Loc: Finland, on the Arctic Circle
Originally Posted By: yoyo52
I love it. Blame the worker for the stupidity of management.
Yeah, that's soooo typical in just about any industry. Management f's up -> workers get the flak. Management F's up royally -> workers get royal flak and potentially lay-offs. It's just about the worst, when you have an idiot with obvious sociopathic tendencies as your supervisor... :P
Seriously? Would that be because of the hours required to build an SUV? Would that have to do with market share dividends, or kickbacks from specific vendors/suppliers? On what criteria would a union base such quotas?
Maybe this could be the miniseries that trumps The Sopranos!
Which it seems like the hugest difference between Honda making a car in Canada and making one in Kentucky. I'll take your 20 buck an hour per person for health care. Doesn't seem huge if talking about the guy who has been on the line for a few years and is pulling down 75 an hour.
But the newly hired janitor, the clerk filing index cards and that long time employee all need the same health care unless you want to give the clerk a fake liver transplant and the long term line worker a real liver.
GM is being suffocated trying to give health insurance to employees and also keep it in retirement packages. There are other differences but that is the biggest. People laughed at Hillary Clinton's universal health care and so we sit here mistaking sarcasm for reality and blame the worker for the SUV. My head hurts.
Where the Japanese differ though is in the number of workers needed to produce a car and waste management. It comes down to design and technology in the car plants. My late ex was involved with the start up of the Honda plant in Ontario. Everyday he'd come home totally blown away with the state of the art assembly lines. He had also been involved in the overhaul of the GM plant so he had something to compare with. He told me the Japanese were light years ahead in robotics. Management styles are night and day different as well. Worker input is not only tolerated but expected with good bonuses for the Honda employees.
As much as I hate unions, they can't be held responsible for all the woes at GM and Ford. My brother works at Ford. We've had numerous conversations about waste and mismanagement in Oakville. If the workers try to say anything or suggest a better way of doing something they are told to STFU!!!!
i'd read about this difference as well. the foreign car makers are at an advantage since they came to the game later with regard to assembly in the USA. they could start building their plants with MUCH better technology whereas the American car makers have older facilities. while they can try retrofitting things, they still have a lot of legacy equipment (sort of like Windows and their code versus Mac OS X).
but the Foreign companies can hire fewer workers for their plants. they are much more efficient with their plants.
I used to own a 67 Chevy pickup with a 283 V-8 that got 22 mpg, and it just never stopped running. It was a great vehicle. I sold it so I wouldn't have to keep dealing with everyone on campus who needed to move furniture. I got tired of saying no, and just got rid of the thing, but I really regretted it later. I bought a Ford Mustang II hatchback in 1974, and it turned out to be a great car. Saved our lives when a drunk doing 85 hit us at 55 mph, and sent us spinning across the freeway, through the median and into the oncoming traffic. It never flipped. We drove it away after putting the tires back on. It had a great motor. Turned out it was German-made.
After that, we noticed that our families' American cars spent lots of time in the shop, and that they were uncomfortable to drive or ride in, and they got poor mileage. They were huge and hard to park. They wore out by 100,000 miles. So, I bought a Datsun 310 GX in 1980. It had front wheel drive and got 42 mpg, 36 city. I drove it all over the US and Canada. I traded it in with 200,000 + miles on it, and I don't remember ever having it in the shop. I've stayed with Japanese cars ever since and haven't regretted it.
GM could have learned big lessons 30 years ago. I realize we have to bail them out to protect so many jobs at this particular point in time -- we're already in economic peril. GM's failure could tip us over the brink. But if our economy were booming and they went under, I'd say good riddance. I just hope they learn something from this and create cars that I'd be proud to own again. There was a time when their cars were the pride of the highway. I owned American cars and loved them. But it was GM's slide into planned obsolescence, crappy parts, bad workmanship, and complete refusal to build efficient motors that drove me across the Pacific. It's going to take more than a bailout to bring me back to GM, Ford, or Chrysler.
Shooshie PS: did I mention that my 1987 Nissan van still runs quietly without burning oil? It's 21 years old! I stopped counting its miles 10 years ago when it crossed its first 100,000. We only use it for hauling now, because it's old and it's a van, but the seats have no rips, the paint looks new, and it cleans up very nicely. Kicks over on the first crank. Geez! Why buy GM when you can get something like that?
Businesses here do pay a head tax towards health care. I believe it's something like 1.5% per employee??????
Our health care doesn't cover many things so private insurance takes up the slack. This isn't cheap. While I don't doubt expenses are higher in the US, the difference is likely not as large as you may think.
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