Chrysler threatens to take its jobs and go home

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triciamarie

Thanks guys.

Part of the solution for injured workers is to concede that the current system is unfair and it doesn't work. We need to return to something like Ontario's pre-1990 legislation, where an injured worker's demonstrated earnings loss after a permanent injury was presumed to be caused by the injury and it was compensable. Permanent disabilities also attracted permanent pensions. Since 1990, the Board's schtick has been that they can reduce payments to the worker by the amount of earnings that the worker should, in their view, be able to earn -- whether or not the worker actually finds that theoretical job.

And, I guess the larger solution is a full employment policy, right? Short of that, solutions for laid-off workers in this economy have to be focussed on making jobs available for them. Public ownership sounds like a very good start to me.

Tommy_Paine

Just came from a Union Meeting.

Guess who got an 18 million dollar bonus just recently?

Ah, our good friend Lasorda.

Why has his head not been cast in wax, put on a pike, and paraded through the streets of Windsor?

 

triciamarie

I should also note that retraining in the WSIB context is not completely useless -- it does generate some very good jobs for all the private consultants earning exorbitant income administering the workers' programs, not to mention all the private academies full of injured workers working diligently toward their diplomas that are not recognized anywhere on Earth.

Unionist

Retraining is somewhat of a fraud when industrial jobs are being lost and Walmart greeter jobs are being created. It is impossible to deal with the issue of jobs in isolation. We must take control of our economy, and let the free-marketeers of the world (including on this board) scream about impending doom.

triciamarie

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Just came from a Union Meeting.

Guess who got an 18 million dollar bonus just recently?

Ah, our good friend Lasorda.

Why has his head not been cast in wax, put on a pike, and paraded through the streets of Windsor?

Oh, that could still happen yet eh once this gets out. 

DrConway

abnormal seems more worried about the government not being able to turn the company around and fund those billion-dollar obligations out of...

profits.

Or does he also magically believe that government ownership = losses forever and ever and ever? 

Tommy_Paine

 

When Henry Ford paid the enormous sum of $5.00 a day to the workers in the Ford plants, his intent was to reduce employee turnover.  This had little consequence in that regard, so tough was the work, so awful the conditions.

It did, however have the unintended consequence of creating amoungst his employees, customers.  Add to this the contributions of the brothers Ruether a few decades later, and we see-- and enjoyed-- not just the auto manufacturing sector but manufacturing in general as the main mechanism for the redistribution of wealth in North America.

This is what is being torn down with no replacement mechanism offered in it's place.

If anyone but the most wealthy thinks they will not personally suffer real and severe adverse effects from this have not thought on the subject long enough.

 

madmax

torontoprofessor wrote:

I must be missing something.

We're talking about spending $2.3 billion to save 9,000 jobs. That comes to $255K per job. It seems to me that, rather than spend $255K to save these jobs, the government could spend the money giving each worker a decent severance package (say, a year's salary) and training programs for new jobs.

  God I hope that is a joke name.  If you are a Toronto Professor and put forth this argument, you need to find work.

madmax

torontoprofessor wrote:

As for the workers: I'm not advising paying them to be idle, but to retrain. Maybe severance was too quick: how about paying them to retrain?

Your a Liberal aren't you. Yes, Lets send the TECHNOLOGY away, and the jobs that we TRAIN for and go work in a warehouse.  I am already used to Engineers who left the Business to go into Real Estate... although that isn't workign out so good. 

How about we teach these workers a lesson on Value Added Production. Perhaps you could teach it. It is where we send all the value added production off shore, and we buy the finished goods with our new jobs as well paid Professors. 

Perhaps a good lesson in Capitalist greed, leveraging and cornering the market.  That is good. Its how you buy entire production facilities in Canada, and shut them down to eliminate competition.

Quote:
 

As for parts production: are you talking about Chrysler's parts production or other companies producing, in Canada, parts for Chrysler? If the former, then that would account for those 9000 jobs. If the latter, couldn't those companies continue to supply parts for Chrysler? Or is Chrysler also threatening to cease buying parts built, by other companies, in Canada?

  I do hope you get some answers, because I find these questions so out of touch with manufacturing reality, that it is difficult to take you seriously. 

