" well, there's been some stocks that haven't disappointed. general Motors being one of them."
Don't you just hate it when CNBC pimps stocks?
"I wouldn't know."
Neither would I. Remarkably, the rank and file's choice ALWAYS coincides with the Reuther Caucus in this democratic, honest institution.
"If this contract passes, wngr, the difference has to be made up somewhere....but will they raise prices or cut costs?"
They can't raise prices, the market is too competitive and won't allow it. They will continue to do what they've done for 30 years, slowly but surely reduce the UAW labor content. They will take advantage of the next sales downturn to shut down US facilities and run the Mexican plants full tilt.
It's simple economics. Of course they will try to save money any way they can without reducing customer value and further reduce sales. But as you point out, there isn't much to gain in purchased parts, cheaper materials reduces value, executive pay will automatically be reduced through the bonus system, and there may be a dividend reduction if it's too bad. But the tried and true method is to close the most uncompetitive plants and run the others to make up the difference
"Delegates are elected by the locals.. Local union members elect their convention delegates. Any rank and file member can run to be a delegate, and he's not required to be a union official to run. So, yes, rank and file members can change the Constitution, by electing delegates who support that platform."
Yes, keep on believing that m48. The UAW wouldn't do anything coercive or dishonest, would they? That's what I tell all my friends at least. Of course, you have to ignore the 38 criminal charges brought against them, 51 embezzlement charges, 42 guilty pleas, 15 indictments, and 31 officials sentenced for that to be true (these are only the charges brought about by UAW members, it does not include criminal charges of rape, etc.). Let me ask you this, when was the last time a UAW President elected that was not endorsed by the Reuther Caucus?
"What happened in 1979/1980/1981? I think the latest Recession was compared to what began in those years. I am sure that had an impact."
1979 US Sales: 14,153.000
1979 UAW Membership: 1,579,000
2014 US Sales: 16,841,973
2014 UAW Membership: 391,415
Vehicle sales up 19%.
UAW Membership down 75%
Spin it however you want. The facts are that the UAW has a hugely less important role in the US vehicle market than it did in 1979. Is some of it productivity...yes. Is some of it loss of share by the US manufacturers...yes (compounded by the inability of the UAW to organize transplants). Is some of because the US market is demanding more imports....yes.
If you want to argue that some companies are bringing back work to the US, fine. Again, anecdotal information that ignores the overwhelming trend.
"They continue to march down the road with priorities as exhibited in the FCA tentative contract."
(I have not read that yet)"
I haven't read that either, but think for yourself Questy. Think about these additions to the already world's highest pay structure:
-$8 per hour increases for in-progression workers (about 40% of Chrysler's workforce)
-Traditional workers will take home an additional $20,000 over the next 4 years
-Richer profit sharing formula
-$4,000 signing bonus
-401(k) Contribution Rate Raised to 6.4% for In-Progression Members
-Increased Dental and Vision Benefits for In-Progression Members
Getting the picture?
"The rank and file can change it if they want, by amending their constitution ."
Well, actually they can't. Article 3 of the UAW Constitution and By-laws states:
"This Constitution as amended at the Detroit, Michigan Convention convened on June 2, 2014 and as may hereafter be amended, shall be the supreme law of the International Union, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW), and can be amended only by a majority vote of the delegates at succeeding regular Constitutional or Special Conventions."
The delegates of the conventions are the very ones that want to protect their own well being. Not likely to give up any of their power.
"Is that something you just made up, troll? Now you're making up lies, like your buddy qqq. Name one relative of a UAW official who's paid 100k."
Let me help Adrian out a little on this one. There are 801 employees of the international union. 512 make more than $75,000 and the average salary is $99,768.
