|09-18-2007, 09:18 PM||#2|
I used to be Dragoneye...
GM?!?! or the labor unions that work for GM?
I've heard that the latter are prepared to strike. Which really doesn't mean much. They're still negotiating, and supposedly the talks are going well - they're just, taking a while.
|09-18-2007, 09:19 PM||#3|
Drives: '99 Camaro SS #1392
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Newtown, Pa.
The Elephant in the Room: GM and UAW Talks Continue
The elephant in the room (and it is a big one) within the auto industry is the inability thus far for an agreement to be reached between the UAW and GM (or either of the other two large US carmakers). Now that the UAW has identified GM as their strike target, negotiations have reached a feverous pace and everything appears to be at a standstill awaiting the inevitable annoucement that hopefully results well for the industry.
From the Associated Press:
Bargainers for the UAW and GM returned to negotiations today, with workers at plants around the US back on the job and wondering about the fate of their new contract.
Negotiations resumed Saturday morning, after the two sides took a break from marathon talks that appeared close to running aground on Sunday night.
Plants reopened as scheduled, and a number of local unions told their workers to hold off on strike preparations until there was word from Detroit about the outcome of the talks.
The U.A.W.'s contract with G.M., which covers about 73,000 workers in the United States, expired at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, but it has been extended on an hour-by-hour basis. Contracts at Ford and Chrysler LLC have been extended indefinitely.
On Sunday night, bargainers worked until about 3 a.m. Eastern time, in the fourth straight marathon session since the union named G.M. as its strike target on Thursday.
Late Sunday, it appeared that negotiations between the two sides were in danger of collapse, with union leaders considering the possibility of recessing the negotiations and choosing another automaker, perhaps Ford, in an effort to reach a new contract.
But after resuming the discussions today, the two sides were believed to be closer to an agreement, people with knowledge of the private discussions said.
The tone and direction of bargaining have changed quickly on several occasions over the past few days, given the complex nature of the negotiations.
The union's decision not to extend the GM contract indefinitely gives it the ability to call a strike on short notice, which is its ultimate weapon in bargaining.
The primary issue is the creation of a health care trust that would assume the responsibility for $55 billion in benefits for employees, retirees and their families.
The major sticking point appeared to be the way the trust would be financed. Normally such a trust, called a voluntary employee benefit association, or VEBA, is financed with a combination of cash, stock and possibly real estate.
The union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, was reportedly pushing for GM to put more cash in the health care trust, while GM officials were arguing in favor of a mix that contained more stock.
That could cause a philosophical problem for some union members, however, since any action taken by the UAW, such as a walkout, could hurt GM's stock price, and threaten the security of the VEBA trust.
The level of financing has also been a subject of constant debate.
Companies are not required by law to provide the entire amount, since some covers expenses that have not yet been incurred. Generally, such trusts are financed at between 50 and 70 percent.
It is in the union's best interest, however, to get as much of the funds, particularly in cash, as possible, to protect its members from inflation in health care costs.
G.M., Ford and Chrysler have pushed hard in these contract negotiations for the union to agree to a trust, saying its health care expenses are a major factor limiting their ability to compete with Japanese auto companies
All told, the three companies have health care liabilities totaling nearly $100 billion.
|09-18-2007, 11:28 PM||#5|
I used to be Dragoneye...
neither will I. but all the problems that they are experiencing, and/or causing...is due mainly, Not to their existance, but to the competition's lack of unions.
Ever read the book, The World is Flat?
If your interested in this global economy stuff, I suggest it. I don't agree with everything they say, but most I do. It has also opened my eyes to a lot of crap that's going on that I didn't know.
The book is about the flattening of the world in the economical sense. Countries are begining to play on a level field with the US (and we may be dropping to thiers, too). So our internal strengths agianst ourselves, are turning out to be a weakness as well. But it's not all bad news.
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