities in states that are not dominated by the big labor unions (mainly the UAW). They avoid Michigan like the plague. Why? Because, they can get people on the assembly line making $13.00 per hour to start, and do not have to pay the seniority wages that the unions demand. Pay is based on merit with places like Toyota and Honda.
Plus, there are union agreements like the Job Bank, which (suffice to say) is a scam. It’s also a huge drain on the automakers, because they pay for it (for more detail on this, I suggest you look this up online – your jaw will drop when you get the details of it). Then there are the extraordinary healthcare benefits, and pension liabilities that are crippling places like GM. The foreign automakers don’t have to pay that kind of expense for their workers.
But, the US automakers staff their plants, even in states where unions are weak, with expensive union labor. The domestic auto companies are spending millions of dollars trying to buy-out expensive senior workers, and replace them with cheaper junior people. At first blush, this looks like just a bunch of bad decisions made by a bunch of inept executives who have been too buddy-buddy with high-ranking labor officials; to some extent, that’s true. But this is, in fact, the fault of the federal government, and liberals in general.
Imagine if Ford or GM decided tomorrow to kick the unions out of the factories, and replace them with non-union workers (also known as “scabs” in unionspeak). Could you imagine the fallout from the the media, labor officials, and Democrat pro-union types? You’d see non-stop reports on CNN about “union busting” efforts by evil, greedy executives to screw the little guy, flush the middle-class down the toilet, and so on. You’d have widespread, violent protests by thug union members at every American production plant and/or facility. Liberal union-friendly judges would impose injunctions, or rulings against auto companies. Auto executives would be dragged up in front of Congress, subpoenaed, investigated, and harassed because they’re trying to “screw” blue-collar workers out of a decent, livable wage, and so on, and so on.
Please, don’t sit there and tell me this won’t happen. I’ve lived in Michigan long enough, and seen this kind of stuff go on whenever there were labor disputes in the past.
No one in the executive ranks of the US auto companies would even dare to ponder taking on the labor unions, knowing what’s waiting for for them down the pike. There just is no frickin’ way de-unionizing the domestic automakers is going to happen, ESPECIALLY now when the Democrats control both Congress, and the Executive Branch. Democrats and liberals would make it their mission in life to rip apart the domestic automakers should they even mention replacing union labor. So, places like Ford, Chrysler, and GM are stuck with the cards they’ve been dealt, regardless.
Yet, these same pro-union people let places like Toyota and Honda put up factories in this country, with nary a peep of protest. When was the last time you saw people like Carl Levin going after the executives at Honda for being anti-union? When was the last time executives of foreign automakers were dragged up in front of a bunch of senators, and attacked for their non-union activities? Where are the non-stop stories on MSNBC concerning the anti-union, anti-American, anti-middle-class sentiments at places like Honda? In fact, the foreign automakers have been given a COMPLETE PASS when it comes to the people they choose to employ.
While I think the United Auto Workers has had a devastating effect on the domestic automakers, and an I opposed to most labor unions in general, one cannot blame either the UAW or even the automakers for the inequity that presently exists. Whether their labor is union or non-union is actually inconsequential. What is a matter of consequence is the outright hostility directed at our domestic automakers by liberals, the media, elected representatives, and federal government types especially as it pertains to defending organized labor. This, and the inequitable treatment by these three parties when it comes to auto manufacturers in general. The Japanese, Koreans, and Germans have thus far been given a pass to do business in this country as they deem fit, while domestic manufacturers are beaten into submission so that leftists in this nation can play “social engineer.”
And taking a look at the results, it appears the experiment has failed…which comes as no surprise to me. That what liberal policies do in the end: fail.
And the kicker is, in the end you – the taxpayer – are going to give up your hard-earned money to “fix it”.