Quote:

(What discipline I am in seems to me irrelevant to this discussion, where I am simply asking honest questions, and making surely fallible proposals. I am quite happy to be shown why such a proposal wouldn't work.)

Fair enough.

madmax

I enjoyed Tricia Maries comments. 

Fact is, many people do engage in retraining programs. The jobs aren't there and neither is the pay.  Retraining is a pacifier used by governments to pretend they are doing something about the massive job losses.

Robbing an pillaging companies has been the new way. Governments happy to give money to Billionaires with no strings attached. Then saying such nonsense as the workforce is to blame.  Or the workforce is stupid or needs to be retrained.  

The Stereo type is difficult to fight. 

If only these people were smarter, but because they are dumb and worked in a factory, we have to retrain them.

Engineers, Millwrights, Mechanics, Electricians, Graphic Artists, Computer Technicians and IT specialists, Bean Counters, Managers, Plant Managers,  and hundreds to thousands of offices staff, plus all the ripple effect throughout the economy.

The truth is the General Labour Jobs are there today, you just share your wage with a temp agency.  Many people with skills are struggling in the crunch, moving from place to place as each industry collapses around it.

Its like a run on a bank.

Am I thrilled with Chrysler? No, Cerberus needs to take a hike.

I have seen some of the debate, problems, of nationalizing the Chrysler plants. That debate should continue.

 

al-Qa'bong

Sven wrote:
al-Qa'bong wrote:

Not only could we nationalize bloated dinosaurs like Chrysler and GM...

Just nationalize the whole of GM.  Like I said, you could buy the whole damned company for a paltry 35 dollars per Canadian.

'Course, you'd have all of those tens of billions of dollars of obligations to current and retired workers, but I'm sure you're up for making good on those obligations.

 

We'd have to anyway, albeit in other forms.  We could keep shovelling cash into their bottomless corporate pits and hope that they'll prudently take care of things, or we can shovel billions into government programs such as welfare and unemployment insurance when these companies go belly-up.

We could, alternatively, put money into something sustainable such as local manufactuing and research, and turn out cars that Canadian drivers will want to buy.

Tommy_Paine

"We could, alternatively, put money into something sustainable such as local manufactuing and research, and turn out cars that Canadian drivers will want to buy."

Eventually.  First we need a revolution where comupance is served.  There needs to be consequences.  And besides that it's a fun way to transition.

 

Tommy_Paine

I think we are unduly harsh with Toronto Professor.  

It is not untill crisis that we realize just what manufacturing is.  It's not just machines.

It's a culture.

It is difficult to articulate what it is like to work in a factory.  Add to this the fact that technology has eclipsed what little popular conception did exist before, it's little wonder that people outside the culture do not grasp the significance of what is going on here.

It's a culture.  While the popular conception is of a guy repeatedly turning a screw all day on parts fed to him on a conveyor belt, it's hardly the reality.   Particularly with today's technology, workers need to be of the type who can learn on the fly, problem solve under pressure, and have some understanding regarding elements of many disciplines.

And, of course, the mental toughess to maintain concentration over hours. And days. And weeks. And years.  A talent that does not reside in the majority of people, but is frequent amoungst those who learned it from being raised in this culture.

That talent does not spring up on the land as easily as factories might be built on it.

It's all well and good to say we shouldn't be building cars that are fucking up the planet.  But who will build the electric cars?  Or any of the new "green" solutions?

And, if we don't, then we don't need robots and other cool machines.  And we won't need the electrical, mechanical and software engineers that build them.

And, of course, we won't need as many Professors to educate the people we no longer have a need for.

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

triciamarie wrote:

It is suggested that for $255K, Chrysler workers could all be retrained. $255K won't buy you much of a retraining program -- certainly nowhere near enough to even theoretically replace a $25 - $30 wage.

You must be joking.  $255K could get you the finest education at the most expensive private universities on the planet.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

DrConway wrote:

Are you denying that the Canadian government, in taking ownership of the auto companies instead of bailing them out, would be unable to retool these companies to reposition them for far more environmentally-sensitive vehicles that would...

sell well and make them a profit?

I'm not denying that it is theoretically possible.  But, I'd bloody well like to see the Canadian government try to do it.  I'm confident that it would be highly entertaining to watch.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Unionist

Sven wrote:

You must be joking.  $255K could get you the finest education at the most expensive private universities on the planet.

