Friday, December 12, 2008

A Web of Inefficient Union Work Rules....

Ford’s 2,215 page 2007 UAW master contract above.

SLATE.COM -- Why have unionized Detroit auto manufacturers manifestly lost out to their non-union Japanese competitors, even when it comes to building cars in the United States--to the point where Congress is presented with a choice of bailout or bankruptcy? There are some obvious culprits: shortsighted American managers, schlocky designers, an insular corporate culture. Here's another: the very structure of Wagner Act unionism. The problem isn't so much wages as work rules--internal strictures that make it hard for unionized competitors to constantly adapt and change production processes the way the Japanese do.

Now that everyone is criticizing work rules, it's easy to forget that they don't represent a perversion of the collective bargaining process--they are the intended result of that process, and were once celebrated as such.

That's why Democrats are deluding themselves if they think they can save Detroit by mandating that GM and Ford build high-MPG small cars in the U.S.--thanks to inefficient work rules, they'll be overpriced high-MPG small cars, and badly built high-MPG small cars. That's why Republicans are deluding themselves if they think a wage cut that saves Ford and GM $800 per car is going to make all the difference--it won't, if the trim still falls off and the carpets bunch up.

Sen. Corker's proposed bailout compromise apparently did try to tackle the issue of work rules. But the UAW balked at the Corker requirements (which would also have cut pay to parity with Toyota and Honda's U.S. factories) and the deal collapsed. That shouldn't be a surprise. A "web of rules" is what adversarial Wagner Act unions were designed to produce.

9 Comments:

At 12/12/2008 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Investors should demand the Big 3 move out of Michigan. Michigan is the kiss of death for manufacturing anything except very bad Government or Union Mobsters.

The voters of Michigan, California and New York have the Government they voted for and deserve.

The DNC care about killing Corporations and somehow saving Unions. The Unions return the favor with 400 million Dollars to the DNC for elections.
The DNC in turn repay the Unions for their investment with 15 Billion Dollars of Tax Payer Money.

Dodd and Frank killed an entire world economy for an election victory and the fun is just starting. Living here in California. I can tell ya, you are going to love Socialism!

Hotrod.
Sacramento, CA.

 
At 12/12/2008 10:32 PM, Anonymous David said...

Living here in California. I can tell ya, you are going to love Socialism!
If the whole country becomes as bad as California I'll leave the country. I'm in South Dakota and we have a pretty free economic system, last time I saw we have either the lowest unemployment rate or close to it, a very low cost of living too, low crime, basically the opposite of California.

 
At 12/12/2008 10:41 PM, Blogger wcw said...

Living in CA, but having in the past lived under social democratic governments, what can I say: I miss social democracy. A lot.

You pathetic losers just don't know how bad you have it.

 
At 12/12/2008 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something you need to consider is that both the Japenese and the European auto makers have an unfair competitive advantage over the U.S. car makers. Both subidze industries in their countries by having the government pick up the tab on both health coverage and pensions. Also, car makers in western Germany and Japan actually average higher hourly wages over their U.S. counterparts - a tad higher in Japan, and $40 in western Gemrany.

The associated press released some info. on hourly wages of auto workers in this country who work for the Japs. Accoding to the Associated Press, Toyota workers in the U.S. average $30 per hour. U.S. Honda auto workers earn comparable wages to their Big 3 counterparts with enough experience.

It's perfect to repsect one's opinon of "socialized health care," or government pensions as socialist; but is it better to spend more money on a military than the rest of the world combined, and fight an expensive and unnecessary war - plus kill the world's opinion, to boot?

Ultimately, the auto industry will require a massive amount of government money, with our without a bailout. I can't pretend to know if a bailout will work, or if bankruptcy is the best option; but if one wants to do an experiment, please, endure Toyota, Nissan and Honda with massive legacy costs - without government health care or pension coverage - and see how they perform.

 
At 12/12/2008 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked and never seen anything in the Constitution about Government Health Care.
I would think this issue to be a matter for each State to consider. The Framers were clear about the duties entrusted to the Federal Government which were few. The few jobs gifted to the Federal Government outside of our Military have been ignored. Example: would be protecting our Borders or double and triple taxation with out representation. Some how our (your DNC) Attorneys have managed to twist and contort the Constitution to say what ever they might wish instead of the framers intentions.

