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GM union news

Old 09-15-2007, 03:25 PM
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San Antonio Express-News, 9-16-07:

General Motors, UAW return
to the table but issues remain

Union can call a strike any time if talks break down.

DEE-ANN DURBIN
ASSOCIATED PRESS
DETROIT — General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers made progress at the bargaining table Saturday but still faced significant hurdles and weren't expected to agree on a new contract until later in the weekend.
Union subcommittees — which handle issues such as pensions, benefits and job security — have wrapped up talks, but an agreement wasn't expected Saturday because negotiators still were dealing with some key issues, according to a person who was briefed on the negotiations.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner is actively involved in the talks.
Talks were ongoing Saturday afternoon, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said.
Several local union officials who have been in touch with bargainers said the outstanding issue is retiree health care expenses.
GM wants the union to take over responsibility for retiree health care costs using a company-funded trust and the union was asking for job guarantees in exchange for taking on the costs.
GM's 73,000 U.S. auto workers were without a contract as of midnight Friday and could go on strike at any time if negotiations break down.
In Spring Hill, Tenn., hundreds of union members were at the local UAW hall Saturday, waiting for news.
“Members are very apprehensive. These are historic times and everybody realized that,” said UAW Local 1853 President Mike O'Rourke. Workers have faith in the UAW's negotiating team, he added.


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Old 09-15-2007, 07:14 PM
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These guys just don't get it.

If they do not come back and work, GM will go belly up to the foreign market just like the steel industry did.

They they will be all out of jobs. Well Duh!
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:12 AM
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Seems to me they don't see the big picture. We are turning a corner in our history and if the folks let the unions push their weight around on the big 3, they will sink straight to the bottom. And a foreign Co. will step in to fill the gap. Writings on the wall, work with the Companies or look for another job. They have to get competitive with Toyota and other imports. The white collar boys need to show the way, and take a nice cut in pay. All the way to the top and all along the way, they are in this together. Time to start getting real and look at where you are at in the grand scheme of things. Take the cut and save your job. If you do not then you don't need to cry about the outcome. I have had to make this decision in my life and I think we all face things like this at sometime in our lives. So I hope they stand back and take a long hard look. Stubborn headedness will only end in failure and all will lose.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: GM union news

at one point, unions were created to protect the workers...now, unions are just in place to bully companies in to overpaying workers who do poor work, and when confronted, they hide behind their union rep.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:39 PM
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I couldn't have said it better my self.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:11 PM
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I'm getting sick of hearing the unions whine about their pay. I watched unions destroy the printing plant and coal mines in my hometown when they were getting paid better than people who had a college education, and these union people are just working at jobs that were simple labor that anyone can do. If you want better pay, either get an education to make yourself worth more, or start your own business like my grandfather and cousins have done. I think that GM and Ford stockholders need to place a salary cap for the people at the top and cut the salaries back until further notice. The Big Three need as much money as they can get to reinvest into their companies so then they can remain competitive.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:24 AM
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Once upon a time the unions were great, they were there to protect the people when it was needed, but now it's gotten out of hand. I wasn't able to get a job because of the union. The person knew that I could do the job and everything, but I was just short on the experience that they needed by less then a year. She told me that the union people wouldn't allow me to take the poisition even though she knew that I would have no problem doing the job. Great people let me tell you. And they wonder why everything is getting outsourced and places like Mexico are starting to build our vehicles. It's a major shame when you start seeing Hyundai and Toyota saying that their vehicles are American because they are made in America. Does that imply that American cars really aren't American because some of the parts aren't assembled here? Well, soon it's all going to be assembled elsewhere and there won't be any worry about unions in many places.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:03 AM
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The thing that really annoys me about unions are the mob-like behavior they have. In my hometown area, there are union and non-union operations that will do home construction and so forth and the non-union work is less expensive and better quality. The problem though is when the unions get upset and start sabatoging things. There are cases where they have come in and torn up the work that was being done to people's houses by the unions for not hiring union work. If these people would spend half as much time working instead of trying to make life miserable for everyone else who doesn't want their shotty workmanship and lack of effort for a premium price, people would have no problem wanting to hire them.

The other thing I really don't like about unions is the effect that it has on the way people interact in the towns. Most of the cliques developed in my hometown was based on the whole union thing. It gives people another stupid reason to be nasty to each other. My family was not liked because we had nothing to do with unions (even if we wanted to we couldn't as my father's job is not a field that has any need for unions). The area where I currently live in is a union free area and people are way nicer. You also don't hear about vandalism happening between different construction competitors.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:17 PM
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That mentality kind of reminded me of the coal jobs in the great motivational movie October Sky.....a great father/son movie.
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:52 PM
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San Antonio Express-News 9-23-07:

GM, UAW closing in
on health care deal

Auto company wants union to shoulder retiree expenses.

TOM KRISHER
ASSOCIATED PRESS
DETROIT — Negotiators for General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers returned to the bargaining table Saturday after progress was made a day earlier on transferring retiree health care costs from the company to the union, two people briefed on the talks said.
GM, which has $51 billion in unfunded retiree health care costs on its books and 540,000 UAW retirees and spouses, badly wants to pay the union to form a trust and take on much of the expense. The UAW is seeking guarantees of new vehicles to be built in U.S. plants in exchange.
Bargainers haven’t settled on a final number for how much GM would put into the trust, but both people briefed on the talks said they are close. Both requested anonymity because the talks are private.
Bargaining now is focused on other economic issues that hinge on the trust including pensions, wages, profit sharing, and who manufactures company parts, said one of the people.
Despite optimism, a deal is believed to be at least a few days away, the person said.
GM sees the trust, called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association or VEBA, as the least painful way to cut into what the U.S. auto companies say is about a $25-per-hour labor cost gap between them and their Japanese competitors.
The talks, which have extended more than a week beyond the original deadline, resumed Saturday morning, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said. They were expected to continue all weekend. Wickham would not comment on developments, and messages were left for UAW spokesman Roger Kerson.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger told members Friday he was trying to speed up negotiations with General Motors and wanted to reach a contract agreement without a strike.
“We are continuing to make progress; however, we are pushing to accelerate the negotiating pace at all levels,” he said in a message to UAW members. “It is our desire to reach an agreement without a strike, and we have demonstrated this by staying at the bargaining table up to this point.”
Gettelfinger added that the effort to speed the talks doesn't mean any of the union's options are off the table, including the option to strike, according to the message, which was posted Friday evening on a union Web site in Oklahoma.
GM and the UAW spent Friday negotiating issues such as wages and job security, while experts helped finalize the possible health care deal, according to the people briefed on the negotiations.
Local union officials said they'd gotten few updates from bargainers and expressed frustration at the long wait for a new contract. Friday marked one week since the expiration of GM's contract with the union. The UAW has been extending the contract hour by hour since then.
Chris “Tiny” Sherwood, the president of Local 652 in Lansing, said it's unusual for the contract to be extended for so long on an hour-by-hour basis. The union is continuing to tell local leaders to have workers ready for a strike if talks break down.
Gettelfinger said negotiators have met for 18 days straight. He said the union was releasing little information to members because the negotiations frequently change.
“We want you to know once again that we do not take your patience for granted, and GM should know not to take the patience of our bargaining committee for granted either,” Gettelfinger said.


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