The time for unions is long past

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I wholeheartedly agree with your position that the United Auto Workers cannot continue its business-as-usual approach to negotiations if General Motors and Chrysler are to survive ("An imperfect union," Feb. 20).

Over the past decade, every other industry in the country but the auto industry has come to the conclusion that business as usual is the fastest road to oblivion. That industry, thanks in large part to the UAW's entrenched opposition to new ideas, has been either unable or unwilling to change with the times. As a result, all three American automakers are on the verge of toppling into the abyss. When GM and Chrysler fail, the UAW will have to carry the lion's share of the responsibility for their failure.

The time for unions in the United States is long past. The only thing unions in this country accomplish is to drive up labor costs, thereby driving manufacturing to countries where the cost of doing business is significantly lower.

It is said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way one has always done it and expecting a different result. The UAW must therefore either be insane or assume that the rest of us are if it thinks it can do the same thing it's always done in this negotiation with GM and expect things to stay the same.

The UAW is driving the American automotive business out of business. How is that going to benefit its members or the American people?

Daniel Moore

Grovetown

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GGpap
528
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GGpap 02/26/09 - 02:47 am
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Daniel, many us would agree

Daniel, many us would agree that the UAW has outlived its usefulness. It is surely time for their employers to close shop and leave these obstinate idiots grubbing in the alleys for their dinners. And while we are at it, lets not forget that there is still another union (although not related to the manufacturing sector), that shares a similar responsibility for driving up the cost of its services to the point that the benefits of those services have not delivered a product that delivers acceptable results from the services rendered. I refer to the National Education Association (NEA). Its members continually fail to turn out well-rounded graduates from our public schools; yet year after year we hear of their demands for ever higher teacher wages (and benefits) in order to assure that our students "continue" to receive a "quality" education. Perhaps it is time to close shop here as well.

GGpap
528
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GGpap 02/26/09 - 02:49 am
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Unfortunately, public schools

Unfortunately, public schools cannot "fail" in the manner that threatens businesses like GM. However, the growing trend that sees parents transferring their children to private schooling or attempting to home school them will eventually reflect the same phenomenon that has driven American auto-manufacturers to their knees, Americans will simply "buy" their products or opt for "services" from other more reliable and more worthwhile sources and the public schools (and their tenured teachers) will be faced with empty classrooms. Then, perhaps, the Chinese or Japanese will take over public education as the have automobile manufacturing. GGpap

TechLover
15
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TechLover 02/26/09 - 03:41 am
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If you wish to get an

If you wish to get an education, the oppotunity exists in public schools. Many of the are private schools are "segregation academies" that miraculously sprang up the year schools were integrated. Many others are religious based, and while there are exceptions, they like much home schooling exist more for religious indoctrination than true education. Private schools are also allowed to "cherry pick" their student population. Given the same student population and parental involvement, (or lack thereof) their performance would mirror that of public schools.

As It Is
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As It Is 02/26/09 - 03:58 am
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Unions are a complete waste

Unions are a complete waste of time, energy and money and yes, that includes the police unions and teacher unions and certainly the auto workers unions. These agencies are also top heavy, wasting money, unnecessarily driving up associated costes, make excessive donations to political campaigns, etc. vs. putting money in the hands of the real workers. The unions will be the demise of the auto industry if major changes are not immediately adopted.

Riverman1
155024
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Riverman1 02/26/09 - 05:44 am
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The Democrats are now in

The Democrats are now in charge and will assure that unions thrive. Union/party members will march in lockstep all the way to the polls and pull the all Democratic slate in unison.

dashiel
177
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dashiel 02/26/09 - 07:44 am
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Entrenched opposition to new

Entrenched opposition to new ideas? Unable to change with the times? SOUND FAMILIAR?

patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 02/26/09 - 08:03 am
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Stifle economic growth,

Stifle economic growth, stifle imagination, stifle expansion. These are the three main accomplishments of today's unions. The various government unions are very powerful in politics, which has a lot to do with the apparent insanity of some of the bills passed. Now the end of the secret vote is pending. How insane. Our current president is on the wrong side of this issue.

patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 02/26/09 - 08:08 am
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TechLover, removing

TechLover, removing competition removes the incentive to achieve. Protecting the government schools as a monopoly (no vouchers) is probably why the government schools decline in efficiency and are unable to compete with the private schools. Yes, most private schools have an agenda, but so do government schools. The "cherry picking" you refer to is called "setting high standards that MUST be met" by the private schools. They're no restricted by union rules. Government schools don't need to be either.

