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BC Teachers Getting Screwed...Again

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So why is it called collective bargaining then? Umm...

Perhaps you should learn what bargaining means.

I think you need to re-examine that logic.

Nothing wrong with my logic.

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Perhaps you should learn what bargaining means.

Clearly you missed the point.

Nothing wrong with my logic.

There's plenty wrong with it. When Party 1 makes unreasonable demands, refuses concessions and forces agreements that that Party 2 is in no position to stand up to, it's rather bizarre logic suggesting that Party 2 is equally responsible for the consequences. What's even worse, however, is that in this case Party 1 wasn't even really held responsible for the outcome at all. The shareholders lost all their money and, even worse, the taxpayers footed the bill - all so that North America's most unreasonable and militant unions wouldn't have to reap what they'd sown.

Edited by Moonbox

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When Party 1 makes unreasonable demands, refuses concessions and forces agreements that that Party 2 is in no position to stand up to, it's rather bizarre logic suggesting that Party 2 is equally responsible for the consequences.

Why is Party 2 powerless?

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Clearly you missed the point.

Not me. The union bargains on behalf of the employees it represents and management bargains on behalf of the shareholders who it represents. It is collective bargaining on both sides.

There's plenty wrong with it. When Party 1 makes unreasonable demands, refuses concessions and forces agreements that that Party 2 is in no position to stand up to, it's rather bizarre logic suggesting that Party 2 is equally responsible for the consequences. What's even worse, however, is that in this case Party 1 wasn't even really held responsible for the outcome at all. The shareholders lost all their money and, even worse, the taxpayers footed the bill - all so that North America's most unreasonable and militant unions wouldn't have to reap what they'd sown.

The union has the power to deny the services of the employees it represents. (if they vote to let it). Management has the power to deny those employees an income if they do. Management continues to collect its income including the "powerless" multi million dollar upper management. Shareholders have the power to not buy, or sell their shares if they don't like the way the company is run. They all have power.

I haven't noticed many top executives taking any pay cuts since these companies were bailed. On the contrary, most are doing even better..

Edited by Wilber

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Why is Party 2 powerless?

because they couldn't afford not to operate at that point. They were heavily indebted and they had enormous built-in structural costs. Even if they shut down and all of the workers went on strike, GM/Chrysler/Ford would still have been bleeding money. They HAD to continue operating to not make the situation worse than it already was, thus they had little bargaining power with the UAW.

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Not me. The union bargains on behalf of the employees it represents and management bargains on behalf of the shareholders who it represents. It is collective bargaining on both sides.

Thanks for the lesson. I know what collective bargaining is. You're responding to a tongue-in-cheek comment I made mocking the process. That's my fault. It was more subtle and less clever than I'd hoped. Let's move on.

The union has the power to deny the services of the employees it represents. (if they vote to let it). Management has the power to deny those employees an income if they do.

Unfortunately, the bargaining process is not so cut-and-dry. In the case of the auto industry, the negotiating positions weren't even-strength.

I haven't noticed many top executives taking any pay cuts since these companies were bailed. On the contrary, most are doing even better..

Really!? Guys like Rick Wagoner (GM's former CEO) were earning $1/year in salary leading up to/during the crisis...and then they lost their jobs altogether! Regardless, this is another argument altogether. In the framework of this discussion, it's completely irrelevant.

Edited by Moonbox

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because they couldn't afford not to operate at that point. They were heavily indebted and they had enormous built-in structural costs. Even if they shut down and all of the workers went on strike, GM/Chrysler/Ford would still have been bleeding money. They HAD to continue operating to not make the situation worse than it already was, thus they had little bargaining power with the UAW.

Far be it for me to defend unions, likewise, I've owned GM products exclusively since the later 1970s, but anyone who does not believe the Big Three's management didn't make poor choices for the last several decades, resulting in the companies poor state and later bankruptcy, is delusional.......