You're right. This is a huge opportunity. Instead of working on assembly lines, these auto workers could all become brain surgeons. See, I thought it was a disaster, but it's all in how you look at it.

 

triciamarie

Sven wrote:

You must be joking.  $255K could get you the finest education at the most expensive private universities on the planet.

No one is talking about sending the Chrysler workers around the planet to private universities.

The proposal was to continue to pay them for one year and give them retraining, for $255K. I explained that won't come even close to allowing them to replace their previous wages.

See here's the thing Sven: you want them to still maybe feed their families over this multi- year program I am describing? Maybe try to hold onto their house? Pay for daycare while they're in school? So then you need to give them some reasonable portion of their previous income while they're attending the program. And how about after if they're lucky enough to start a job in a new field, at entry level wages for the first three or five years. Should they lose their house then, or do we continue to pay them a part of the difference between what they're getting now and what they had before?

Gotta pay the bottom-feeders too, the consultants who cut and paste the useless cookie-cutter plans together then crack the whip at workers once a month, for $75 an hour, with travel time.

Many of these plans for high wage-earners amount to $600,00 - $800,000.

Sven Sven's picture

triciamarie wrote:

No one is talking about sending the Chrysler workers around the planet to private universities.

I wasn't suggesting that literally.  I'm merely pointing out that that is the kind of coin can buy a hell of a lot of education (and living expenses to boot).

triciamarie wrote:

See here's the thing Sven: you want them to still maybe feed their families over this multi- year program I am describing? Maybe try to hold onto their house? Pay for daycare while they're in school? So then you need to give them some reasonable portion of their previous income while they're attending the program.

Hells bells, triciamarie, you give me $355K, and I'll pay rent, clothe and feed three kids, send them to day care, and pay for tuition for a retraining program and I'll be you that I could come out of that after, say, two years with a job that will pay me more than $30 an hour in something completely unrelated to what I do now.

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triciamarie

Well Sven, but you have your arrogance to draw on too, don't you.

Sven Sven's picture

If $355K is paltry and insufficient, then what would be sufficent?  Maybe doubling that?  If so, why the hell would it make sense for society to spend $0.71 million to retrain someone to make $25 an hour?  Are you saying that once a person makes $25 per hour, society owes them a job at that rate for life, regardless of what it costs for the rest of society? 

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Sven Sven's picture

I know several people who send their kids to private universities, like Notre Dame, and spend $40,000 a year for the pleasure.  I look at them like they are insane.  And that's $160,000 for a four-year degree.

In contrast, one of my 18 year old nieces will be starting at the University of Minnesota this fall.  Her tuition for a year is going to be about $10,000 (so, roughly $45,000 in tuition for a four-year degree).  She wants to be a pharmacist and will earn about $100,000 out of school and, yet, colleges can't produce pharmacists fast enough.

Trade school?  The tuition is even less here locally.  If I didn't want to get a college degree, I'd learn a trade like plumbing and open my open shop.

But, $355K is too paltry for retraining?  Indeed.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

I actually overstated the tuition rate at the University of Minnesota by about 25%.  If a person takes 13 or more credits per semester, tuition is capped at $3,975.  So, a year of tuition is slightly less than $8,000 per year.  That is dirt cheap.

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Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

triciamarie

OMG what an awesome idea -- let's fire 9,000 right-wing lawyers at a shot and get them all to try to become plumbers. Let them focus on the back end of what they have produced in their former life.

So Sven, sounds like you think $25 an hour is an outrageously high wage. We are wrong to want workers to continue to earn this unreasonable level of income. So what do you think they should be satisfied with? $20? Guess what: it's still give or take the same plan. $15? Same jobs, smaller more marginal workplaces. Or, at that leve, maybe they can all be customer service representatives? For products that are no longer being manufactured and which no one in Windsor will be able to buy?

Sven Sven's picture

triciamarie wrote:

OMG what an awesome idea -- let's fire 9,000 right-wing lawyers at a shot and get them all to try to become plumbers. Let them focus on the back end of what they have produced in their former life.

Since most lawyers are self-employed, it's kinda hard to fire them.

But, that's a digression.

triciamarie wrote:

So Sven, sounds like you think $25 an hour is an outrageously high wage.

