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Two interesting quotes, from stories I saw at Yahoo Finance today:

(Reuters) "The company and the union could not make any headway on the issue that sparked the UAW's strikes in Flint, Mich., June 5: GM's demands for productivity-related changes in work rules at a metal stamping plant. Neither side had substantially altered its stance from the beginning ...."

(AP) "'We continue to examine all opportunities to reduce cash consumption, and we are carefully reviewing future spending for marginal products and facilities,' (GM Chairman Jack) Smith said."

The first quote suggests to me that the UAW still insists on its ridiculous work rules, choosing to continue to put all the blame on GM's cessation of upgrade funding at the plant; of course, that they have not "substantially altered" their stance is a joke, IMO, because I have yet to find a clear delineation of their stance anywhere.

The second quote is the ongoing threat that, if the UAW doesn't help improve productivity at the Flint plants, GM will simply close the plants.

Taken together, I'm guessing the strike will go a while longer, and that in the end, the UAW may undermine their workers' job security far worse than anything they ever imagined GM management has done. Unless, of course, they get serious about changes at the plant and the way they do things.

==> david
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FYI from a GM employee ...

Facilities at the GM Tech Center have sent instructions to all Tech Center employees to reduce electric consumption. We are being asked to:

Reduce need for overhead lighting
Turn up thermostats to 78 degrees

There are many other cost savings measures also going on ... too numerous to mention here. The point I'm trying to make is that we are happy to help. I've not heard a single person complain about any cost savings measure - no matter how small it may seem.

It's time management take a stand, even if we are in for a long haul.

There are 3 other plants which are threatening to strike and management is asking that their issues are also discussed. It makes no sense that GM would settle with Flint then have to turn around and face another walkout.

Management is asking the UAW to live up to the contract that was agreed to back in 1995. There is no new contract being negotiated. GM has filed a grievence with the International Union stating that the current strike is illegal. That filing went in 3 weeks ago and I have not heard of any response to the claim at this time.

GM currently loses $500 - $1000 per vehicle to our competition. Obviously in today's marketplace we can't raise prices thus we must reduce our costs.

Stay with us stockholders ... we are doing the right thing.

PS: Did anyone notice that even with the poor earnings we reported yesterday (Tuesday) that the stock price went up!

Elphaba
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I read today that GM just filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Michigan seeking to compel arbitration and to obtain an injunction against the UAW. Any thoughts?
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"I read today that GM just filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Michigan seeking to compel arbitration and to obtain an injunction against the UAW. Any thoughts?"

According to GM management, since so much of the UAW rhetoric has concerned itself with how GM has 'reneged' on its investment plans, that must be a central reason for the strike. GM's investment plans are a nation-wide issue and thus the union is striking illegally.

However, as reported at CBS MarketWatch, "The union denies that the Flint strike is national in nature. It says workers are striking over local production, health and safety issues allowed under the national contract." The usual red herrings.

This seems like a very slippery situation GM is in to me. They can quote chapter and verse from news reports that have Shoemaker saying broken promises, broken promises, broken promises; and consistently resisting even a public discussion of their work rules; but he can always counter that it was only one element ... that "local production, health and safety issues" are at least as significant issues.

As the CBS article notes, legal analysts think GM has a tough case here, but if the court shows any sympathy at all it would certainly put pressure on the UAW, who are already looking at the liklihood of new work rules, possible job losses anyway if any of the plants are ultimately closed, and now being possibly forced into arbitration. Doh!

I'd like to see what some of the employees, like elphaba, think though. I wonder if s/he realizes that I'm fully behind management and the employees still at work. I think the UAW is not thinking rationally and is probably making things much worse for itself in Flint. I couldn't be happier, if it means that GM can transform itself into a more productive, competitive company than it has been.

==> david
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David-- Seems any rational judge would rule the strikable issues (health & safety) are subterfuge -- which they obviously are.

The `real issues' can be summed up by a quote by ole Jerry Flint in Forbes: .... "I believe GM is right on all the issues. At the struck Flint, Mich. stamping plant some high-paid workers are shirking, and productivity isn't good enough. The second struck plant makes parts like oil filters, and GM can't afford to have $50-$70-an-hour (with fringes) workers making such simple stuff. That work must be outsourced. GM's productivity is the lowest among its competitors, and its cost per vehicle are the highest, and it's tough to stay in business this way."

Umillt


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Good to hear something positive and well-reasoned from a GM employee. The people I have seen in interviews have been unreal. They seem to hate the Company; I don't understand why they continue to work there. Except, of course, for the fact that their total compensation inclusive of benefits has repeatedly been stated to be about $40/hr. That works out to 80 grand a year! And they bitch when the Company would like to renegotiate having some shifts to work more than the 4 hours it takes them to complete their assigned production level. That was negotiated in 1995 and presumably the Company was led to believe that back then it took eight hours to get that much work done. Amazing. They also complain that they have to work very hard! Hello???? It is amazing that GM is able to compete at all.

For me all that nonsense coming from the Union got to be too much and I decided to bail.
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