Ronald Bieber $141,157 (son of former UAW President Owen Bieber)
William King $130,670 (family member of Bob King, Former UAW President)
David Shoemaker $130,428 (Family member of Richard SHoemaker, former VP UAW)
Patricia Bieber $127,751 (Family member of Owen Bieber, former President UAW)
Betsy Bennett $125,263 (Family member of Mike Bennett, former Shop Chairman Spring Hill)
Gwynne Cobb $119,993 (Wife of Servicing rep Tim Cobb)
Wayne King $121,789 (Family member of Bob King, former President UAW)
Michael Shoemaker $119,501 (Family member of Richard Shoemaker former VP UAW)
Patrick Ashton $115,125 (Family member of Joe Ashton, VP UAW)
These are the most obvious examples, I'm sure there are more but with married names, people I don't know, etc.
"If I must close my eyes in order to believe something is true, there is a problem."
I don't think you have to close your eyes on anything Questy, I think you have to open them. This deterioration of the UAW has been going on since 1979 when it had a little more than 1.5 million members to 391K at the end of last year.
So far this year, only 29.2% of cars sold in the US were made in the US, and 58.4% of trucks (including those imported by the OEMs) per Ward's Auto. A sad state of affairs.
It is my belief that the UAW in its entirety is guilty of the same thing. They continue to march down the road with priorities as exhibited in the FCA tentative contract. Apparently they are satisfied with getting more and more for fewer and fewer members. The inevitability of additional production shifts is certain.
People call me unpatriotic when I say that. My contention is that those perpetrating the causal actions are the unpatriotic ones by depriving millions of young Americans of the opportunities that previous generations have had. I would agree that the middle class is under siege, but should all of those in the middle class even be there? Should unskilled labor be able to command higher compensation than teachers?
OK, I'm worn out on this topic. If you think happy days are here again Questy, more power to you.
"So Questy really thinks Chinese carmakers build their cars in plants with dirt floors? Geeze, NOW who's the one living in the past? "
Questy is an enigma. On one hand he only believes what he sees (at the expense of ignoring valid data) ....on the other hand he seems to be very susceptible to what 'they' tell him.
"Having said that, the workers at Ford are even more productive now."
There's no doubt about that Questy. But the real question that should be asked is are we as productive (in a cost metric, not manhours per vehicle) as our competition. THAT'S the central question, isn't it? I mean we compete in the market place to sell our products against them, shouldn't we benchmark ourselves not against what we used to be, but against them as well?
This is a common mistake that even management makes. If we improve plant performance 10% in a year, we had coffee and doughnuts for the whole plant, even though we may still be 80% uncompetitive against the people stealing our market share. We need to put things in perspective.
Each GM plant (and I'm sure Ford is the same way) has a 'scorecard' where performance is measured against the previous year. We always insisted that not only was last year's performance noted, but also the BOB (Best of the Best) for each metric. It's great if productivity improved 5% against last year, but what if the best in your particular segment (assembly, power train, stamping, etc.) was still 30% better than that? It was way to give credit fo improvement, but to keep everyone focused on the REAL goal.
"I do not believe Ford has 62 assembly plants in the US. I think there are about 8. "
Your statement was "I was recently told that (and I need to be vague about this) one of the plants in particular makes enough profit to more than pay all of the bonuses (hourly, salary, Executive) every year."
Ford has plants in many countries in the world besides the US, plus they have a number of executives working in countries other than the US. I took your statement to mean ALL of the Ford executives.
In Fords annual report, they claim to have 62 plants globally. By the way, there's more to making cars than assembly plants.
"I never claimed to be a financial expert, and I said this is what I was told. Not my numbers, not my claim."
I was taking about whomever said that to you. You should not consider that person to be a trusted source of information. He doesn't understand how cost accounting works.
One of the benefits of using the same tooling in both places is that products made in both places (and I'm speaking of mainly power train components like engines and transmissions) could be emissions certified at the same time.
In addition, all engines/transmissions made in Mexico are dual sourced in the US. The UAW figured out that Powertrain plants were high in strategic value because they typically ship products to several assembly plants and a whole cluster of plants could be shut down by striking one Powertrain plant. We fixed that by dual sourcing in other countries.