You are imagining that.  I don't think it's an outrageously high wage.

triciamarie wrote:
 

We are wrong to want workers to continue to earn this unreasonable level of income.

No.  But, no one "owes" someone a $25 per hour job.

Let's say the federal government gave each of the 9,000 auto workers $700,000 for "retraining" and, as a result, each of those workers get a job that pays $25 per hour.

Let's also say that they pay $5 in federal income taxes for every hour they work (which is high).  Even at that confiscatory rate of taxation, it would take a person about 68 years to repay that $700,000 "investment" (or, to put it another way, 68 years for everyone else in society who forked over the $700,000 in the first place to get their money back so that someone could earn $25 an hour).

I mean, it makes no sense.

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triciamarie

It makes no sense for the specific reason that the majority of those 9,000 workers will be fucked, no matter how much you spend on retraining or other whitewash, unless and until manufacturing or similar good jobs are made available -- as we have been saying.

Which brings us back to public ownership.

Sven Sven's picture

triciamarie wrote:

Which brings us back to public ownership.

Like I've said several times, I think it would be keen if Canada was to purchase, say, GM (it would cost less than $20 per Canadian to get control of the company) and then run it however Canada saw fit.  It would be entertaining to watch a bunch of bureaucrats running a car company.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

abnormal

Sven wrote:
triciamarie wrote:

Which brings us back to public ownership.

Like I've said several times, I think it would be keen if Canada was to purchase, say, GM (it would cost less than $20 per Canadian to get control of the company) and then run it however Canada saw fit.

And as has been pointed out before, Canada gets to (a) dump significant multiples of that into that beast in order to honour the various retirement  benefits that are unfunded (b) either (i) cut much [most??] of the workforce in any case since it makes no sense to produce cars that they can't sell or (ii) pour even more tax dollars into the company to produce cars that can't be sold and which will simply end up in a parking lot somewhere.

Quote:
It would be entertaining to watch a bunch of bureaucrats running a car company.

LMAO

Unionist

According to our worthies here, the problems of Chrysler are:

1. The workers, who have bargained too well

2. The retirees, who demand the pensions they worked all their lives for

3. The cars, which "won't sell"

4. The government bureaucrats, who are incompetent.

The billionaire capitalists, of course, have done nothing wrong, so they should just be allowed to leave with all their assets intact and (no doubt) all the hundreds of millions in subsidies which we gave them in the past.

My take on the situation is the mirror-image opposite. But it's people like them that run this country, not people like me. Thank "God" for that, eh?

 

Tommy_Paine

 

At this point, they couldn't do worse than what the buerocracy of GM has done.   GM, btw, is more buerocratic than government.  And so is Ford. Try to make a small change to a shop drawing.  Most part suppliers wouldn't even try.  

Years ago, we started putting stickers on our parts, at Ford's request.  They assist in part match ups.   The document with the specifications for the stickers was over twenty pages long.  Printed both sides in ten point font.

Some here might remember the Ford "Pinto", or as I call them "Chariots of Fire."   Some engineer put the differential right behind the gas tank, and no one thought to beef up the rear bumper.  The result was that in low speed rear end collisions, the differential would bash into the gas tank,  not just rupturing it, but pressurising the gas first, so that when the tank did rupture, it sprayed atomized gasoline everywhere-- including sometimes the passenger compartment.

When this came to light, an engineer devised a plastic shield to put on the tank.  But, the shield would have added about ten bucks to the sticker price.

The Ford legal department advised that it would be cheaper to settle the law suits arising from the shieldless Pintos.

Which it might have been.  Except that the negative publicity from such a sociopathic decision making process hurt Ford sales for over a decade.

Government buerocracies are no more or less efficient or murderous than those we see in action in Private Enterprise.

Hmm.

There's a commonality though.  Can you guess what it is, Sven?

 

 

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

At this point, they couldn't do worse than what the buerocracy of GM has done.

Unionist wrote:

The billionaire capitalists, of course, have done nothing wrong

I agree with both of you that the people who have run GM have run it into the ground.

But, I do think that government bureaucrats could actually do worse and, in any event, they could never run a company as well as, say, a Toyota.  Toyota would eat a bureaucrat-run auto company for lunch, much as they have with GM.

