The Auto industry in the United States has been driven to almost complete failure due to both stupidity on the part of executives and their poor business decisions, poor quality and poor planning. However there is a bigger interest in the auto industry that is currently being ignored by the Main Stream Media that is the true cause of their failure and that is unions.
The unions for decades have been making steeper and steeper demands on the auto industry through efforts of strikes, a form of legalized extortion. Making demands that simply could never be lived up to in the long run. Pensions alone that the auto industry owes union members exceed $14 billion dollars - and that is to people who no longer produce anything for the companies. It is basically a system similar to how our social security system works, where the workers of today are supposed to provide for the workers of yesterday. Both are doomed for failure.
So now we have the US auto industry going to the United States government and asking for taxpayer dollars to bail out the costs associated with these union groups demands. It is another form of redistribution of wealth, where Americans are asked to pay money so that the unions can benefit.
The ideas of unions during the times of employee exploitation and workplace safety were a great idea. As with all great ideas though eventually they go too far. In this case corruption grew to the point where you could not even get a job in an industry unless you joined the union and paid them dues, a tax in effect, to the continued existence of such entities who could care less about the businesses that employ their members.
In the end the question is will the unions change or will they keep up their ridiculous demands? I of course have little faith that it will change and that we will once again face this in the future as these companies are driven to the brink of failure by left wing groups that have overstepped their usefulness.
I'm not defending one side or the other, but I just wanted to point out that Toyota workers do not belong to UAW (aside from the NUMMI plant in Freemont, CA); however, they are paid more than UAW workers, at least, from what I've read... Therefore, I don't think it's fair to blame the bulk of the failure of the American automotive industry on unions. Toyota is able to provide more for their workers and produce better, more reliable cars, that cost the consumer less. I guess what I'm saying is that there is a way to run a successful business, while providing for your employees, without unions. However, they probably wouldn't provide the same salaries and benefits if there were now UAW plants to compete with.
Posted by: drivelocity on November 7, 2008 05:14 PM
You just made my point. Unions have forced the companies to provide jobs even to the lazy and unproductive.
Without unions companies can reward productive behavior and get rid of the dead weight ensuring more quality and efficiency.
Like I said unions "once upon a time" were good, they have gone way beyond their usefulness.
Posted by: Digger on November 7, 2008 06:04 PM