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Thanks for the lesson. I know what collective bargaining is. You're responding to a tongue-in-cheek comment I made mocking the process. That's my fault. It was more subtle and less clever than I'd hoped. Let's move on.

Unfortunately, the bargaining process is not so cut-and-dry. In the case of the auto industry, the negotiating positions weren't even-strength.

Really!? Guys like Rick Wagoner (GM's former CEO) were earning $1/year in salary leading up to/during the crisis...and then they lost their jobs altogether! Regardless, this is another argument altogether. In the framework of this discussion, it's completely irrelevant.

The last CEO before a collapse is often the most talented, because he is brought in to rescue the company from decades of mismanagement. Sometimes they are successful and often they are not. Detroit completely misread the threat from foreign car makers and what made them successful. Both management and unions thought they could continue their dinosaur management and labour practices because they had the North American market sown up and nothing could change that. They were both very wrong.

If labour is solely responsible for the success or failure of companies, what exactly do those megabuck CEO's do for their money? They must be the highest paid victims in history. How do you account for the fact the other two largest (and successful) car companies in the world, Toyota and VW, are both heavily unionized? I chalk it up to good management who knows a good working relationship with its workers. unionized or not is essential to success. A concept that was lost on Detroit for decades

The opinion of a CEO who understood and proved it.

http://www.freeenterprise.com/story/management-advice-from-gordon-bethune-the-ceo-who-saved-continental-airlines/

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Far be it for me to defend unions, likewise, I've owned GM products exclusively since the later 1970s, but anyone who does not believe the Big Three's management didn't make poor choices for the last several decades, resulting in the companies poor state and later bankruptcy, is delusional.......

Of course they did, and their most glaringly poor choice was not taking steps to break the union before it became a destructive behemoth.

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Of course they did, and their most glaringly poor choice was not taking steps to break the union before it became a destructive behemoth.

Perhaps, but maintaining numerous brands beyond profitability didn't help the bottom line, regardless of the unions. Likewise the introduction of numerous sub-par models and poor build standards. Furthermore, GM and Mopar both ceded ground in various categories, be it through poor marketing, over capacity in plants resulting in loss leaders etc and failure to keep ahead of the styling trend......

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Of course they did, and their most glaringly poor choice was not taking steps to break the union before it became a destructive behemoth.

Just the kind of confrontational attitude that creates these messes. Break the employees, get all the concessions you can from them while collecting big bonuses for doing so and destroying moral. How do you think these behemoths are created in the first place? When did leadership stop being a part of management? I've been a member of several unions over the years and had union and non union jobs. In every case it is management that had the biggest influence on the relationship it had with employees, union or not. People are people and whether they belong to a union or not doesn't change the way they will respond to good or bad leadership.

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Of course they did, and their most glaringly poor choice was not taking steps to break the union before it became a destructive behemoth.

I think people are getting the state of the auto industry in Canada confused with the overall financial health of the Big Three US based automakers. They are pulling out slowly but surely and steadily from assembling vehicles in this country. They are not shutting down globally, it is a reduction and eventual elimination of their assembly capacity in Canada. We can argue about bad decisions in the past, but strictly from a corporate viewpoint they are doing exactly want they need to do to maintain their profitability. And they cannot compete by paying high wages and benefits in this market. So they won't.

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I think people are getting the state of the auto industry in Canada confused with the overall financial health of the Big Three US based automakers. They are pulling out slowly but surely and steadily from assembling vehicles in this country.

Also, it must be pointed out that exporting U.S. Big Three auto assembly jobs first went to Canada. Conditions have changed.....

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Both management and unions thought they could continue their dinosaur management and labour practices because they had the North American market sown up and nothing could change that. They were both very wrong.

Dinosaur practices, yes. Unfortunately, when it was realized that the Big Three were no longer competitive with the likes of Toyota/Honda and that changes needed to be made, it wasn't management that prevented it. The UAW was the millstone around the company's neck.

If labour is solely responsible for the success or failure of companies,

Nobody said that.

