Blah, blah, blah


It takes two to tango

Not to rehash a subject that I wrote about yesterday, but seriously, how about the unions? Our new President has basically given the CEO of GM his walking papers. Told him that the US Govt is now in control of GM and wants to run it like a business. Aside from the fact that our govt could not run a kids lemonade stand at a profit, lets look at everything that has made GM a loser.

As a business owner myself, I will admit that management has been a problem. The buck always stops with mangement. In this case, though, there is another problem. The union has prevented GM from staying successful. No manager can run a company correctly if they have to listen to some guy in a black suit constantly whining in their ear, like a mother hen. "We want more money for doing less work", "We want more benefits, no matter how the profits look", "We want, we want".

I have been in a union. Actually I have been in a couple of unions and I learned some real big lessons. There may have been a time for unions, but that time is not now. Hell, most states give workers so many damn rights in the workplace that the union has to come up with stupid stuff just to make it look like they are doing something.

From what I have seen, the union protects the lazy worker. We have all had to work with the person who constantly complains, never does all of their work, and has an ongoing beef with management. Yep, this is the guy (or gal) who needs the union. Unions always put in place stupid rules. If I am done with my job and start to help my buddy with his I am violating a union rule. Supposedly I am taking a job from somebody else. Stuuupiiid.

This list could go on and on. In my humble opinion, our new Prez needs to consider ousting the union from GM along with the CEO. After all, the union is just as responsible for the companies failings.

I already wrote my elected idiots on this. How about you?

Comment balloon 23 commentsKevin Robinson • March 30 2009 09:53AM


I'm on it too.....I'm so disgusted with what is going on. I can't believe this "President" thinks it's his perogative to tell a company to fire someone, or to tax people by name because you don't like their salary, or to add trillions to the debt to pay back contributors. The thrill of power going on in DC right now is incredible.


Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 11 years ago

And we are less than 100 days into this presidency.

Posted by Tad Petersen / Home Inspector, Mpls (Safeguard Home Inspections, Inc.) over 11 years ago

I agree with both of you.  But consider this.

If we oust the unions, how will that help the "companies"?  Will it give more auto-workers livable wages so that they can maintain and keep the homes they already have, or buy new homes?  I don't really think so - could be wrong - but don't think so.

Will getting rid of unions, by itself, return the auto manufacturers to profitability?  I don't think that's in the cards either, without a lot of initial pain.  Our problem in the U.S. is that the cost of producing competitive products here is much higher than it is in other countries.  You can't produce a Cadillac in the U.S. at the same cost that Hyundai can produce a top-end Sonata.  But you can certainly enjoy almost the same accouterments and accessories in a top-end Sonata that you can enjoy in a Cadillac.  Which begs the question, why buy a Cadillac?  (not picking on Cadillac here, only using them as an example).

In order to accomplish the ability to do this, to compete in a global market, and I mean compete FREELY, a lot more workers will have to be laid off, and auto manufacturers will have to be able to acquire their raw materials at a much lower price, which only leads to pain in other industries.

This isn't the only problem with all of this, but one of many.  There are so many facets to it.

Posted by Jim Eyre, Everett, WA (Bank of America Home Loans) over 11 years ago

Hi Kevin: Well put.  I applaud the ousting of the GM CEO.  I also think the unions need to give some concessions in these times.


Posted by Matt Listro, Your Credit Repair Expert (National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro) over 11 years ago

You said it!  I like what you said the union protects the lazy worker.  Amazing isn't it.

What gives the President the right to fire someone from a company?  There are so many things going on right now with our government that I don't agree with.  This is only the beginning I fear.  It is going to be a long 4 years!  I too have been writing my elected idiots.

Thanks for the blog!

Posted by John Jacobus over 11 years ago

There is got to be a balance somewhere.. . the unions are still negotiating for their members not realizing that they will end without a job source. . if they still insist all for me and nothing for you!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 11 years ago

Kevin - Obama should not have meddled directly with any company - he should not have demanded the resignation of GM's CEO.

And, due to his need for political payback, he won't touch the union directly.

However, with the recent good news that he's (finally) putting a stop to sending bailout money to GM & Chrysler, he very well may be doing away with those union workers' jobs.

So, what's next?  I suspect he may declare that we need to give special subsidies to all the union workers who are soon to lose their jobs.  Yes, that means punish achievers more, and give welfare to a combination of hard workers who could (and possibly should) learn new skills to work in a different capacity, as well as some lazy workers who should be allowed to go without food until they get off their butts and put in an honest days' work.

Posted by David Holzmann (Holzmann & Associates) over 11 years ago

Kevin,  I watched the Presidents news conference this morning just waiting to see if he mentioned the unions and what they needed to do to make the auto industry competitive again.  He mentioned them briefly and in passing.  How can he attack the very people who helped him get elected?  He can't and that is why the auto industry will continue to wallow in its own muck.  How can he try and fix the problem when he will not address ALL the issues they face?  Troy

Posted by Troy Batson, Bend Oregon Real Estate (The Lowes Group) over 11 years ago

Kevin - I am going to play a bit of the contrarian here. While the unions are a large part of GM's, Chrysler's and Ford's problems, they also have had other issues that contribute to their problems. The escalation of gasoline prices over a year helped kill their main money stream, the large SUV. The domino effect of the cost of gas took a lot of people out of the market. When you add in the other economic problems, the virtual closing of credit, to businesses even more than consumers, etc., have all piled upon the automakers, including Toyota, Hyundai, Honda etc. Plus, the big three are located in states that might not be as tax friendly as the other manufacturer's. Don't get me wrong, I am not absolving the unions of their role in this mess, I am just not willing to pile all the blame on top of them.

