GM Closing WY Stamping Plant, More (Months after union extorts higher wages)

Spectre

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Subcontractor. I'm not union. Down here in Texas, closed shops are illegal. While the UAW requires that the plant be union, the law says that anyone who wants to work there may opt out of the union, and vendors don't have to be union either.
 

marcos_eirik

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I would love to get some transcripts of that mans lectures, or audio of them. Especially if he has knowledge on these contracts they seemingly decided to make back in the 70's. I thought all the contracts they made that are screwing them now came about way back before the 60's
They were basically making contracts with the UAW all along the way when things were going good. The UAW were using good times as a leverage to extort the Big 3, and now that's come around to haunt them, big time. Like I said, their labor costs are ridiculous...

I'm sorry, but our Operations Management professor doesn't regularly tape his lectures, or puts up transcripts, or scripts on the Internet like many others do. This is mostly due to the fact that all of the theories and concepts he presents in the lectures are backed up with examples from his career, and about 60 % of the questions on his exams are these examples. (For instance: "My example of ........ illustrates the concept of .......) So, if you want to get a good grade in that class, you have to go to the lecture, which I think is fair.

But I could ask him after the next lecture if he has some sort of write-up about these UAW contracts and if he could send it to me by e-mail or let me know if there is something about it in some other sorts of literature available in the TTU library. He was very thrilled about me, a foreign student discussing this with him after class. Anyway, I'll post whatever he gives or tells me...
 
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marcos_eirik

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Hey, how long are you going to be in Texas, anyway?
I'm only here for this semester. The classes I'm taking here at Texas Tech substitutes some of the subjects from my major back home, so they are a part of my major now. My major is Law and Management, so I'm taking management classes here; Personnel Administration, Managerial Communication, Organizational Behavior, and Operations Management.

Sadly I haven't been much outside of Lubbock though; we just end up going out and drinking all the time here... :lol: Actually I'm going to Dallas in two weeks time to see the NASCAR race there, the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Another thing I'd like to add is that the presence of the UAW does really hurt the Big 3 on the point we call flexibility. In most of their US factories, Honda can change which models they make in 10 minutes. Their plants are so well automated that they only need to switch programs and some bits on the machines, so they can produce Civics in the morning and Accords in the afternoon, if the latter turns out to be in higher demand. That way, they can keep up with the changes in the market, and respond to these very quickly. Because of the UAW opposing automation to a very big extent, neither of the Big 3 can do this with their US plants, as doing this would require them to retool the factory and retrain the employees to do these cars. When one model is in low demand, they get a ridiculous redundancy because their plants has a lot more workers than others. Additionally, because they can't make the switch over to a model that's in higher demand, they are losing money in that end as well. (lost sales)

Honestly, you can fill books with what the Big 3 and the UAW has done and still does wrong. They are the textbook examples of inefficiency.
 
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Spectre

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That's pretty much all there *is* to do in Lubbock, as you've no doubt found out... Ah, well. If you have some extra time in Dallas, perhaps we could meet and have some steak, on me. :D

You are correct about the lack of flexibility. It can take months for a UAW plant to change up for even the next year's model, let alone an all new car. Meanwhile, Honda Marysville can switch from cars to *motorcycles* and back in the course of a day.

And you can lay the fault for the lack of automation squarely at the feet of the UAW.
 

marcos_eirik

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That's pretty much all there *is* to do in Lubbock, as you've no doubt found out... Ah, well. If you have some extra time in Dallas, perhaps we could meet and have some steak, on me. :D
Yup, and yesterday, or rather today, I found out that drinking on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Long Island Ice Tea, and Margaritas made with Everclear, FTL... That's why I'm not partying today, despite the Texas Tech Red Raiders' ownage of the Texas A&M Aggies.

I don't know when we'll be driving over to Dallas, but the race is on Sunday, so I'll think we will be going either on Friday or Saturday, I don't know yet. Luckily I have no classes on Mondays. I can ask the other guys I'm going with, and then I'll let you know if I have some time, Of course I'd love to get some steak, and discuss Jaguars and the misery that is the UAW... :D
 

Spectre

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Yup, and yesterday, or rather today, I found out that drinking on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Long Island Ice Tea, and Margaritas made with Everclear, FTL... That's why I'm not partying today, despite the Texas Tech Red Raiders' ownage of the Texas A&M Aggies.

I don't know when we'll be driving over to Dallas, but the race is on Sunday, so I'll think we will be going either on Friday or Saturday, I don't know yet. Luckily I have no classes on Mondays. I can ask the other guys I'm going with, and then I'll let you know if I have some time, Of course I'd love to get some steak, and discuss Jaguars and the misery that is the UAW... :D
Be happy to. In fact, my father sent his rare 96 XJ12 to Dallas to have some body work done, so you can even ogle that while you're here. (Heh - ironically, it's cheaper to ship the Jag from Los Angeles to Dallas, have the work done here, then ship the car back to Los Angeles than it is to have the same quality of work done in Los Angeles.)

