If you want to get liberals all riled up, all you need to do is say anything against unions. Nevermind that liberals are elitist sh*tbags who sneer at Joe Six-Pack types for not being as grease-free as they are, with their soft hands and bodies toned by trainers, not actual hard work; they fancy themselves (and unions) as champions of the Little Guy. Bah.
I know people who are auto workers - a good friend is also involved in union activities - and have heard plenty of stories like the ones related in Detroit’s Downturn: It’s the Productivity, Stupid, so before the Anonymous Pussies who fill their diapers in the Backtalk section waste their time hammering spittle-flecked missives that will be either rejected or torn to pieces for my and sane readers' amusement: Stop!
But almost all of the discussion, when it comes to UAW culpability, has been on wages. The even larger issue, though, is the elephant in the room that seemingly no one discusses, even when given a political opportunity...The issue isn’t wages — though those are a problem — so much as work rules. UAW work rules, which have evolved over the many decades since the passage of the Wagner Act, are the biggest reason that General Motors is uncompetitive with its non-union American counterparts.Read it all and check out the comments that amplify the points. Also read Michael Barone's column which fills in more blanks and shows that instead of bailout cash, the Detroit 3 need to be forced into Chapter 11 and at that time, the UAW must be crushed and its leech-like corpse pried off the economy. Make it happen!!!
What are work rules? They are agreements negotiated in the contract between management and the union covering how the employees are to be classified, how many breaks they get, how much time off they get, who can do which jobs, how discipline is to be enforced, etc. The goal of the rules is not to enhance productivity or production quality. It is to provide opportunities for featherbedding, increase numbers of (overpaid) jobs for union workers, and minimize how much they have to actually work. This is important because it’s at least in theory possible that the industry could be making money even at current wages, if they could be provided with the flexibility to increase worker productivity. When you blame management for the quality and cost problems in the auto industry, first consider stories like this:As a former supervisor of UAW workers at a GM facility, I will say that poor management and union malpractice made the Detroit Three uncompetitive long before the government sent in their arsonists.
To put it bluntly, the UAW takes the hard-earned money of the best workers and spends it defending the very worst workers while tying up the industry with thousands of pages of work rules that make it impossible to be competitive. And the spineless management often makes short-sighted decisions to satisfy the union and maximize immediate benefits over long-term sustainability.
The strength of the union and the weakness of management made it impossible to conduct business properly at any level. …
I supervised a loading dock and 21 UAW workers who worked approximately five hours per day for eight hours’ pay. They could easily load one-third more rail cars and still maintain their union-negotiated break times, but when I tried to make them increase production ever so slightly they sabotaged my ability to make even the current production levels by hiding stock, calling in sick, feigning equipment problems, and even once, as a show of force, used a fork lift truck and pallets and racks to create a car part prison where they trapped me while I was conducting inventory. The reaction of upper management to my request to boost production was that I should “not be naive.”