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Car Companies

Old 06-18-2007, 11:01 AM
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A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General
Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both
teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the
race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team
made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area
steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens and a certificate of completion for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra
vacation days for practices and bonuses. The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower (a reduction in workforce) for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the senior
Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was "out-sourced" to India..
Sadly, the End.

However, sad, but oh so true! Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. Toyota has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads.
IF THIS WASN'T SO SAD IT MIGHT BE FUNNY!

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Old 06-18-2007, 12:38 PM
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Yep. That is why I get irritated when people say "Buy American", and I will ask why, Toyota employs more Americans. Then they say the money goes to the Japanese corporation, keep the money to an American company. What is not realized is that that money goes towards the big whigs, and they still send the work outside of the US so they can have a bigger bonus.

At least Toyota still employs the American worker.

That was a great Analogy paladin.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:49 PM
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Nice story. I found myself laughing despite the truth in the story. Is Toyota a unionized plant. I know that they built a plant in Tennesee and have wondered if it was union. Chrysler has really not had such a bad quarter. But with the retirees paid medical and their age, it has hit them pretty hard in the pocket book. The new Challenger being built in Canada because they have socialized medical might be a way for them to shave off some of the cost to their employees. Its time for the Unions to rethink their position, before economics ends any chance at a come back. I live in the south and have no experience with unions. I think I do all right and am glad that I don't have to answer to a union. To those that have worked or do work for unions, do you think the time has come to cut them free or do you still see a need for unions? Just wondering. I hope we don't send more of our jobs off to another country because of cost we may incur in the future. Are we chasing our jobs away?
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:58 PM
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From what I have read and heard, Toyota is non union. I could be wrong though.
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:18 PM
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As I understand it, Toyota, like the Boeing facility I work at here in Az, which is a right to work state, allows the Union to come to the facility every year or so to pitch the union and every year the employees vote against the union.

I had no experience with the union as I was in the military for 20 years and came here to Az right after I retired. I had the opportunity to go back east for 4 1/2 years and worked at our facility in Philadelphia which has union shops in the production side of the house. I have to say I will never work in a union enviroment again. It was like working in two companies. I was there for 4 1/2 years and I never once heard anyone in the union call themselves a Boeing employee. The always referred to themselves as members of union # XXXX. It was just to strange for me. Not to mention I stayed in trouble with the union guys. I even had one throw nails in front of my car one day when they had a short strike and I was trying to go too work. Thats when Mr. Sig 229, 40cal came out and the road got clear real quick.

Please no one associated a union take offense but I think their day has come and gone.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:04 AM
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I also would blame the CEO's and higher ups as well. Here is an example of a CEO's yearly salary. They just hired a CEO for a certain company. This is a true statement and a real CEO. His yearly salary has been set to $1.2 million a year. He gets a sign on bonus for $1.2 million. At the end of the year he gets a bonus for 150% of his salary no matter what happens. And on top of that he has the ability to make another 200% of his salary in bonuses.

So if the company doesn't do well, for his first year he will still get $4.2 million. So what do companies do, layoffs, and go over seas to find cheaper labor. I am all for capitalism, but there should be a limit when it is affecting the employment of the American people. Do these CEO's really need that much?

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Old 06-19-2007, 10:58 AM
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[color=#660000][b]My 2 cents may be a little lengthy so I will apologize in advance. When I got out of HS I went to work for a foundry that was unionized. It was a local union with no national affiliations. IT SUCKED. Being green and right out of school I was ignorant to a lot of life issues. I learned the hierarchy of that union was corrupt and some in bed with the company. Some including the President were made management. I learned to HATE union. I loathed unions.

After 8 years of that I took a job with Dana Corp / Mack Trucks. A new business venture with a new local plant. We were farmed out by Mack to build front and rear axles and carriers for Mack Trucks and then then Off road and specialty chassis. Dana treated us like Royalty. One could not have asked for a better company to work for at that time. Wages were good, benefits were second to none and the management well, it was heaven. Slowly upper LOCAL management changed. With that came different managerial attitudes. Although Dana Corps vision was still the foundation, the local vision was different.

The GREAT company we worked for began changing for the worse. Although not bad enough for unionization once could see it was getting worse. In 2003 Dana got a divorce from Mack Trucks. The partnership dissolved. Mack was faced with a dilemma. Either take the business back which meant higher costs or seek out another partner. They sought out an outfit from VA. Basically what they are is a labor broker. Before this, Mack Trucks was brought out by Volvo, and Volvo in it's southern Plant subbed out an outfit to build it's trucks engines. That's right, VOLVO truck engines are made mostly by TEMPS and local NON VOLVO employees. This labor broker promotes TEMPS.

This labor broker then purchased Dana's labor at my facility like a heard of cattle. Mack took care of everything but labor. Suddenly we became the "property" of a labor broker. If you ever worked for a temp agency then you know what I am writing about. We were PROMISED and guaranteed by this labor broker nothing would change. I.E. Benefits, wages etc. No sooner was that promise made things changed in a hurry. Head hunting began. People with tenure were marked for assassination. Many good people were terminated for costs savings. People with less service were kept on. They did not have the earned vacations etc that the charter member workers had. Then came SEVERE benefit reductions and obscene out of pocket deductibles and weekly withholdings. We saw out of pocket costs soar over 150% overnight. People were being terminated on hearsay and the place went to hell in a hurry.