Come to think of it, I wonder if the GM Arlington plant has a tour on that Monday. That'd be an interesting fieldtrip....
 

marcos_eirik

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Come to think of it, I wonder if the GM Arlington plant has a tour on that Monday. That'd be an interesting fieldtrip....
That would be very interesting, as it would have relevance to at least two of my classes, I might even be given extra credit if I tell the teachers in advance ad writes a report after I've been there.

Also the experience of seeing something first hand is something different from just reading about it in a book or being taught in a lecture.
 

Spectre

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Back on topic.

Here's the sort of thing that the unions always *say* that they want to get for their workers, but somehow never do, because they're busy with other things - like, oh, making it so they get more money for less work or no work at all!

Check this out.

[youtube]l3Ha7daI7Ps[/youtube]

Notice that it's a non-union plant, and it's automation assisting, not replacing, the worker. Imagine that.

In addition, it reduces potential damage to the bodies-in-white, as well as potential rust spots (from skin oils and sweat coming into contact with the unpainted parts), and finally makes the process more certain and efficient.

The UAW would be fighting this tooth and nail.
 

prizrak

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Back on topic.

Here's the sort of thing that the unions always *say* that they want to get for their workers, but somehow never do, because they're busy with other things - like, oh, making it so they get more money for less work or no work at all!

Check this out.

Notice that it's a non-union plant, and it's automation assisting, not replacing, the worker. Imagine that.

In addition, it reduces potential damage to the bodies-in-white, as well as potential rust spots (from skin oils and sweat coming into contact with the unpainted parts), and finally makes the process more certain and efficient.

The UAW would be fighting this tooth and nail.
That is frigging cool!
 

thedguy

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Something I just remembered was my dad telling me as a kid that when Honda announced it was going to open a plant in the US most people thought "oh shit honda quality is gonna go down" then when it didn't people discovered "wow an American worker CAN built a quality vehicle."

IIRC even with the heavy automation at foreign brand plants in the US, they still have a very similar number of employees as the UAW plants while having significantly higher production numbers, superior quality, and a generally happy workforce (partially helped by the fact that they have a job in some small town in the south).

edit: just looked at the numbers, BMW employs nearly twice as many people at spartanburg as GM does at wentzville, mo., but only half as much as Lordstown, Oh And interesting enough this link shows just how grossly overpaid they are, average pay at an autoworkers plan in MO is 54k/year while the average pay of the state is 35k/year. No wonder few people, even in the heartland, feel bad when a plant closes because they all bought Hyundai's and Mazda's.

Interesting what one finds when trying to find something as simple as number of employee's at a plant. UAW rules mean that anyone wanting in at a UAW plant requires that applicants be recommended by a UAW worker. Also if a plant was closed and another plant in another area needs more workers then the other area gets precedence over local new hires, which is probably one area where the UAW is actually doing something right.

Yet another thought popped up, due to the massive amount of stupidity amongst union members working the assembly lines, towns like Lordstown, oh and surrounding area went from massive amounts of manufacturing to the State Governer claiming "my number 1 priority is keeping GM alive in Lordstown." American Axle which shutdown recently after UAW went on strike (when the plant was already needing every bit of work it could get to support GM's SUV's) is/was also in Lordstown, but now is in Mexico. Sounds to me like the UAW did a wonderful job of keeping those guys employed.
 
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C53A_4G63T

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You would think the UAW guys would want those assisting chairs. It would mean they wouldn't have to stand up during their day. So less work.
 

Deanodriver

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How many plants do the Big Three operate in the US?

You'd think they'd just tell the UAW to get stuffed, after all, they've probably got enough unsold stock sitting on the lots to get them through months of strikes. That said, I doubt the UAW controls just the manufacturing stage.

After all, if I was running one of the Big Three, I'd move all the small car production to Mexico, and close down most of the UAW-run SUV/pickup plants blaming high gas prices. Or shut up shop completely in North America, though that'd be fairly ironic if a US auto company closed down all US operations but kept operations in other countries.
 
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prizrak

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How many plants do the Big Three operate in the US?

You'd think they'd just tell the UAW to get stuffed, after all, they've probably got enough unsold stock sitting on the lots to get them through months of strikes. That said, I doubt the UAW controls just the manufacturing stage.

