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HEU Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 449
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Apparently the banks won't tell!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Whered-the-bailout-money-go-apf-13890568.html

While the auto workers are being blamed for the fall of the auto industry our white collar friends are screwing the tax payers again.

To add more heat to the class warefare fire

If convicted who will get are longer harsher sentence

Bernard Madoff
or
Curtis M. Doan

I randomly pulled Curtis's name after doing a Goole search for "arrested for armed robbery"

I should be interesting to follow up in a few months
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9728
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen."


-- Woody Guthrie, "Pretty Boy Floyd"
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2273
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 05:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is enough blame to go around. Both management and labor have made their own greed the goal instead of making quality cars.

Management, by scooping up armloads of cash in the form of obnoxious salaries and obscene bonuses.

Labor, by holding management over a barrel and demanding more and more money and benefits with the threat of strikes.

Neither side seems genuinely interested in making any real progress. They are both in it for themselves.

Why are we rewarding this behavior?
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 2124
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 06:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HEU, I can't believe you honestly think $70/hr to put together cars is acceptable. Both the executives and the unions are at fault. If you don't think the unions are partially at fault for this you are goofy.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2001
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 06:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd be happy to pay a line worker a loaded salary of $70/hr if I got: 1) quality work, 2) flexibility when work rules need to change, and 3) high enough productivity that the company can still make money.

I don't think I'd ever be happy to pay a mid-level bank manager a $30M Christmas bonus, half in cash, for trading in risky paper. Yet thousands of Wall Street traders got that much and more year after year.

I'm not saying that the UAW isn't a problem. But who did more damage to the overall US economy?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9730
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 08:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It takes some creative math to arrive at a salary of $70 per hour. You have to factor in the employer's total labor costs, including all benefits such as vacations, health insurance, retirement contributions, unemployment insurance and the employer's portion of social security. Not that the auto companies don't pay this amount, but it serves to compare workers unfairly with those in other fields. Most white-collar workers receive many of the same benefits, as well as bonuses and 401(k) contributions.

The actual wages paid to auto workers average from $26 to $30 per hour. That's good pay for semi-skilled industrial work but not quite the six-figure income the $70 figure would suggest. Moreover, new contracts at some auto plants now include a two-tiered wage scale, with new hires being paid as little as $18 per hour.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9731
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 08:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was informed in an e-mail that the $70 per hour figure also includes so-called "legacy costs" for pensions and benefits, primarily medical, paid to retirees and then apportioned to current workers. Also, the starting wage for new hires under some of the new two-tiered contracts is as low as $14 per hour.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2002
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, "fully-loaded salary", including not only all percs and benis but rent on the office/work space, etc., is the only valid way to compare different workers' total costs when figuring productivity and profitability.

I'm a free-lance consultant, working in my own office on my own equipment with my own "support staff" (me), paying for my own insurance and training and conferences, and earning nothing during vacations or sick days or (as on Friday) when the kids have a snow day. New clients frequently say to me, "We can't possibly afford to pay you $X/hr. Our in-house developers make 1/3 that much." I have to show them that their "cheaper" in-house staff costs the company more overall. A total cost of $70/hr for a line worker with, say, 15 years' experience and some advanced training isn't out of whack. Nor is it a problem, as long as that worker is producing, say, $90/hr of value for the company. The company is still making a profit.

The main labor problem for the Big 3 right now is not the cost of some 250K active workers but the health care cost for something like 1.5M retired workers and dependents. The second biggest problem is union obstructionism to changes in work rules and job descriptions.

But, again, the total damage by any one line worker or even an entire bargaining unit pales in comparison to that by a mid-level trading floor manager who pushed riskier and riskier derivatives in order to get his $30M bonus every year.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 2125
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As many of you know I'm about 5 years removed from a Corporate America job. They charged projects $100/hr for me to work on them. I barely made $20/hr. That's a load of crap to say that it cost them $80/hr for my benefits and to keep the lights on over the top of my salary. Those numbers are ALL bunk, but everyone uses them in their accounting so that's what we have to refer to.

So you guys take issue with a middle manager costing the company $150K or so with bonuses but it's ok for a guy who's putting on door knobs to cost the company $70K? I don't get it.....

To be clear - I agree CEO salaries are out of control. I also agree that middle managers salaries are out of control. But a middle manager is over what, anywhere from 20 to 500 people? If he's costing the company $150K and TWO of his people are costing the company that much whether they are doing anything or not (thanks a lot for that one unions), his costs to the company seem a lot less significant, don't they?

Pensions and healthcare for retired UAW workers is indeed a huge problem. Unfortunately they should have made them responsible for their own retirement like most of us, but that's the bed the UAW and the Big 3 made, so they have to lie in it.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2003
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 04:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, I do NOT take issue with a middle manager costing $150K. It TOTALLY take issue with a middle manager making multi-million dollar bonuses for gambling with other people's money. That's what many on Wall St. did. I know some of them. Ten years on the Street, then off to start a second career before age 35 with $200 million in the bank. No way they earned that money, even if they did work 70hr weeks.
 

HEU Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 450
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 04:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike

How much are the "Big 3" CEO's getting per hour to run the companies into the ground. To blame the line workers for the mismanagrment, poor designs, and shabby engineering may be easy to do but it is not the right thing to do.

Keep blaming the workers Mike so you can sleep better at night.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2283
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Point of fact. I held a summer job at Miller Electric when I was in college. Miller is a non-union shop and the workers are well paid and very motivated. They have monthly meetings where the whole plant shuts down and they all meet in one of the large production bays. At that meeting, each group has one person speak for them and he will bring up any issues or questions. The Executives are there to answer those questions and/or issues in front of everyone.