To entrust today’s power grabbing Federal Government with 1/7th of the private sector economy would be nuts. We seem to be willing to take any and every choice away from the American people aside from abortion.

In our future, will a Government official show up at our homes each morning and wipe our bottoms for us? Maybe that official will be there only to ensure the tree huggers mandate of proper use of paper products not to exceed a certain number of squares with out proper environmental permits?

I remember when there were grown ups in our Country instead of adults looking for a Government mommy.

The Auto Industry is showing us though Unions what we have to look foward to with SSI run by Washington. Some will never get a clue.

Hotrod.
Sacramento Republic Of.

 
At 12/13/2008 8:22 AM, Blogger Michael Smith said...

wcw wrote:

Living in CA, but having in the past lived under social democratic governments, what can I say: I miss social democracy. A lot.

You're a looter without the guts to do your own looting. Instead, you want the government to do the looting for you, for purposes of providing you economic benefits you have not earned and do not deserve.

Your moral status is even lower than that of an armed robber. The armed robber is at least willing to do his own dirty work and to face the risks that his victim might also be armed and may fight back, as well as face the risk of being caught by the police.

You, by contrast, want to face no such risks and perform no such labor. You merely want the government to do the robbing for you and deliver to you the unearned and undeserved economic benefits with no effort required on your part.

You're an impotent little parasite hiding behind the transparent rationalizations of the left, fit only to regurgitate the talking points of the left, with no more understanding or grasp of ideas than a parrot repeating memorized sounds.

 
At 12/13/2008 9:23 AM, Blogger Michael Smith said...

A union is (generally but not always) a semi-organized gang that attempts to win by force, or threat of force, wages, working conditions, work rules, etc. that it cannot otherwise obtain by free and voluntary exchange of labor with employers willing to hire them. But nothing justifies the notion that either party to an agreement should have the power to force the other party to accept terms and conditions against their will. Only a criminal thinks of obtaining what he wants by means of force.

If employees wish to form a union, present demands to the employer and then withhold their labor until the demands are granted, they have every right to do so -- but a strike is rarely limited to the withholding of labor. Management, in the face of a strike, has a right to offer employment to others willing to accept management’s terms. And here is where the union initiates the use of force.

The force is aimed at the replacement workers. A picket line is formed, debris is hurled, automobiles are “keyed”, tires are flattened, windows are smashed, homes are vandalized, threatening phone calls are made to the replacement worker’s homes, sometimes people are even shot. All of this is illegal, but the police are usually intimidated (or bribed) into looking the other way.

The union’s latest efforts to use force to get what they want is the preposterously named “Employee Free Choice Act”, which eliminates the secret ballot and allows union organizers and pro-union employees to bring intimidation and threats to bear directly on any employee who dares to oppose an effort to organize the workers. The desire to eliminate the secret ballot election is, in fact, the union’s naked admission that they cannot count on winning by means of reason and persuasion.

And no doubt we will now hear the claim that companies use the time before the election to intimidate workers and fire those who are for the union. This claim is false. All union organization drives are closely monitored by the NLRB and any -- ANY -- retaliatory action on the part of management against pro-union employees is illegal and carries a stiff penalty, including the reinstatement of the employee. Union organizers would positively dance for joy if management took any retaliatory action against pro-union employees because 1) it proves their claim that management is unfair and "afraid of the union", and 2) they know the NLRB will come down hard on the company. Management knows this as well.

Here are some of the things prohibited by he NLRB:

The NLRA forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights relating to organizing, forming, joining or assisting a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or engaging in concerted activities, or refraining from any such activity.

Examples of Employer Conduct Which Violate the NLRA Are:

Threatening employees with loss of jobs or benefits if they join or vote for a union or engage in protected concerted activity.

Threatening to close the plant if employees select a union to represent them.

Questioning employees about their union sympathies or activities in circumstances that tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act.

Promising benefits to employees to discourage their union support.

Transferring, laying off, terminating or assigning employees more difficult work tasks because they engaged in union or protected concerted activity.

Go here to see for yourself: NLRB

 
At 12/13/2008 1:21 PM, Blogger K T Cat said...

Linked with additional analysis.

 
At 12/13/2008 11:44 PM, Blogger Kazimer said...

The UAW with the dedication of its members have raised the quality of the American auto/truck equal to and man instances greater than their foreign competitors.

This is a testament to the effectiveness and efficiency of the men and women of the UAW.

 

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