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 02/26/09 - 08:19 am
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Expulsion still remains a

Expulsion still remains a tool to be used by private schools. Yes students are cherry picked based on set criteria and if they pick the wrong kids, they get rid of them so that teachers can teach and not baby sit. Government schools would be well served by using this same approach.

Talkatoast
0
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Talkatoast 02/26/09 - 08:37 am
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Some government schools

Some government schools cherry pick, too. Aquinas high and Richomond County magnet schools do such. You only need to fill out an application to get in those schools. No money required.

DonH
13
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DonH 02/26/09 - 09:02 am
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I don't argree that Unions

I don't argree that Unions have outlived their usefulness. They serve an important function to insure that workers are not exploited to the max by their companies. That's why Unions were formed in the beginning, and that purpose is still around today. However, Unions need to adapt to changes in the business environment, too. When times are good and the money tree is bearing fruit, it's time for the corportations to fork over some of their wealth. When it's a business Winter, don't try to pick fruit, because there is none to be had. Unions need to adapt, or else they will kill the money tree!

americanveteran
0
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americanveteran 02/26/09 - 09:10 am
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American Labor Unions have

American Labor Unions have outlived their usefullness in our country today. At one time in our nation, they were a valuable asset for the american worker. Now, all labor unions in Washington, DC are loaded at the top with "fat cats' who make huge sums of money, while the rank and file that pay their dues are most of the time out of work. Couple this with the "diversity factor and the women factor", it has taken union contractors out of being a competitive force in the public arena. Noboby wants to work anymore and thinks that they the Union Ticket in their pocket quarantees them a living. Jobs like the Savannah River Site, where smarter, more productive white male workers have been laid off in order to keep their quotas, is a classic example of how organized labor has stuck it's head into the sand and join the "P.C." Crowd that now runs union labor. The days are gone when you kept your job because you worked hard, came to work everyday, were drug free, and knew your trade. Diversity and the Politically Correct Crowd has destroyed union labor and it will never over come this "two headed monster" that it has created. This applies to all labor unions, especially ones at SRS.

disssman
6
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disssman 02/26/09 - 09:45 am
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People are so scarred of

People are so scarred of unions they will do anything. I remember an incident a few years ago about a plant over in Aiken. Apparently a worker had the audacity to suggest maybe the workers should unionize, That very day he was stopped at GUN point by the local sheriffs office and committed to an insane asylun for about a week. All simply because he said the word "union". My son used to work for a company in Martinez. The first document they forced him to sign was an acknowledgement that he would be fired for speaking the word "union". BTW the company was a publisher of news inserts and the workers were expected to work 12 - 14 hour days, weeks on end so the company wouldn't have to hire new people. Further, in order to maximize production, the company hard wired around all the safety governors on the machinery. Bottom line the company wanted and got mindless robots that were willing to work like slaves. My son quit after a couple of months when he realized that resetting the safety blocks was going to be a daily job. Moral of the story is a Union would have given these people a say in their safety and their ability to work better.

GnipGnop1
2
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GnipGnop1 02/26/09 - 09:55 am
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You people kill me lumping

You people kill me lumping every union member in as one. I am a proud union member. I work in a dangerous environment where I could be killed any day. The union makes the company abide by safety rules. It also allows for holiday pay and health benefits that a lot of workers don't get. Don't give me that OSHA crap either. Usually they only show up after a fatality and then of course the company acts like it cares about it workers. Doubt me? Look at the past five coal mine accidents. Look at the sugar refinery blast. Any of your hogwash about ALL unions driving up the cost can be quashed in a few minutes. Hershey's moved their operation to Mexico and guess how much the price of their candy bars went down? ZERO,ZILCH not one red cent. Don't lump all unions into one. I work hard for my pay and I risk my live in an industrial environment. Companies are greedier than their workers. They want to pay workers as little as possible so they can pay their CEO's millions for doing nothing. I am tired of hearing about labor costs when companies that are failing are giving 4 million dollars to their officers. Give me a fricking break!

