I want to refer my readers to another excellant blog comment–and add what that excellant comment neglected to say

180px-cupola_caboose1First, the article sets the stage for when Henry Ford raised the hourly rate of his workers to $5.00 per day and lowered the number of hours per week they had to work, and offered a profit sharing plan.  Of course, this other blog being Democrats, and as we all know Democrats are not too bright, they at the end of an otherwise excellent post failed to draw all of the proper conclusions. Not to spoil your reading of the article, but the conclusion of the article was as follows:

“The higher wage Ford offered made the jobs much more attractive. Morale shot up, employee turnover sharply dropped, and, most important from management’s perspective, productivity surged. Henry Ford was on his way to being a billionaire.” (1)

What the author no doubt wanted to convey was that see, the UAW is great and GM and Ford and Chrysler are smart to pay their union members more than automakers at non-unionized plants. Being a Dem, and being all for “fairness” and ooey going girly man emotions, I’m sure the author thinks that the conclusion is correct. Henry Ford, genius, cheapskate, gazillionaire knows better than those of us who in any way oppose the UAW now.

But I’m from Michigan. My father was a GM executive for 25 years, my grandfather was a UAW member since it’s inception, my uncle next door was UAW, two of his four boys entered GM after HS and remain there. I’ve probably got 10-20 family members who work there (never tried to count them).  But the reason why the Henry Ford analogy doesn’t hold up to the UAW situation today is because the union has become a bad thing. Power corrupts, and the UAW has become too powerful. The rank and file know what is going on. One problem is that it is too difficult to fire bad employees, or to discipline them. The ones who are concientious and hard workers see their co-workers who are lazy and who do shoddy work get away with it (and, incidentally, give the hard workers a bad name by producing expensive, shoddy vehicles) and prosper with no adverse consequences. Unions save jobs just for the sake of saving them. 

On a side but related note, our cabin “up north” in Michigan was so near a railroad track that when a train was coming, it would blow it’s whistle and we kids would run out to wave to the guy in the caboose. Sort of like how kids try to get truckers to honk their horns on the highway, we would wave to see if we could get the guy in the caboose to wave his hanky at us. Usually he did, by the way. Years later I learned that the union kept people in the cabooses long after they were no longer required. Why? To save the employees jobs. As the union members who held those jobs retired, so too did the train companies retire the cabooses. But not until then. In the same way, I had a high school buddy who went directly into GM from HS, and immediately make as much money as most college grads. I kept seeing him at the golf course during the day, and wondered how he could work all night and play all day. Turns out his job was to watch a certain piece of equipment (a boiler, I think, but my memory is faded). He went to work, ensured that the equipment was working, then curled up on a cot and slept through the night. Because the union said he could. 

Michigan is filled with union members who are freakin in the prime of their life, and lovin no longer working. They make more in retirement than most people make working. And, hey, I’m happy for them. I wish I had it so good. I have zero retirement except for what I save.  All they have to do is show up for work the same as everybody else, and they earn a retirement that is to die for. Hey, that’s great my empty headed liberal readers will say. But no it isn’t. That is a big reason why GM and Ford and Chrysler can’t compete. They pay too much for their labor. And guess what is more? The unions are going to either drive the Big Three out of business, or the Government, yeah, me and you, are going to start paying for all those cushy retirement packages so the automakers can survive.  So we will be making payments so my friends and relatives in Michigan can live high on the hog, while you and I slave away looking forward to that big fat Social Security Pie in the Sky. 



One response to “I want to refer my readers to another excellant blog comment–and add what that excellant comment neglected to say

  1. Mom and her husband had been under the controlling eyes of the UAW as well but as filing cabinet makers…don’t ask me, it’s the union that took them in…for money no doubt. When they has issues Jr was shop steward and he had to fight for the laziest of the stupid. he represented the union against the company (All-Steel) and had the easy task of showing the employee was doing “something”, although hardly ever anything that needed to be done. as long as the employee had done “something” then why should they fire him. After long days of bickering back and forth, while still having to pay the employee, they gave in and then paid him a bonus for doing what was right in fighting for his job.

    Lovely Democratic way of life…JACKASSES !

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