It’s done. As of 0804 est General Motors is in Chapter 11.
I would like to put a personal face on this debacle. My husband started working for GM in 1978. He worked in the same plant (Grand Blanc Metal Fab on Dort Highway) for 25 years. In 2003 he took a “voluntary quit” so that he could protect his pension. You see, things have been going down hill for General Motors for much longer than people realize.
I have bitten my tongue for about a year now (no, seriously, I can be quiet when I want to) as the media has lambasted the Union Members. I have listened to ridiculous claims that they were being paid anywhere between $75 and $125 an hour versus $40/hour for Toyota employees. Really? Show me.
Show his cousin (who put in 30 years) the huge bank account he is supposed to have. Show his Aunt the hidden funds that will save her house from foreclosure. How about another cousin who saw the value of his home go from $125,000 to about $40,000 in 12 months because Flint has become a freakin’ ghost town. How about the next door neighbor who lost his job, then his home and watched as his property was offered to the owners of the adjoining properties for less than $100.
A lot of the things reported on the news are just slightly accurate. I am not up on the precise details of the property owned by the UAW (you know, the country club-style oasis that everyone seems to be getting their panties in a bunch over). All I know is that it was presented to the members as a place that union members and their families could go to on vacations to camp, fish, relax, etc. It was then changed to a place where union members could go to attend seminars, etc. Finally, it became the exclusive playground of the UAW elite. Regular dues-paying members were not invited.
I could go on and on about some of the things GM Management has done to get around contractual agreements with the men and women who worked like dogs for them. These things were done well within the letter of the law, mind you…but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I had pulled some of the crap they did. One instance I can recall was when my husband submitted a “suggestion” to save GM money. “Suggestions” were taken into consideration by the plant management and GM Corporate. If an employee’s “suggestion” was used, the employee could be entitled to a percentage of the money GM saved, up to (if I recall correctly) about $20,000. Well, his “suggestion” was rejected and he was given a $25.00 check for taking the time to submit it. Okay. Well, 3 months later he watched as they used his “suggestion” exactly as he had laid it out to them. It ended up saving the plant a couple-hundred thousand dollars. When he approached them with his complaint he was told that since he accepted the $25.00 thank-you check, that was to be considered payment and that he could make no further claim for monies.
I am so tired of hearing how the event that took place this morning is mainly the fault of the UAW members. No it isn’t. It is mainly the fault of the UAW elite and GM’s higher-ups.