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Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

One other note about the "paltry" $355K figure: If 9,000 people were to each receive $355K, that would be a total expenditure of $3.195 billion.  Now, we don't know the market value of Chrysler (because it is privately-held) but, for the sake of discussion, let's say it's roughly worth what GM is worth.  The total value of GM, as of last Friday, is $1.66 billion

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Unionist

Why are we talking about giving workers money? Wasn't that torontoprofessor's idea in the first place???? Strange idea.

We should take control of our economy and give them jobs. On a net basis, it won't cost anything (except a bit to the ex-billionaire capitalists). It will create value.

Tommy_Paine

"Toyota would eat a bureaucrat-run auto company for lunch, much as they have with GM."

 Funny that. Toyota is losing scads of money even as we speak, and are making noises about bellying up to the bail out bar with the boys at GM and Chrysler.

I think you guessed my little riddle.

If we follow the chain of command up any buerocracy, we will ultimately run into lawyers at, or very near the top.  There, in a nice, tight economic tautology they create the laws and rules that make them artificially indespensible.

As if society owed them a spectacular living.

 

 

Tommy_Paine

"It will create value."

And ultimately, that's what this is all about.  For too long our affluence and artificial affluence has lead to a false valuation, and one way or another this recession or semi depression is the process for revaluation.   At the end of the day, it will be discovered that true economic value flows from resource extraction, farming and manufacturing, and the truly necessary support services they rely on to function.

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Funny that. Toyota is losing scads of money even as we speak, and are making noises about bellying up to the bail out bar with the boys at GM and Chrysler.

Well, obviously, all of the auto manufacturers, worldwide, are being hurt significantly by this downturn.  But, prior to September '08, Toyota was humming along and GM was, at best, in an ever-slowing limp with a audible death rattle.

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abnormal

Unionist wrote:

According to our worthies here, the problems of Chrysler are:

1. The workers, who have bargained too well

2. The retirees, who demand the pensions they worked all their lives for

It's not their fault but, if the government were to take over a Chrysler (or worse yet a GM) they'd be stuck with these liabilities.  And they'd be faced with a choice - honour them and spend far more in the process than was spent purchasing the company or walk. 

And regardless of which path is chosen the new owners would still be faced with a simple problem - too many employees producing cars that can't be sold - they'd still have to eliminate a very large percentage of workers. 

Quote:
3. The cars, which "won't sell"

The entire auto market is depressed (new car sales are off by something like 40%) so exactly what makes anyone think that the simple fact that a car company is owned by the taxpayer is going to solve that problem.

As was pointed out above, the big difference between a GM and a Toyota is that Toyota is hurting because of current economic conditions while GM has been in its death throes for a very long time.  It's easy to see Toyota regaining its former health when the economy turns around.  GM (and Chrysler) have much bigger problems.

Quote:
4. The government bureaucrats, who are incompetent.

Which has what to do with the auto companies' current problems?  I can't imagine them managing to run the companies even as well as the current management (and nobody is trying to argue their performance has been anything but bad - in fairness, Buffet has said that you can't blame the current management for the problems - they inherited a broken business model - their mistake was not changing it (what he didn't say was that would have required eliminating massive numbers of jobs) - the unions negotiated in good faith - unfortunately the result was that their membership was the beneficiary of promises that the employers are not going to be able to honour - that's not the fault of the unions although it's their membership that's going to suffer).

DrConway

abnormal wrote:
It's not their fault but, if the government were to take over a Chrysler (or worse yet a GM) they'd be stuck with these liabilities.  And they'd be faced with a choice - honour them and spend far more in the process than was spent purchasing the company or walk.

You keep implying those are lump sum obligations.

They're not, as any pension fund manager or person who studies the CPP will tell you. They're yearly obligations.

The CPP is largely funded on a cash-in, cash-out basis except for that part invested in the stock market (say, how's that brilliant idea doing, by the way?), and pension funds themselves ensure a flow of funds from whatever investments are made to ensure that their current obligations are met.

 

abnormal

DrC, you are assuming that private pension plans are run like the CPP or Social Security system in the US.

Social Security is a "paygo" (pay as you go) system - it's been described as an intergenerational Ponzi scheme because current benefits are paid by current workers.  And current workers benefits will be paid by the contributions made by their children and grandchildren.  A different discussion but it's going to crash and burn because of inadequate funding.  CPP is a little better - it's not fully funded but it's not a pure paygo.  [As an aside, did you know that a former chief actuary for the CPP resigned because the then Minister of Finance was pressuring him to sign an opinion that he felt was incorrect.]