4725
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4725 02/26/09 - 10:07 am
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companies and unions should

companies and unions should be partnerships. They are not.
FACT: American Auto producers spend appox $80 per hour to produce a car. The Honda's, Kia etc of the world spend $ 45 appox.
Twice the labor cost. GM trucks are $35,000. Should be $25,000.
Not greedy, just trying to stay in business. Paying someone $40-45 an hour plus benefits and retirement for zipping on a part and giving them 8-10 weeks off with pay for model change PLUS 3 weeks vacation, plus 10 holidays, plus 10 sick personal/sick days IS NO WAY TO STAY IN BUSINESS !

donnymack
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donnymack 02/26/09 - 10:07 am
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Unions have no place in the

Unions have no place in the South,because of the yes Masta way of thinking. Where else but the south can you go to work and say good morning Masta and he says you're fired? Where else can a person get injured on the job through no fault of their own be reduced to a lower pay scale for workmans comp? Where else can you lose your position in a company if you go on workman's comp when you return you have to start at a lower job position? None of this has happened to me,but I know of four instance's where these things have occured. You folks are right unions are not needed that is why the pay scale is so low in the south and the nignorance is so blissful. Folks get real,big business will always fault the workers to cover up their greed,that is why the the mills in the Carolinas are so prosperous. Some unions go to extremes that is true but so do some unions of man and wife,we don't outlaw themk do we?

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
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ONLY THE TRUTH 02/26/09 - 11:48 am
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$45 an hour for Honda and

$45 an hour for Honda and Kia is the same as GM and Ford's $80 an hour.. How??? Honda and Kia and the other 'newcomers" to American manufacturing have no retirees to support as they have only been manufacturing in the US for a comparatively short time. Does anyone here think that retirees should NOT get a defined benefit pension plan???? Should we just kill them before they retire??? Just like the arguement about Wal-Mart's health care plan. Either the company pays for it or the government does.. Come on people it AINT that hard to figure out!!!!

Daddyrabbit
0
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Daddyrabbit 02/26/09 - 12:29 pm
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anymore unions are just

anymore unions are just legalized extorsion. Most of the people they actually protect are unqualified. And the exist mostly for their gain. Did anyone ever hear them advise of a multi-plant contract? They tell you it gives you more power. In a way it does. However, if you do and one plant becomes disenchanted with the union it cannot be kicked out of only one plant. You may resign and quit paying dues, but, you must do as the others decide. That way the union stays in business. And onlythetruth you are talking about a lot of money either way. when vehicls go down the line everybody does their task and only theirs. No more, no less. In view of that what would you pay for a relatively unskilled person to say install tires on your car? Would you pay what the carmakers give or do it yourself or get someone to do it much cheaper. Believe me what they do is not worth what they get paid for it. I have 3 yrs of technical school and 30 years experience as an industral electrical technician and don't even make what they make. I don't even make what IBEW journeymen make and a most of them are not qualified to do my job. Put almost anyone on an assembly line and within a week they can learn.

Daddyrabbit
0
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Daddyrabbit 02/26/09 - 12:31 pm
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(continuig the last one) If

(continuig the last one) If you put most assembly line workers at something else that requires a skill they may learn, but, it will take a long time. Don't get me wrong, those jobs are important, but, some of them are grossly over paid.

