Saturday, August 06, 2011

He figured it out . . .

"I FIGURED IT OUT" from Jamestown High School The Pajama Game March 2010, delightful, wonderful song. According to Wiki, The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. It features a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where worker demands for a seven-and-a-half cents raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.

In today's economy, there is something touchingly innocent about this scene.

In the real world right now, the UAW is trying to survive, going into negotiations, probably with Ford, first of all. Problem is, all the Asian-owned non-union assembly plants not only don't care (UAW drives have not worked), but they hope that the UAW pulls the trigger, so they can grow market share, while Ford or GM or Chryco can't build cars. My guess is that the UAW will play nice, but never underestimate the power of churlishness.


Rev.Paperboy said...

"never underestimate the power of churlishness"

Also, never underestimate the power of management stupidity, greed and dishonesty. After all, it wasn't the union that tried to renege on signed contracts or that decided to throw the dice and gamble with pension funds or put all their eggs in the monster SUV basket just because that was what was selling while gas prices were low. Ford and Chrysler just had their best financial quarters in living memory, but what do you want to be that they cry poor when it comes to labour negotiations while at the same time all the executives get fat bonuses?

Edstock said...

"at the same time all the executives get fat bonuses?" — Ah yes, all the executives, like Bill Ford Jr., who didn't get a pay check for 3 years? Or like Alan Mulally, who got "millions" in stock options? Not money, just options? If Ford doesn't kick butt, they aren't worth very much.

We have got to get beyond the knee-jerk. A lot of people around here have comprehension problems, so let's be really clear: the non-union shops (Honda, Nissan, 'Yota, BMW, Mercedes) in the Right-to-Work states are killing the UAW.

The grandchildren of those brave workers who stood shoulder to shoulder with Walter Reuther on the bridge outside the Ford plant while Harry Bennett's goons beat up on them are now Wal-Mart greeters. Sad.

And "best financial quarters in living memory"? Perhaps if you did more research, you would be aware that Ford is still paying off the billions it borrowed privately to survive, plus re-investing in the next generation of product, which costs billions. Just doing the new dies for last year's Edge/MKX re-fresh was around $300 million. Again, that's just for the dies. Then there's everything else involved. It's an expensive business — just ask SAAB.

And Chrysler? Dead man walking, in spite of "best financial quarters in living memory". They need product to replace the ghastly Sebring and the aging 300; they don't have a "C" (Focus, Civic) car and the Caliber faux-4x4 sucks, and Sergio is trying to cobble something, anything out of whatever he can find in the FIAT parts bins, like the "A"-size FIAT 500 made in Poland with Ford (with a Ford oval, it's a Ka, and it's too small for North America, which is why Ford went with the B-size Fiesta instead). So, for the next 3-4 years, any money Chrysler gets is going into product. Like replacing the boat-anchor iron-block used by its old pushrod Hemi, 8-speed trannies, etc.

Peter said...

Edstock, the left isn't the slightest bit interested in getting beyond the knee-jerk. Indeed, all it knows is the right are evil and idiots (a fascinating combination). Beyond that, it has absolutely nothing to say about the current economic crisis beyond hauling out tired nostrums from the 60's.