However, private pensions funds are required by law to be fully funded.  That calculation includes future investment income - the shortfall in GM's plans is measured in the double digit billions of dollars (and given current market conditions it may well be far larger than that - market value accounting is making a mess out of even the most conservative bond portfolio).

And to repeat, the shortfall in those plans is measured in present value terms (that is, it takes future investment income into account).

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

However, private pensions funds are required by law to be fully funded. 

What do you mean by that?

Private defined benefit pension plans are allowed to amortize and liquidate solvency deficits over five years - and employers' lobby groups are right now (this week) asking the government to extend that to 10 years.

As for "going concern" deficits, employers have 15 years to pay those off. And those are the deficits that actually "matter", in the sense of reflecting the shortfall of receipts vs. expenses. Solvency only matters on plan windup, which presumably would not happen if the government threw the billionaires' sorry derrières out of Canada and took over the operation itself.

Could you clarify your statement, please?

 

madmax

al-Qa'bong wrote:
We could, alternatively, put money into something sustainable such as local manufactuing and research, and turn out cars that Canadian drivers will want to buy.
  It doesn't matter what technological marvel we produce. People without jobs, or working for wages of the mid 80s in todays labour market do not buy automobiles.  All manufacturers have taken a slide. It isn't like there is pent up demand for "Green Cars". However, by putting our federal taxes into a company, we could produce the most efficient car possible and pray that people will buy it, especially if we are able to provide "Sustainable" employment for the near 1 million people who are going to be out of work before the years done.

madmax

Tommy_Paine wrote:

I think we are unduly harsh with Toronto Professor.  

It is not untill crisis that we realize just what manufacturing is.  It's not just machines.

It's a culture.

It is difficult to articulate what it is like to work in a factory.  Add to this the fact that technology has eclipsed what little popular conception did exist before, it's little wonder that people outside the culture do not grasp the significance of what is going on here.

It's a culture.  While the popular conception is of a guy repeatedly turning a screw all day on parts fed to him on a conveyor belt, it's hardly the reality.   Particularly with today's technology, workers need to be of the type who can learn on the fly, problem solve under pressure, and have some understanding regarding elements of many disciplines.

And, of course, the mental toughess to maintain concentration over hours. And days. And weeks. And years.  A talent that does not reside in the majority of people, but is frequent amoungst those who learned it from being raised in this culture.

That talent does not spring up on the land as easily as factories might be built on it.

It's all well and good to say we shouldn't be building cars that are fucking up the planet.  But who will build the electric cars?  Or any of the new "green" solutions?

And, if we don't, then we don't need robots and other cool machines.  And we won't need the electrical, mechanical and software engineers that build them.

And, of course, we won't need as many Professors to educate the people we no longer have a need for.

Ok Tommy, you did such a great job, I will back off on being so harsh on the Professor. You hit a home run in my ball park. I congratulate you for spelling out the culture so clearly.

We need your input on other forums where people are just as ignorant in understanding manufacturing in Canada.

 

madmax

Sven wrote:

Like I've said several times, I think it would be keen if Canada was to purchase, say, GM (it would cost less than $20 per Canadian to get control of the company) and then run it however Canada saw fit.  It would be entertaining to watch a bunch of bureaucrats running a car company.

They can't do anyworse then Global Capitalists like Cerberus, who don't know a fucking thing about automotive manufacturing.

I have seen companies driven into CCAA by their new American executive management group and then watched as these masters of money laundering flee the country with Hundreds of Millions of Dollars and abandon a company that still needs to continue to avoid economic collapse and local industrial catastrophy. I watch the court monitors unable to run the operations, and then oversaw, a team of Local Canadian Managers, work and take directions from the Union Shop floor as they then went on to produce month after month of profit, that's right PROFIT. The bankruptcy was fudged, and it went alittle to far, thus screwing the bank. Don't mess with a banks money. Once the Bank received its just dues and all of its money, the courts rendered the operation closed.   Banks providing the lines of credit maintain these operations and create these profits can call in their chips at anytime.

Banks don't run manufacturing operations.

