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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just saw this short video about the Ford plant in Brazil. Take note of the final comment. What are your thoughts?

Ford Brazil


Brazil is road map for U.S. rebound

SÃO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil -- If Ford Americas President Mark Fields seems overly confident when he talks about the company's turnaround plan, it's because he has already seen it work -- in Brazil. - 08/22/2007

Fields cut his teeth in South America

DEARBORN -- As president of Ford Motor Co.'s Americas division, Mark Fields oversees one of the company's most profitable divisions -- South America -- even as he struggles to return its biggest money loser -- North America -- to profitability. - 08/22/2007
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My company, Freightliner, Is going through Lean Manufacturing now and is slated to take 2 yrs to complete. We are a union plant(and need to be) But i believe the union and Management are going to have to work together like they never have before so we can get out of the rutt we are in now. All most all of the Automobile industry(in the U.S.) is still building cars like there is no one else to compete with. Lean(TOS or Toyota Operating System) is a hard pill to swallow for the many that are laid off, including some off my family and friends, But if we can't be competative we wont last much longer.
My 2 Cents
 

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Being of the non-Union type, I have never understood the principle of biting the hand that feeds you(strikes). From what I understand, the Big Japanese Three plants here in the States are non-union, pay fairly, and have great bennies, and they are successful, why can't we do that?
 

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From what I understand, the Big Japanese Three plants here in the States are non-union, pay fairly, and have great bennies, and they are successful, why can't we do that?
Because the union has become a power structure of its own. Union leadership is not needed unless there is conflict between labor and management. The resulting adversarial relationship provides positions of power and prestige for union leaders. Why would they support something that would make them redundant?

In fairness to the unions, autocratic management created the original need for unions and still too often gives employees reason to feel like they need protection.

Nonetheless, human nature being what it is, those who benefit from the current situation will try to preserve it, even at the expense of industry survival.
 

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Nonetheless, human nature being what it is, those who benefit from the current situation will try to preserve it, even at the expense of industry survival.

Yup.....it's unfortunate. Makes you wonder if they shouldn't go into Ch11 to emerge without the Union.....if they could even do that legally.

I think Saturn is a non-Union shop as well. Could be wrong, tho.
 

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well i agree, if these companys need to get back on their feet, the union needs to go . its nothing but a hinderance anymore, it makes companys keep slug employs, people that should just go . too much entiltlement going on in our current culture. these blood suckers at uaw are sucking the life out of our industry . everwhere local to me latley when a building goes up , non union workers are being used, and you get the big inflatble rat is out there with a couple of guys with signs. all the union experince i have had is pretty negative actually , and this is after seeing my dad for years with the pipe fitters. and the lack of their help . and working in union and non union auto shops as well.
 

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Yeah - a classic example of why unions don't work anymore. It forces a company to become everything they weren't designed to be...health care providers, pension builders, etc....They served the original purpose to get industries to clean up, pay better, better working conditions. That's where it should stop - not become a deep pocket for lib support to keep you in constant "need" so they can have power and make it sound like they are doing YOU a favor. Isn't it your due's they used to keep you in need? What a stupid circle it has become. I am working right now in a position that is being justified to keep the union out and they are trying strong arm tactics to get this position "unionized". We are doing the LEAN system here as well.....not sure what to make of it yet. Seems like the latest craze going at this point.
 

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I have no problem with a pension as long as it isn't yanked out from under the worker right when they need it most. The rest can go.
 

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I have long believed the unions had largley outlived their usefulness. I remember when Chrysler was borrowing from the government just to keep their doors open and the union went on strike for higher wages and better benefits.

If the unions don't wise up they will put themselves out of work because they will force the further exportation of jobs. But then they'd just blame the bigcompany and NAFTA. I wonder if Bush could still catch some heat for that?
 

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Yes, they (the UAW) should own the business: the plants.

Your response tells me that you have never on the plant floor at Ford. As a vendor, I needed to get inside the plant to inspect defective parts in the cage. This had to be done with a Ford engineer. We had to sneak in by hiding behind cars and avoiding labor because they had taken over the floor in some kind of union show of strength. Literally, non union Ford employees were not allowed in the plant. This would never happen in a Toyota facility.

Now the kicker is that I met a lot of the guys that worked on the line, and outside the plant we got along great. They would tell me privately that they new I was just doing my job, but if they didn't act like jerks they would be in trouble with the union.

I say if the union wants to act like they own the plant, let them own the plant. If they thought Ford didn't pay enough, they could bid on a Nissan vehicle. You already have lines running multiple products like Mustangs and Mazdas.
 

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The US automakers AND their workers need a Union right now, like a fish needs a bicycle !!!
Wait, that doesn't make sense at all. Fish can't ride bicycles! :1poke:

Bill, I'm surprised you didn't fall up some stairs while you were there.
 

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I hate those union *******s at Ford. When I worked at a plant a few years ago we stamped parts for the ford suv's and pickups and when we packed the parts in a basket they had to be packed a certain pain in the ass way and when you were leaning into a basket with part in hand you would find a check stubb in the bottom. And when you see that they make 2-3 times what you make and ***** about all the things we dont do for them. Those people are the biggest ***** ass pampered *****es that I have ever seen. Yeah I would love to make their money, but they are killing the American Automotive single handed. Can you imagine how much cheaper your car would be if they were built by someone who got paid half as much and still proud to build a Ford. You cant take away the competition.
 

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I hate those union *******s at Ford. When I worked at a plant a few years ago we stamped parts for the ford suv's and pickups and when we packed the parts in a basket they had to be packed a certain pain in the ass way and when you were leaning into a basket with part in hand you would find a check stubb in the bottom. And when you see that they make 2-3 times what you make and ***** about all the things we dont do for them. Those people are the biggest ***** ass pampered *****es that I have ever seen. Yeah I would love to make their money, but they are killing the American Automotive single handed. Can you imagine how much cheaper your car would be if they were built by someone who got paid half as much and still proud to build a Ford. You cant take away the competition.
Rob, Tell us how you really feel. No really, don't hold back. :evil:
 
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