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Old 11-21-2008, 11:10 PM   #61
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The classic textbook case study is the steel industry, going from bloated and unprofitable to leaner, faster, flexible, and profitable. But the Big 3 don't even have to go outside of their own industry, they've got honda and toyota as model examples. Yet the Big 3 have been declining for decades, what have they been doing all this time? Maybe bankruptcy would be the fresh start that is needed for this industry.

Or, how about bringing in Gordon Ramsey? Automotive Nightmares! He'll give the Big 3 a swift kick in the ass!
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:53 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Dreamweaver View Post
The classic textbook case study is the steel industry, going from bloated and unprofitable to leaner, faster, flexible, and profitable. But the Big 3 don't even have to go outside of their own industry, they've got honda and toyota as model examples. Yet the Big 3 have been declining for decades, what have they been doing all this time? Maybe bankruptcy would be the fresh start that is needed for this industry.

Or, how about bringing in Gordon Ramsey? Automotive Nightmares! He'll give the Big 3 a swift kick in the ass!
All this should have happened when times were good. A bunch of 40-60 yo auto workers kicked to the curb, as unemployment is high and getting higher, will not be pretty. And, theories of worker shortages as the boomers age aside, even during relatively good times, being a 50-something out looking for work is definitely not an ego booster...
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:29 AM   #63
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These companies should be looking out for their shareholders first, retirees second, workers third, & ceo/exec compensation last.

I've never run a business, much less a major corporation, but seems to me that instead of coming to the US taxpayer for a handout or the bankruptcy court so they can cheat their creditors, perhaps these companies need CEO's willing to "do what they need to do" to save their companies -

I don't know what all that may entail, but I suspect it could involve things like selling off entire divisions, lay off employees, close unprofitable product lines, strongarm their suppliers for cheaper prices, renegotiate union contracts & pension obligations - whatever it takes.

Instead they are taking the "easy" way out by going to the government for a handout.
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:56 AM   #64
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Can anyone break down the numbers on the UAW concessions that I've read about? Seems I've read that by 2010 or so, costs will be much closer to Toyota/Honda?

I suspect there is some fuzzy math there - maybe that leaves out 'legacy costs' or something? As usual, the media reports I read didn't give enough detail to know what the numbers really meant.

TIA -ERD50
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:08 AM   #65
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All this should have happened when times were good. A bunch of 40-60 yo auto workers kicked to the curb, as unemployment is high and getting higher, will not be pretty. And, theories of worker shortages as the boomers age aside, even during relatively good times, being a 50-something out looking for work is definitely not an ego booster...
Been there, done that. Both as the manager laying off 100's of people and as the victim being layed off myself.

It does point to the folly of unions trying to negotiate job security. They can, under some circumstances, negotiate no-layoff clauses or pay for time not worked clauses or no outsourcing clauses, etc. But in the long run, these very clauses which were negotiated to protect themselves wind up reducing their security by forcing the company into uncompetitive situations where the whole thing goes "poof."

The UAW and the bulk of its members knew full well the risk they were taking when they pushed up GM's costs and restricted management's flexibility. They knew that GM would have to be highly successful vs competition to continue to afford it. They lost the bet. And like investors who make risky purchases with the hopes of high rewards, they must now reap the results of their actions.
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