If there is a capable management group, and a qualified workforce then the potential to produce exists. You then need a market to sell to and a product they want to buy.  Don't be mistaken by the fact that many Automotive manufacturers sold lots of vehicles prior to the economic meltdown. It was people who couldn't afford to buy vehicles that created the massive glut of vehicles on all makes and brands. Not the myth people like to buy into, because it fits with an idealogy or bias.

Red T-shirt

Heard a bit on CBC radio last week comparing/contrasting GM & Toyota. In 2007 the two companies made and sold almost exactly the same number of cars. GM lost 3-4 thousand on each unit sold, while Toyota made about $2000 per unit. GM owns 7 private corporate jets, Toyota flies comercial. The head of GM made as much in salary and bonuses (while his company was losing its shirt) as the top 37 people at Toyota did (while they were doing well).

So yah, lets exclusively blame the men and women on the line. It's all the fault of those greedy unions. Did either of those groups have anything to do with the company building the wrong types of vehicles?Why do I hear our government saying that consessions from the unions are a prerequisite for any financial help, but they say nothing about their fatcat friends at the top?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Red T-shirt wrote:
Why do I hear our government saying that consessions from the unions are a prerequisite for any financial help, but they say nothing about their fatcat friends at the top?

 They don't want to be confused with the facts.

DrConway

Unionist, abnormal thinks companies actually care that it's technically illegal to switch a pension plan from defined benefit to defined contribution so the CEO can abscond with the funds. You'll probably get some bafflegab in response to your statement.

madmax

If the intent is to only compare Cars then the CBC show is close to the truth.  However, when you compare GMs entire production line of trucks and SUVs, and the losses incurred by the Japanese companies trying to break into these markets, you get a clearer picture.

GM made profits on there mainstays, Trucks and SUVs.

Toyota on Cars.

When people couldn't afford the big ticket items (Because of Economic Meltdown, not fuel costs), then it was the more expensive lines that were purchased by Joe Public that are the first to be put off the new purchase list.

Shortly there after, if you follow the trend, the drop in General Auto Purchases occurred, affecting the Japanese companies a great deal.

After the decline in consumer purchases, does the waste and entitlement of GMs brass really stand out.

In good times, these entitlements and luxuries are masked. Only when their hands come out to the public trough do people scrutinize GM.

And they should.

Unionist

DrConway wrote:
Unionist, abnormal thinks companies actually care that it's technically illegal to switch a pension plan from defined benefit to defined contribution so the CEO can abscond with the funds. You'll probably get some bafflegab in response to your statement.

Abnormal often posts in this forum taking a dim view of unions. Now he is warning, over and over, against either pouring money into the auto industry or expropriating it. I generally listen when he speaks, because there's logic in his posts. But I didn't follow his point on pensions. That's why I put in my comment and am hoping he will clarify. Maybe I got it wrong?

 

triciamarie

In an article written for the Socialist Voice, retired CAW rep Herman Rosenfeld argues against overly concessionary bargaining and runs through a list of other factors that he thinks should be considered in the current crisis in auto.

Some of the issues he mentions have come up here, including the need to demand that the companies replace their products with affordable and environmentally friendly vehicles; making sure that manufacturing plants and workers don't sit idle -- he sees them ideally coming together on a community level to decide what to do with their resources; and nationalizing the financial sector, to allow for this agenda. However he's not so much on public ownership of the car plants because not only does he not see enough of a general will to do this (ahem -- versus taking over the banks???), but he also doesn't perceive any capacity on the part of our current governments to run the companies any differently than they are now. That last is a good point I suppose.

One other issue he raises is the need to regulate access to North American auto markets so that production here matches market levels. I didn't really think those kinds of limits were even possible. What kind of an effect would that have, eg specifically for Chrysler Canada?

http://www.xpdnc.com/files/relatednewsandreports09/TheAutoBailout.pdf 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I wish regulation of another sort could be possible - namely, that auto ownership be set up in such a way that anyone purchasing a motor vehicle enters into a legal contract to keep that vehicle properly maintained and on the road for a fixed period of time before trading up to a different vehicle - say five years. It frankly makes no sense for some car owners to trade in their vehicle after just one, two, or three years. Under my plan, failure to maintain the vehicle properly would result in a fine under an escalator cause - a higher fine for a second offense, and after three strikes, you lose custody of the vehicle altogether.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

double post

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