I found this process fascinating in that both sides expressed an outwardly genuine interest in hearing what each other had to say, and it was done in an honest and respectful manner.

I contrast this with my time in the peace-time Army where I saw guys go to great lengths to avoid their work. I also contrast this with my time in the Bellsouth/AT&T environment where I was witness to many a time where the Union (CWA) employees would stall on issues because "it's not my job".

Also, as full disclosure, my Father was a Labor Relations attorney for a rather immense paper company and I have heard it all. Unions have their purpose, but by and large they are nothing more than a vehicle members use to abuse the system. In 20+ years, my Dad never lost a case. Mostly because his main job was making sure the HR managers were doing their jobs properly. Document, document, document. Then document again.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6405
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Point of fact. I held a summer job at Miller Electric when I was in college. Miller is a non-union shop and the workers are well paid and very motivated. They have monthly meetings where the whole plant shuts down and they all meet in one of the large production bays. At that meeting, each group has one person speak for them and he will bring up any issues or questions. The Executives are there to answer those questions and/or issues in front of everyone."

Hmmm. Sounds socialistic at some level . . . maybe even communistic.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 2127
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 05:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't deny the CEO's of the big 3 are useless. Heu, if you could get past your blaming "the man" you would see where I said everyone is at fault in this debacle.

As far as unions go, since many of you seem to think I'm just touting the GOP line or whatever other fable you want to make up, I have had plenty of experience in manufacturing facilities where some were union and some were not. It was nothing short of impossible to get anything done in the union mills and the morale was for crap. They put out crappy products and they didn't care that they did. The non-union mills? Much happier at their jobs, they produced better, and they were more than willing to help. It was no comparison. I have been to Detroit. I've taken tours through Ford and GM plants. This was back in the late 80's and already then the morale was for crap. I was dumbfounded when some guy was bitchin' at our tour telling us to never work there while he was making $30/hr already back then for putting on door handles. Un-freakin-believable. Unions wore out their usefulness a couple decades ago, period.

Bottom line - corporate America is in a big bag o poo thanks to everyone involved. Greed and selfishness have destroyed companies from top to bottom.
 

HEU Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 451
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unions will never outlive their usefullness. Once the unions go away expect Walmart style labor relations for all blue collar jobs.

I am not a union member and probably would be considered white collar worker, however to get to where I am I have to thank my parents and my dad who was part of the brotherhood of railroad workers and both sets grandfathers who were proud united mine workers.

Keep blaming the lowly workers Mike, you will eventually feel better
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2284
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, are you an idiot? Or do you just play one on TV...

Tell me how direct communication equates to communism. This oughtta be rich.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 865
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob,

honestly... after all this time of you debating with DanDan I believe that you may be the one with the village looking for you.

You can't teach a pig to sing
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 2128
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 08:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Keep blaming the lowly workers Mike, you will eventually feel better"

Nice - I present facts and you present...ah, forget it. I'll just give up in the spirit of good will and whatnot on this New Years Eve....

Bob, I started to respond to Dan as well asking how workers having a say could possibly be close to Socialism and especially Communism, but I just closed my browser without posting as it is a lost cause.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2010
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My mom was union. My dad was management. I've heard the arguments go back and forth my whole life. And I still think it's totally irrelevant compared to the damage done by Wall Street types. No bargaining unit in the history of the world has run a $50B Ponzi scheme.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6412
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, maybe not communistic, but the meetings might not be unrecognized in Maoist China. Just a flavor, nothing more!
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2296
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, whatever...
 

Patrick C.
Advanced Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 855
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My mom was union. My dad was management.

OK, is no one going to make a joke about management screwing the workers?
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2297
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bwaaahahaha!
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2019
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you knew the terms of the eventual divorce, you might switch that around!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9763
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 06:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, that leads to rather personal questions, but was the management/labor division (I'm assuming it was based in principle as well as in fact) a major cause of the divorce? And did they remarry or base their subsequent relationships along these lines as well? Or was this just one of the complex mix of factors as to why people come together and ultimately drift apart?
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2020
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are many answers to that question and none of them are simple. Nor are they particularly relevant here, except to the extent that they helped form my own opinions of unions.

I was a union member once, before I went freelance. I've seen them protect workers from predatory and abusive bosses. And I've also fought with them when trying to complete capital projects on time. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will always have a special place in my spleen.

In the end, I've come to view them as a necessary evil. Out-of-control Wall Street bond traders, on the other hand, are, in my opinion, an unnecessary evil, and have done far more damage to our economy.
 

HEU Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 454
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 08:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A friend of mine just got notice that he (and others) is going to get riffed. He is non-union, over 50 and is in the process of battling cancer. He was less than a year away from being eligible to obtain their longterm health care coverage

The company is not loosing money (has never lost money) but want to firm up the bottom line to improve "shareholder" value. I.E so the big boys can make more money since they hold the most shares.

This is why unions must still exist.



(Message edited by HEU_Brewer on January 09, 2009)

(Message edited by HEU_Brewer on January 09, 2009)
 

Tom Burk
Member
Username: Tomburk

Post Number: 195
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 01:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HEU, that's a helluva gut shot. That's one of my concerns with the union/non-union confrontation, I wish they were there to fairly protect a hardworking long term employee and understand when management needs to remove deadwood.

To respond to the origonal post, I think it's rediculous we watch money get pissed away, no questions asked and the citizens are the bad guy for wondering where it went. The psuedo-intelectuals want you to feel you are too ignorant to understand.

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