And then let's consider the mish mash of rules from congress, the EPA, the varying states, etc.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 11 years ago

Tell GM to make a car that is well designed and engineered. They put out ugly automobiles that perform poorly against imports. They should fire everybody responsible in the design and engineering departments. After that, maybe, they can earn my business.

Posted by Israel Barden (RE/MAX Big Bear Village) over 11 years ago

Israel - Buick, which I do believe is a GM car, was rated above Lexus as the most reliable car, according to J.D. Powe. GM has more 30+ mpg vehicles than any other manufacturer. And, IMHO, most of the GM cars look a lot better than, say VW, a lot of the new Toyotas, etc. Now there are some ugly cars.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 11 years ago

Kevin~ What Obama is doing is no different than what Hitler did when he first rose to power in Germany. He is allowing the government to have more and more power to take over industry while at the same time pursuing an economic policy that will cause major inflation and devaluation of the currency. When the dolllar becomes worthless and unemployment reaches historical levels the gOov. will reach out and before we know it they will control everything and it will be too late by the time enough people realize.

Posted by Hugh Krone, Realtor, Sussex County NJ (Weichert Referral Associates) over 11 years ago

As I see the slippery slide we are on it makes me SO SAD for our country.  My husband has been forced to be in a Union as an Aircraft mechanic.  I can't tell you how annoying it is to see where our money we have to provide on a monthly basis is used.  It is especially annoying at election time.  They even call our house, well they use to I got very annoyed one time when they called and I think that might have got us off the list.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 11 years ago

Here is just a little history some might find interesting. When I get so angry and frustrated I have to read something educational from history to see how far we have come and how Great our Country is.

See the 12 most important cars of all time.

Posted by Alice Linahan (Voices Empower ) over 11 years ago

I think he gained the right to meddle with the company once they were given taxpayer dollars to be propped up.  I don't like government in business but by the same token, companies shouldn't receive a bailout ever. 

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

My feeling is that any company that went begging for money must accept what it gets.

Posted by Kevin Robinson, Fractional Developer over 11 years ago

Mike- If GM's cars were better than their competitors, they would be more successful. Maybe they are as good, but the marketing department is not doing a good job in letting the public know. In  that case, fire the marketers. There is a major disconnect somewhere in that company.

Posted by Israel Barden (RE/MAX Big Bear Village) over 11 years ago

Kevin, my husband belongs to a union, and you should be glad he does.  Otherwise he would be flying you around for minimum wage and trust me, those airline crews deserve every penny the union works hard to get for them.  Or would you prefer disgruntled minimum wage employees, with  few benefits, putting YOUR life in their hands?

Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) over 11 years ago

Israel - the American public has been brainwashed into thinking that any foreign car is better than any American car. For sometime, that was patently true. A good example is VW. You pay a premium for the name but it very often has a much higher "lemon" rate than most American brands (except maybe Chrysler).

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 11 years ago

Mike- Then somebody needs to do a better job of getting that message out. A good example just happened to me. I bought a Mercury Montego in 2007 to use as my primary work car. It is quite roomy and looks nice. My back brakes went out at 16,000 miles. 16,000 miles? When I was in college, I had a little Toyota truck. The brakes in that thing lasted for years. My Dad has an old ( 1992 ) Nissan truck he uses for hauling in his construction business. That thing is a champ. It has never broken down ever. In my personal experience, Japanese vehicles are much better than American vehicles. Maybe I am wrong, but I have never seen anything to convince me otherwise.

Posted by Israel Barden (RE/MAX Big Bear Village) over 11 years ago

Quality of the car doesn't matter at all, if it's not cost-efficient to operate.  During Jimmy Carter's presidency we had long gas lines at the pumps.  About the same time, Ford built the Mustang II and the Pinto, Mercury built the Bobcat, GM downsized their mid-line cars, and Chrysler did the same.  Eventually Chrysler was saved from extinction with the advent of the K-Cars.  Unfortunately the automakers forgot those lessons, and began to build larger, less efficient automobiles, and the U.S. eventually got to the point of providing tax incentives for people who bought the least efficient, large SUV's.  Simply put, the problem that overrides all else is our country's dependence on foreign oil.  We must improve on this score - we have no choice, unless we want to continue this never-ending cycle.  This is much larger than the unions, or anything else connected to the auto industry. 

Posted by Jim Eyre, Everett, WA (Bank of America Home Loans) over 11 years ago

As far as the quality, I think it DOES come back to the unions.  People get comfortable and think they have job security and they are really just there for the pay check.  We all know people exactly like this that we have worked with in the past or maybe still do.  They feel the union will protect them and they can slack off and just do their time everyday.  Hopefully those days ARE over and the workers who do a good job are the ones who get the work.

Posted by John Hersey, e-PRO Realtor (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty) over 11 years ago

Jim, I remember those days, because I lamented the demise of the really "cool" cars of the 50's and 60's.  Everything got small and boxy and boring, but they were good on gas.  Interesting that Europe has never bought into having "awesome looking" cars, they have pretty much maintained the status quo of simple and economical.

Israel, my only experience with American made, since the 60's when cars were solid and reliable, was a Plymouth Voyager.  It had several problems right off the lot, and like clock work the transmission would go at 27k miles.  I dumped it after the second expensive transmission repair.  I now drive a Honda Element, almost 70k miles and just had to have the brakes replaced, and that is the only service issue I've had.  So, if we want to make quality cars we need to pay the people who make them, otherwise we'll have a factory full of minimum wage people who don't care.

Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) over 11 years ago