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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by lorennerol View Post
Some of the things that GM, Chrysler, and Ford allowed into the union contracts were stunning, in terms of allowing the union to veto structural changes within the company, protecting underperforming union members, etc. And while it was certainly myopic for management to allow such language into the contracts, it was equally myopic for union leaders to force the company to keep ****ty employees and make other choices that protected handfuls of jobs in the short term at the inevitable expense to everyone of the bankruptcy.

Said another way, the likely reason that person was allowed to collect a paycheck for work they didn't do for years was because the contract under which he worked made it terribly time, money, and energy consuming to fire him.
Agreed. A much better example of management and unions working together would be with the German manufacturers.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 01:58 PM
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I am going to say a BLANKET STATEMENT....Every UNION is corrupt. Just the way business is done. If u ask me how I know this....I will tell u a story about my mother and when she worked in a sweat shop and the AFLCIO...but I will spare u and the FORUM the story. I am sure every member here knows of corruption within
their collective UNION.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 12:16 PM
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I'm glad you said it was a blanket statement! Totally inaccurate and taking an experience of one person and then conflating that to every single union being corrupt. I know this is not true because its my career to study ineffective management within large bureaucracy and the relationship between management and employees (including unions).

Here is the best example I can think of for you. Southwest Airlines has a track record of being one of the most profitable airline companies in the world. They have a streak of over 30 consecutive years of being profitable from year to year. This is mostly due to the fact that their founder, Herb Kelleher, created an organization from the top down that focused entirely on employees and the employee work experience. This created an environment where leadership existed throughout the organization (including in the lowest levels). Kelleher also focused on the idea of management employee trust, and, because of that, was able to sign 10 year contracts with the Unions that represented his employees.

Here is the kicker.....That 30 year streak of being profitable was in danger of being broken in 1990 due to the Iraq War and the fact that jet fuel prices skyrocketed. The only reason that South West Airlines was able to maintain a profit through that period is because the UNIONS and employees stepped up and insisted that South West start automatic payroll deductions from employee checks to help pay for the jet fuel that the Airline needed!

That is why I say (and the facts bear this out) that ineffective management within these huge bureaucratic organizations is what caused/is causing these problems. If you have excellent leadership that focuses on employees you don't have issues with those employees (or Unions).
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 11:43 PM
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Here is the kicker.....That 30 year streak of being profitable was in danger of being broken in 1990 due to the Iraq War and the fact that jet fuel prices skyrocketed. The only reason that South West Airlines was able to maintain a profit through that period is because the UNIONS and employees stepped up and insisted that South West start automatic payroll deductions from employee checks to help pay for the jet fuel that the Airline needed!
Southwest had predicted correctly that fuel prices would rise. They purchased futures that enabled them to ride out the high fuel prices because they didn't pay it! Other airlines didn't do so. But I do agree that the employees and management at SW have an above average relationship that benefits both.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 11:49 PM
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That is true...SW bought future commodities (Fuel) so when the price of fuel skyrocketed...they had cheap gas.

And if I recall...they were not flying the jumbo jets..and no empty seats. Of course, today...the planes pack u in like sardines.

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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 08:39 AM
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I think that the same thing could be said of Saturn as well.

Mismanaged for years with nothing exciting to sell, but finally was getting it right with some quality new products.

Unfortunately, it was "too little - too late", and since SOMETHING had to be cut, it did really make sense to drop Pontiac and Saturn.

Personally, I would have preferred that they drop GMC (as they just seem like unreasonably over-priced Chevys), but I can appreciate how profitable they are (though I don't really understand who actually pays extra for a GMC).

I also think that if they really wanted to, they could have kept the Kappa by rebadging it as a Buick, but again, GM was in a pretty desperate situation and had to make some harsh and painful cuts.
GMC is selling 500k vehicles a year

GMC Sales Numbers, Figures, Results | GM Authority

It was conceived as a way to sell trucks at dealerships that did not sell Chevrolet and therefore could not sell their trucks. It has become a "premium" brand. People I know who buy a GMC believe they are getting an upgraded vehicle that is "better" than the standard Chevy.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 08:53 AM
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I found a copy of one of the GM union contracts and work rules online a couple of years ago. Just reading the details about who can do what, when made me realize that the whole contract process was fatally flawed. The level of detail it contained was totally ridiculous.

I was in the Teamsters Union. We did not have any say in who lead the union. None.

When I started working I was taken aside by the lead and told to slow down. I was working too hard and needed to fit into the way they worked.

20 men, broken into two 10 man teams. One team worked while the other team rested. One hour on, one hour off. Unloading a ship full of bags of rice. When my team was working I was limited to so many bags per hour. If I loaded too many bags they told me to sit down and conform. It was clear that the productivity was part of the work rules and we were setting a pace that made sure we never exceeded the minimum established by the contract. If you did one more bag, you were screwing your fellow union members by putting them of work.

Made me anti-union for lice
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 10:59 AM
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It was clear that the productivity was part of the work rules and we were setting a pace that made sure we never exceeded the minimum established by the contract. If you did one more bag, you were screwing your fellow union members by putting them of work.

Made me anti-union for lice
Think you mean for life, but I won't enquire....

A friend who was brought up in Detroit worked at one of the car plants there and told me the same thing. And the US companies wonder why the Japanese and Korean work forces kick their ass.

He was in trouble to start with, though, because he worked at Chrysler and the whole employee parking lot was Mopar - except for his BMW 1600. He said he took a lot of flack for that.

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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 11:57 AM
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He was in trouble to start with, though, because he worked at Chrysler and the whole employee parking lot was Mopar - except for his BMW 1600. He said he took a lot of flack for that.
My son currently works for FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) in Detroit, and you are not allowed in the parking lot unless you drive an FCA car. He now owns a Jeep and a Fiat 124 Abarth.