This labor broker over and over again told us we are at will employees and as such "we will do what we want when we want and if you don't like it there's the door you will be replaced my temps." I personally called the unfair labor board and inquired about what can be done to protect our rights. The first question I was asked by them was.. Are you union? I said no we are not. I was then told there is nothing we can do for you. PA is an at will work state and you have NO RIGHTS. If you want protection I (meaning the person I was talking to) suggested we organize. So here I was. A guy who hated unions getting involved with the UAW to organize to protect MY and MY family's best interests. Not to mention my 20 years service, that I had seen others being fired at will and replaced with TEMPS. We began a union drive and it failed because of the anti campaigns. I was offered upper management positions 4 different times. I declined.

OK Longer story Short. We endured the continued firings and continued sky high soaring medical costs and every single benefit Dana afforded us was eliminated. We were left sodomized. 2003 I was approached to get involved again in a union drive. I declined 3 times until I learned there was overwhelming support. I again got involved. WHY???? There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:09 AM
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There is enough blame to go around, that is for sure. From the multi million dollar CEOs to the over paid bolt turner. Both think they are illreplacable. Both will not work for less than they make now, no way. But if americans don't pull their heads out of their tails then they will surely fall. We need to put pride in our work, be it very tedious or specialized. And understand if you want to continue to live as your fathers do, accept what they accepted. Do an honest days work and accept what you have agreed to work for...instead of crying about what you don't make. We can turn things around, but we have to be honest with ourselves and our own selfworth. We need to put american products back on top. We need to get out of dept and buy things we can afford. We need patience to save and buy when we have the money, not with a credit card with some outrageous interest rate because we have to have it now. O.K. I'm done lets see some shots of the new Challenger.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:42 AM
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I have been saying this for the past 10+ years.....

If I were say an engineer for whomever.... lets say Mopar.... I would have come out with a throwback series.

What this is, is a line of Retro muscle cars that closely resemble the muscles of the era. Not necessarily all V8's but the body styles. Chargers and alike with 6cyls, not pure HP but make it affordable for kids to drive and insure.

Imagine a line of Chargers, Cudas Chevelles, GTO's Challengers etc that looked closely like the ones of say early 70's late 60's, with the engines having all the new stuff.

You'd see many of these kids buying ricers drawn to the Throwbacks. I go to car shows and I see the young kids out there looking at the oldies.

IMO this would go over big. I could see sales of the Big 3 going up if t hey did this. You'd have a line of higher end V8's for the enthusiasts and same body styles for the younger kids.

Ford's GT stang is a hit with many,,,, the Challenger is hyped up, with the retro look. Just a line of Throwbacks made to todays standards with older body styling. I don't see how it could fail. All 3 car manufactures need a kick in the arzz. Introduce a few and let it build.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:59 PM
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As to the question of whether Toyota is unionized in the U.S.: No. Here's a story we ran recently about their efforts to unionize one plant, however:

San Antonio Express-News


UAW targets Toyota's Kentucky plant
Hearing complaints, union sees opportunity to organize there.


by Sholnn Freeman
WASHINGTON POST
05/27/2007
SUNDAY
A Section
24A



GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- Dissident workers at the Toyota plant here gather at the Best Western on Wednesdays between shifts to shape a battle plan.

The workers are angry at conditions at this flagship Toyota site, where the best-selling Camry is built.

The United Auto Workers has launched a big new push to organize the plant, trying to capitalize on fears of lower pay, outsourcing of jobs and on Toyota's treatment of injured workers.

The stakes for the UAW intensified this month as a private-equity firm agreed to buy Chrysler, raising fears that the union will be unable to block cuts in jobs and benefits at a privately owned automaker.

The Chrysler deal has underscored the UAW's diminished clout as membership has shrunk along with jobs at the Detroit automakers.

The UAW never has succeeded in organizing a foreign auto assembly plant in the United States, but Toyota's emergence as the world's largest automaker has added urgency to this effort.

The UAW will begin new contract negotiations this summer without any workers from Toyota.

"We've got a lot of work to do," said Charles Lite, 41, a member of the organizing group, speaking of the effort at Toyota. "No more mistakes."

The UAW and the workers have seized on leaked business documents from Toyota that detail a plan to put a lid on manufacturing wages in the United States.

At a new factory being built in Mississippi, Toyota plans to pay workers about $20 an hour in a region where many people earn $12 to $13 an hour. The average Toyota worker at Georgetown makes about $25 an hour.

Toyota officials say the increasing pressures of the auto business have caused the company to re-evaluate workers' compensation policies -- a matter that has to be negotiated with the union at UAW-represented plants. Toyota today is one of the auto industry's most profitable companies, and officials think its continued success depends on controlling costs.

"We think the historic American approach to things is to run full blast, pay out as high as you can in the short term while times are good, and then when times go bust, you lay people off, you shut plants and you destroy communities," said Pete Gritton, a Toyota vice president who oversees human resources at the company's plant. "Toyota does not want to do that."

Gritton said adjusting pay scales ultimately would translate into stable employment for American autoworkers. He said Toyota is seeking to maintain cost-effective growth in the United States so it can compete with low-wage countries such as China, Mexico and Brazil.

"We are the only major manufacturer of automobiles that is trying to grow and expand its business in the U.S. right now," Gritton said. "Everybody else is trying to collapse and shrink and send it to somewhere else for lower costs."

Some Toyota workers agree.

"I think the people I work with are not really for a union," said Tina Goad, who has worked at Georgetown 13 years.

She acknowledged there have been some injuries and other problems, but added: "This is a manufacturing place. Things happen. If I was a secretary in some bank for 30 years, I could get carpal tunnel from working on computers. They always want to blame Toyota."

But others are upset, saying autoworkers are losing ground.

Ed McKenna, 52, is part of the group fighting for a Toyota union. He said he recently came across a worker getting paid $8.50 an hour for a production job that's now outsourced.

"It was the same job I had five years ago making $23 an hour," he said. "We can't tolerate that.
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