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Updated on December 3, 2008


So General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are having a tough time these days.  CEO’s have to drive to Washington DC to borrow billions of dollars from the Gov.  They are willing to come down to earth, will the unions do the same?

I listened to the COO of GM today announce some of the intended cutbacks to make GM healthy again.  The one he danced around without really saying it was to put a leash on the unions.  Parts of the story spoke of the volumes of rules the unions have weaseled into place to insure job diversity and job security.  All the time they did this, the employees never saw the nails going into the coffins of their futures.   The spoke of the job banks that paid laid-off workers 95% of their salary while they sit around the union hall playing cards.  They spoke of how there had been up to 15,000 people taking full advantage of this over the years.  They have cut it down to 3600.  And we wonder why the cars cost so much.  I don’t work for NBC, but I suggest you go on the Today Show website and catch the story and interview.  It will give you some insight as to why things are the way they are.

I was once walking in Disney World’s Epcot Center, smoking a cigarette.  When I finished, I was looking for an ash tray to dispose the butt when my arrogant brother-in-law informed me that I should just throw it on the ground.  He chided me by saying that they hire people just to pick those up, and I would be putting someone out of a job by using an ashtray.  I couldn’t tell you if there was a union involved, but I can tell you that they are born out of that thinking.

There was a time, perhaps in the early 1900s, that the concept of the union was to provide protection to the employee from the employer.  Well, all sides have smartened up considerably over the years, and the need for their existence has diminished greatly.  Over the years, the unions have grown stronger, but have not provided any assistance to the overall productivity of America.  Rather, they have methodically destroyed the whole concept of productivity and teamwork in the workplace.  When you, as a plumber, cannot pick up the hammer of the carpenter, something is terribly wrong.  That would be like the offensive tackle on the front line, does his block as per the play, but doesn’t do the additional block of the blitzing cornerback, because THAT’S NOT HIS JOB! 

Over the years, the unions have managed to insure that not much get’s done without them.  They picket jobs that don’t have union laborers, as if that is a crime.  They stand outside the site with their blow up Rat, walk around with signs saying someone is unfair to them, and go home at 3:30, because they just don’t work past 4 PM.  This is what happened to the American Automobile Industry.  This is why Japan and other Asian countries have grown right past our products.  Employees over there work together and like it.  They share job duties and don’t get the “Blue Flue”.  They earn a respectful living relative to their economy.  They are not going out of business because they don’t have the unions running their companies.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler can live a little longer, but they need remove the unions and their strangling contracts from their business, or they can just let the door hit them on their way OUT!


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      Uwant the Truth 9 years ago

      Thanks DK5. Here we are with math again. I am not against the bailout if they ditch the unions. Make everyone actually work. Rate their performance and let the most productive make the most money. Stop allowing the workers to SHAME the individual who wants to work hard and do a great job. Unions have turned the job market into an ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. Unfortunately, the income to pay for it currently doesn't come from taxes, it comes from sales of products. And when the price gets to high, people stop buying, and workers get laid off. Now it has all come to the fork in the road where one turn leads to viability and the other to demise. It is time for employers to lead the way back to prosperity. If it takes some seed money, so be it. But ONLY if they choose the road that allows them to build quality without it lining the coffers of the unions.

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      DK5 9 years ago

      Great hub! You couldn't be more correct on why they are failing. Mitt Romney wrote an Op-Ed in the times that echos your sentiments. The overwhelming majority of Americans are against the bailout of the big three.