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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 12:18 PM
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Southwest had predicted correctly that fuel prices would rise. They purchased futures that enabled them to ride out the high fuel prices because they didn't pay it! Other airlines didn't do so. But I do agree that the employees and management at SW have an above average relationship that benefits both.
Here is a great article on Southwest: Luv and War at 30,000 Feet
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 12:23 PM
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I found a copy of one of the GM union contracts and work rules online a couple of years ago. Just reading the details about who can do what, when made me realize that the whole contract process was fatally flawed. The level of detail it contained was totally ridiculous.

I was in the Teamsters Union. We did not have any say in who lead the union. None.

When I started working I was taken aside by the lead and told to slow down. I was working too hard and needed to fit into the way they worked.

20 men, broken into two 10 man teams. One team worked while the other team rested. One hour on, one hour off. Unloading a ship full of bags of rice. When my team was working I was limited to so many bags per hour. If I loaded too many bags they told me to sit down and conform. It was clear that the productivity was part of the work rules and we were setting a pace that made sure we never exceeded the minimum established by the contract. If you did one more bag, you were screwing your fellow union members by putting them of work.

Made me anti-union for lice
That sucks! I just want to point out that I am by no means saying ALL Unions are great...I'm just saying that ALL Unions aren't corrupt or bad. German car makers have Unions, and they are doing well. Southwest Airlines is doing will BECAUSE of its Unions.

I'm just pointing out that Poor management has a much larger impact on how a company prospers. A lot of times that results in treating employees poorly which in turn leads to more problems. In fact the one labor dispute Southwest did have (lasted two years I think) led to Herb Kelleher (the founder) coming back to negotiate it. He had a new contract in three weeks and the CEO at the time was forced to leave! That right there shows the difference.

Anyway, this is my last post in here about this. I just wanted to point out that I see the other side as well.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 12:56 PM
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The structure and organization allowed by unions and big corporations isn't the problem. Greedy lazy people with no work ethic, no motivation, and no morals are the problem. The tools (unions) that were originally put in place to protect workers from being abused are now being abused to allow laziness and complacency to thrive.


I have to admit... as much as I was sad to see both sub companies that made Kappas get axed... part of me was actually happy to see such a bloated and mismanaged company fail. I was actually pretty annoyed that they were bailed out. Why the hell should the whole country fund a poorly ran company?!?! Let them fail. Let all the people that were a part of the failure FEEL the sting and LEARN from it! When I say "all" I mean from the lowest line worker "just going with the flow" all the way up to the CEO collecting an insane paycheck as a reward for terrible management (and as was said... ZERO leadership). Both of those are greedy and lazy behaviors and don't deserve to be rewarded with a government bailout.

We haven't had a big enough tragedy in a long time to remind people of what hard life is actually like. (world war, massive depression, something that really stings everyone for a significant period of time). No, I don't WISH tragedy on anyone. Just look at human history... so many periods of growth and innovation have followed hard knocks. When you have a long enough period without hardship people get lazy, complacent, and things like greed and selfishness can take hold.

We (I speak mainly of the US, but I believe it applies somewhat globally too) have also drifted away from any sort of moral compass. Religion is on the decline and being immoral is glorified and even celebrated. Just look at the most popular movies, TV, and news stories even. Being good for the sake of kindness towards fellow humans is seen as weak. Whereas being a greedy jackass is glorified. Go figure we're all messed up and millennials are adrift and lost...

Bah... sorry... no more preaching...


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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I have to admit... as much as I was sad to see both sub companies that made Kappas get axed... part of me was actually happy to see such a bloated and mismanaged company fail. I was actually pretty annoyed that they were bailed out. Why the hell should the whole country fund a poorly ran company?!?! Let them fail. Let all the people that were a part of the failure FEEL the sting and LEARN from it! When I say "all" I mean from the lowest line worker "just going with the flow" all the way up to the CEO collecting an insane paycheck as a reward for terrible management (and as was said... ZERO leadership). Both of those are greedy and lazy behaviors and don't deserve to be rewarded with a government bailout.

We haven't had a big enough tragedy in a long time to remind people of what hard life is actually like. (world war, massive depression, something that really stings everyone for a significant period of time).
It's funny you mention these two things back to back.

Why bail out Chrysler or GM? Look at who built Tanks during WWII...Look who originally developed the M-1 Abrams MBT today. Auto manufacturers. The feds bailed them out so, if this country ever faces a conflict like WWII again, these companies will still be around to take up war time production. Now there are other economic factors at play certainly...ones that have far more importance to us today than being able to fully mobilize the country for war...but you better believe that factor played a big role in keeping them around as well.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 06:54 PM
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It's funny you mention these two things back to back.

Why bail out Chrysler or GM? Look at who built Tanks during WWII...Look who originally developed the M-1 Abrams MBT today. Auto manufacturers. The feds bailed them out so, if this country ever faces a conflict like WWII again, these companies will still be around to take up war time production. Now there are other economic factors at play certainly...ones that have far more importance to us today than being able to fully mobilize the country for war...but you better believe that factor played a big role in keeping them around as well.
Fair enough

I suppose keeping all those people employed also generates more tax revenue down the road...

Still...

The next war is being fought in the cyber-verse anyway. GM can't do much to help with that :P

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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2017, 12:28 PM
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I think the moral is that if you are going to be poor at business and making money, fail in a big way. The poor little entrepreneur doesn't even get a goodbye wave, while the big f***ups get bailed out with public money. So much for 'free market' economy.

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