"Due to the lack of quality of Chinese machined parts that caused US companies to bring work back to the US, in some instances, yes. As you would say, the data indicates this clearly, as well as the people I spoke with who lived it. "
I would like to see that data that you are referring to Questy, because MY experience is not the same. Unlike yourself, if credible data contradicts my beliefs, I will change my position.
It's also my experience that very little is imported from China to this country (at least auto parts). The logistics costs and border issues make China uncompetitive to Mexico.
"It was assembled in China with 100% manually operated (clamps, spot welders, etc.) tooling on dirt floors."
I assure you, GM has no plants in China with dirt floors. It's hard to imagine any automaker with so little regard for quality and cleanliness that would permit that. Which plant was it in China. Please tell me that Ford no longer uses that plant for other models.
"Due to US (not just Ford) ergonomic, safety, and other standards the tooling HAD TO CHANGE."
Not true at GM. To coin a phrase. GM took the position that 'all lives matter' for safety, ergonomics, etc. The standards are the same in Mexican plants as well as US plants. The GM Mexican plants (Silao, Ramos Arizpe, and San Luis Petosi) are even built to the same environmental standards as the US plants. This FAR exceeds the standards that were required in Mexico. Again, I'm surprised that Ford would build a plant that wasn't to the same standards.
"This ain't the Special Olympics where you help the other guy up and everyone believes in good sportsmanship, it's economic warfare on an international scale."
Anyone that believes otherwise is naive and ill informed.
"That's a little harsh."
Maybe. But I've lived with all these fly by night financial experts all my life. It's a source of enjoyment to me to expose them.
"One question: How do you explain Jeff Immelt?"
Great question Chebby. I suppose there are exceptions to every rule. Looking objectively at the data though, he took over from Welch in 2001. Since then the stock has been up and down, but averaged around $25 (it was about $35 at its peak when Welch retired).
The company has always been profitable (at least I think that's true w/o researching it) with recent net margins between 13-16%. So, I don't don't know why the stock isn't responding, but the company is definitely making money.
This scheme he has lately of selling off GE Capital may be his undoing if it doesn't work out well.
He's not one of my favorite guys, but I can see why the BOD keeps him around.
"Obviously, I don't know the numbers, but if you calculate Dearborn Truck at 1200/day, 300 days/year, $5,000/truck, you get $1.8 billion"
If that's the case, i.e., all costs are included, then Dearborn truck makes 72% of all Ford Automotive GLOBAL
profits. They must be losing big time on most of everything else. They should immediately close the other 61 plants.
"A question for you are American CEO's and their team competitive with global CEO's and their team?"
Here's the thing about CEO's regardless of where they may reside. They have no one like a union to fall back on if they screw up. You just can't seem to be able to distinguish between management employees and union employees. Their responsibilities are different, their compensation is different, and most importantly their employment risk is different. There is one way they ARE similar to hourly workers, if a CEO isn't providing value for every dollar he or she makes, he is "outsourced" just like UAW workers are.
I don't know what your definition of competitiveness for a CEO is, but here's mine. In order for a CEO to be competitive, he/she has to be:
1. Capable of doing the job, i.e., must have the educational background, experiential history, and aggressiveness to be achieving the desired results.
2. Be head and shoulders better than anyone else for the compensation is willing to pay.
3. Have the mental acumen to provide these results year after year.
4. Recognize that he/she is the most responsible person in the company in achieving lofty goals.
If he/she is not meeting these criteria, they are among the unemployed. Pay particular attention to #2. Do you honestly believe that the UAW fulfills this requirement? There are 675,000 Mexican auto workers that say they don't.
If an American CEO is replaced, it isn't necessarily with an American either. Foreign nationals are CEO's of companies like Chrysler, Nissan, McDonald's, Coca Cola, Kelloggs, Alcoa, Vodafone, Burberry, GlaxoSmithKline and many more.