After all, if I was running one of the Big Three, I'd move all the small car production to Mexico, and close down most of the UAW-run SUV/pickup plants blaming high gas prices. Or shut up shop completely in North America, though that'd be fairly ironic if a US auto company closed down all US operations but kept operations in other countries.
All of the US plants are UAW it has to do with the master agreement. Shutting down US plants and moving production abroad is extremely costly. GM would have to pay those they lay off. They would have to incur tooling costs in existing factories and building costs for factories that do not exist. There are going to be changes to logistics since materials and finished products have to be moved differently, again more cost.

It would pretty much kill GM if they tried, the only thing they can do is minimize US production (as they are doing) and increase production elsewhere to offset. If they manage to do it right the UAW will destroy itself.
 

tigger

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How many plants do the Big Three operate in the US?
According to Wikipedia:
GM currently has about 60 operational plants in the US alone (probably that many again outside the US) but they've closed at least a dozen in the last couple years.

Ford has roughly half that, around 30 US plants. Looks like most of their industrial capacity is elsewhere though. Mexico and Europe mostly.

Chrysler had 22 here but I'm not sure if all those are still operating.
 

GRtak

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Back on topic.

Here's the sort of thing that the unions always *say* that they want to get for their workers, but somehow never do, because they're busy with other things - like, oh, making it so they get more money for less work or no work at all!

Check this out.

[youtube]l3Ha7daI7Ps[/youtube]

Notice that it's a non-union plant, and it's automation assisting, not replacing, the worker. Imagine that.

In addition, it reduces potential damage to the bodies-in-white, as well as potential rust spots (from skin oils and sweat coming into contact with the unpainted parts), and finally makes the process more certain and efficient.

The UAW would be fighting this tooth and nail.

This just shows how out of touch you are with UNION plants. There are plenty of devices like that (not that exact device) to help workers do a better job in GM plants. I was recently at the Lake Orion plant that uses mechanical aids for putting seats in the G6/ Malibu among other things. I have also seen other mechanical aids used for engine building. And it isn't always the UAW that resists these devices, GM has on many occassions not wanted to change things.
 

prizrak

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This just shows how out of touch you are with UNION plants. There are plenty of devices like that (not that exact device) to help workers do a better job in GM plants. I was recently at the Lake Orion plant that uses mechanical aids for putting seats in the G6/ Malibu among other things. I have also seen other mechanical aids used for engine building. And it isn't always the UAW that resists these devices, GM has on many occassions not wanted to change things.
Did you expect that line workers would do everything by hand?

Of course there are mechanical devices that make the job easier in fact many of those jobs would be absolutely impossible w/o any aids. However what we are talking about is assembly line automation, i. e. removal of workers from positions where there is absolutely no need for one or need for less workers.

That chair is just an example of increased efficiency and remember increased efficiency == less workers for each job. For those who don't want to get with the times and actually learn a skill that cannot be performed by a preinstructed machine its death.

Here is a perfect example, before computers and calculators were around there used to be human calculators (seriously that's what they were called), they would be people employed by corporations and research institutes that would do nothing but crunch numbers by hand. Computers and electronic calculators made them obsolete and replaced them with operators, programmers, admins and so on... They made a simple business of number crunching into a complex industry that takes years to learn properly.
 
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GRtak

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That device was specifically brought up, so I commented on it.

Some of you have brought up that you do more for a similar wage as GM new hires. Maybe it's not that they get to much money, but you don't get enough.
 

Spectre

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That device was specifically brought up, so I commented on it.

Some of you have brought up that you do more for a similar wage as GM new hires. Maybe it's not that they get to much money, but you don't get enough.
Maybe its that the rest of us believe in a free market and you don't.

Maybe it's that if *we* were employing people to do that job, we wouldn't pay that much.

Maybe it's that NOBODY ELSE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would pay someone that much money to do a job that simple - especially when for the amount of money paid, the quality of work returned is so crappy. If those UAW workers did as bad a job assembling burgers as they do cars, they'd be fired from McDonalds in a week.

Oh, and did anyone ever explain the inflationary magic of union-type COLA raises to you? It's amazing how self-perpetuating they are - and how they jack up prices. Here's a capsule definition: When employees demand more money "to compensate for the greater cost of living and higher prices of goods," the business doesn't reduce margins. They increase prices or cut costs (and corners) if they can't increase prices (which is actually a price rise, as you get less for the same money). So, the unions ask for more money, prices go up, the union asks for more money, prices go up, the union.... you get the idea.
 

GRtak

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I don't agree with everything the unions want or get. But the basic fact is that they have made it so common workers aren't modern indentured servants. That they can afford to send thier kids to college. When lowly workers can send thier kids to college our society improves overall. If you really look into the history of the union, you would see that when things improve for them, it improves for the communities they are in.
 
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