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I Read These: loriville

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2006-01-25 - 10:55 a.m.
Liberal card revocation

Yeah, I think my liberal card will be revoked after this entry.

But by now you've heard about the Ford job cuts. A gazillion jobs lost. I'm sure it will be devastating to those communities that will lose a major employer. We lost a truck plant in the 80s, and it was BAAAD.

But. I'm having trouble feeling sorry for the UAW workers. And this is a piece of info you have to pay careful attention to pick up, because it's not in the lead. Those UAW workers who are losing their jobs? According to their contract, they will get 90% of their pay, AND their benefits until September. Of 2007.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, wages and benefits paid to Ford workers average about 130K.

That's a lot. It's more that I make. A lot more.

Good negotiating on the part of the UAW, yes. But is there any wonder why the US auto industry is in such trouble? This business model is unrealistic. It's going to cost the company 140 million dollars.

Contrast that with what would happen if I lost my job.

I would lose my job. And my income.

I might get two weeks severance. I might get more. Whatever the oranization felt like doing, really. As for my health bennies....I'd have to pay for them.

I know, I know, I shoulda been an autoworker. That's not the point. The point is that it could well be that the very union designed to protect the workers and get them the best deal from The Man had a big role in the demise of those very jobs.

But I'm not feeling sorry for the Ford workers. It's a damn soft landing.

2 comments so far
radiogurl - 2006-01-25 11:42:35
I have to say it's a two-edged sword. I worked a union job for the phone company and yeah, if they closed your office you got a fairly cushy payoff - but you also couldn't get another comparable-paying job, therefore you needed the money to pay your bills down enough to live on the subsequent slashed-wage level.
Zon - 2006-01-25 12:24:24
You'll get no disagreement from me. Generally, I don't have a lot of use for unions. Back when they were formed, and there was a lot of abuse of labor, they were necessary. But, um, $50 to drive a truck up and down Long Island because you're a Teamster? Well good golly day, why did I spend all those thousands of dollars getting a college education? $32 an hour to put the tops on mascara? Well, shit, I should have known that before I took out those student loans. Yeah, yeah, we need to pay people "living wages" and compensate them for being bored out of their ghords all day because SOMEone has to punch holes in loose-leaf paper, but how about paying people according to what the job is worth? Then our teachers (okay, THEY need a union) would be making much more than people who put the caps on Pepsi bottles, instead of the other way around. And the Mob wouldn't have so much power, either. Don't get me started on that. So, if they take your liberal card, I guess they can take mine, too.
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