Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Death by Strangulation: The UAW

The Warrior found this.

It is perhaps the mode of doing business in a unionized company that remains a crippling disadvantage.

...Not only work rules, but fundamental business decisions to sell, close or spin-off plants are forbidden without permission. That permission may come, but only at a price, since everything that affects the workplace must be negotiated.

Both the UAW and the Detroit Three maintain large staffs of lawyers, contract administrators, and financial and human-resources representatives whose principal job is to negotiate with the other side. These staffs are at all levels, from the factory floor to corporate headquarters and the UAW’s "Solidarity House" in downtown Detroit.

...In an environment of downsizing, the problem is exacerbated, as the entrenched bargaining structure causes innumerable inefficiencies

The costs are ferocious. We can all concede that abuse of workers is simply wrong. But what has grown in Detroit (and all the other plants) is a mutual, systematic, procedure-abuse monster which cannot continue.

Bush's "bailout" cannot fix this; he assumes goodwill between the parties, and he assumes wrong.

1 comment:

Neo-Con Tastic said...

I've brought this up in the past as another tangent to the failure to produce attractive and/or efficient vehicles.

When a firm has to invest millions of dollars into their union plans, they take that money from elsewhere. This money could be used in R&D.

There are so many alternatives to this broken model...