How do you account for the fact the other two largest (and successful) car companies in the world, Toyota and VW, are both heavily unionized?

Foreign automakers do not have unionized work forces in North America. In fact, many of them have essentially zero industrial footprint here. As for back home, they're heavily subsidized by their governments. Toyota, for instance, gets significant public subsidies to help pay for union benefits/pensions in Japan. What's even better is that it's one of the most xenophobic countries in the developed world and people buy nothing but Japanese cars there. It's kind of nice having a iron-clad home base.

I chalk it up to good management who knows a good working relationship with its workers. unionized or not is essential to success. A concept that was lost on Detroit for decades.

except that's rather difficult when your relationship with your workers constitutes dealing with idiots like Buzz Hargrove.

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Far be it for me to defend unions, likewise, I've owned GM products exclusively since the later 1970s, but anyone who does not believe the Big Three's management didn't make poor choices for the last several decades, resulting in the companies poor state and later bankruptcy, is delusional.......

Sure, but we're talking about decisions made back in the 80's and early 90's, back when Honda's were still called rice-burners and you could count on your Cavalier rusting our within a few years. The Big Three and the unions got away with all of their BS because they didn't have any competition. Fast forward to the mid to late 90's and it's a completely different story. At that point GM/Ford/Chrysler were scrambling to adapt and the unions simply refused to see reality.

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Sure, but we're talking about decisions made back in the 80's and early 90's, back when Honda's were still called rice-burners and you could count on your Cavalier rusting our within a few years. The Big Three and the unions got away with all of their BS because they didn't have any competition. Fast forward to the mid to late 90's and it's a completely different story. At that point GM/Ford/Chrysler were scrambling to adapt and the unions simply refused to see reality.

The Big Three were struggling to adapt into the 2000s........hence going bankrupt.

GM management, not the unions, should have divested Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab etc in the 80s and 90s........Likewise Dodge with Plymouth and Ford with Mercury......not only would this have allowed greater emphasis in their remaining brands, but also cost savings from shrinking facilities and (union) workforce........

As much as I dislike the CAW, the Pontiac Aztek was not their fault......

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The Big Three were struggling to adapt into the 2000s........hence going bankrupt.

A $30 labor cost handicap makes it rather difficult to do so.

GM management, not the unions, should have divested Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab etc in the 80s and 90s........Likewise Dodge with Plymouth and Ford with Mercury......not only would this have allowed greater emphasis in their remaining brands, but also cost savings from shrinking facilities and (union) workforce........

No doubt it would have helped, but it would have done very little to solve the main problem the Big Three faced: a significant cpu gap for similar vehicles compared to foreign competitors.

As much as I dislike the CAW, the Pontiac Aztek was not their fault......

Yeah...but then that suggests that foreign auto makers haven't been guilty of the exact same mistakes. How many of these beauties did you ever see?

600-spacecruiser-300.jpg

How's has the Scion brand been faring for that matter?

Edited by Moonbox

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Dinosaur practices, yes. Unfortunately, when it was realized that the Big Three were no longer competitive with the likes of Toyota/Honda and that changes needed to be made, it wasn't management that prevented it. The UAW was the millstone around the company's neck.

Nobody said that.

Foreign automakers do not have unionized work forces in North America. In fact, many of them have essentially zero industrial footprint here. As for back home, they're heavily subsidized by their governments. Toyota, for instance, gets significant public subsidies to help pay for union benefits/pensions in Japan. What's even better is that it's one of the most xenophobic countries in the developed world and people buy nothing but Japanese cars there. It's kind of nice having a iron-clad home base.

except that's rather difficult when your relationship with your workers constitutes dealing with idiots like Buzz Hargrove.

As far as I know, the auto industry is the only industry (union or non Union) in North America where the companies became 100% responsible for pensions and benefits. Did that happen because the union leadership was so much better than in any other industry, because of management incompetence, or a combination of both? What do you think?

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