Daddyrabbit
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Daddyrabbit 02/26/09 - 12:35 pm
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By the way gnipgnop. You

By the way gnipgnop. You have, in your words, a fricking break. you have a job!

southernguy08
614
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southernguy08 02/26/09 - 02:56 pm
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DONNYMACK, first of all,
Unpublished

DONNYMACK, first of all, people should have the right to join a union, or not. That shouldn't be a southern thing, but a right everywhere. Second, some union payscales, not all, have forced some companies to locate overseas to stay competitive. The average union autoworker working 40 hours a week in salary and benefits still makes more than the average S. Korean autoworker working 60 hours a week. Now, who will make an auto that will be competitive in a world market? And third, and I'm sure I speak for a lot of people here, if you hate living in this "ignorant south" as you call it so much, please feel free to get the Hell out! Nobody will miss you!!

draksig
167
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draksig 02/26/09 - 03:31 pm
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The Democrats are about to

The Democrats are about to pass and sign the check card law making it easy to unionize and has an arbitration clause where if there is no contract agreement in 120 days, one will be imposed by a arbitrator (and guess who's side that arbitrator will come down on?). With that clause, there is no incentive for the union to bargin in good faith. A lot of business owners will react to this by simply closing their doors. Lao, expect to see more businesses staffed totally by temps (temps can't unionize).

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
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ONLY THE TRUTH 02/26/09 - 04:27 pm
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Daddy Rabbit, If what you

Daddy Rabbit, If what you say is true and you are a qualified electrical technician with 30 years experience and you don't make what an journeyman makes I can see why you hate unions-----you are either too stupid to be one or too jealous that you are not one.

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
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ONLY THE TRUTH 02/26/09 - 04:31 pm
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Draksig----"and guess who's

Draksig----"and guess who's side that arbitrator will come down on?). " after 8 years of W. Bush.............come on

disssman
6
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disssman 02/26/09 - 04:56 pm
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Daddyrabbit, you are a poster

Daddyrabbit, you are a poster child for why we need unions!!!!

GACopperhead
6
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GACopperhead 02/26/09 - 05:26 pm
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You guys miss DaddyRabbit's

You guys miss DaddyRabbit's point....he is saying union is OVERPAID and UNDER QUALIFIED! Unions protect the slackers. Unions have served their purpose, there are federal laws , OSHA and the EEO to serve the purpose the unions once served. Pay to work? I don't think so.....

apex24
0
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apex24 02/26/09 - 10:50 pm
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Gacop, is this coming from a

Gacop, is this coming from a self employed liberal??????

WW1949
25
Points
WW1949 02/27/09 - 12:29 am
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The sheetmetal union ruined

The sheetmetal union ruined my grandfathers sheetmetal business which was good. The men were paid decent wages and had a decent place to work with pleanty of work. The joined the union and wages went up. Contracts went down at the company so all were replaced by non union to be competative. The union workers had to go to Plant Vogtle. Sure they made more money but had to spend it in gas and were laid off when the plant was finished. Some came back to work and said they had made a mistake because they were not better off. So I haved no use for unions.

GnipGnop1
2
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GnipGnop1 02/27/09 - 10:05 am
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daddyrabbit I am not sure

daddyrabbit I am not sure what my saying give me a fricking break has to do with a job I have been at for 21 years. You are a union hater just for the sake of hating for no reasons. You hating all unions because of bad ones would be akin to someone hating all white people or blacl people because of some instance or a few instances. Don't be so quick to judge if you don't have your facts in order.

americanveteran
0
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americanveteran 02/27/09 - 10:59 pm
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I can speak for working in

I can speak for working in organize labor for well over 25 years. At one time it was a great thing. Today, it's all about the fat cats in D.C. getting their 7 Figure Incomes, while the rank and file work about 4 months a year. Diversity and women and have all but killed organized union construction companies. They may not say it to you in public, but it is a known truth, when blacks and women entered the labor force and you had to pay them what the union contract demanded, it was only a matter of time before your company went broke or became non-competitive with non-union companies. I saw it first hand. I lived it and watched my once proud and strong union fall by the wayside from having to hired inferior minorities and women. This was not 100% true in every case, but it was more like 98% true in every case. True Union Brothers know that I am telling the truth, no matter how much Obama and the Democrats promise you, Organized Labor has out lived in usefullness and was killed by greed, minorities, and women.

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