Victory for the working class!!! - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Victory for the working class!!!

I work at the Chrysler Minivan Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario. Last year, the company outsourced many jobs to outside companies. These jobs included Instrument Panel assembly, Tire mounting, Front End component assembly and Front and Rear suspension component assembly. The deal between Chrysler and our union was that these jobs were to remain local and that they be given to shops that would be unionized. Last Friday, the TRW plant that now does the suspension component assembly went on strike for better wages and benefits since the company was not forthcoming in their promises. After a five day strike which idled Windsor Assembly, the company finally conceded to a $4.00 an hour wage increase, benefits and paid holidays. This just goes to show you that you don't have to take the shit that these companies want to feed you and that you have a right as a worker to make a decent, living wage.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 04:42 AM
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Very interesting!!! It wont matter to them though they will just raise the price on the cars. Since you work at a plant please dont get urself into any trouble as other plant workers and plant managers may read this forum and prolly do.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 10:40 PM
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You DO know that the cost of assembling a car is under $1000 right? That's less than 5% of what a new car costs. The rest? Materials, Plants, R&D, and PROFIT.



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 12:35 AM
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You DO know that the cost of assembling a car is under $1000 right? That's less than 5% of what a new car costs. The rest? Materials, Plants, R&D, and PROFIT.

I'd like to see where you get this number from.

You mean to tell me that paying workers 25+ dollars and hour and it still only costs $1,000 to assemble that car?


Outsourcing has been done for years, thanks to ILVS and the liking. You have to think though that how long TRW is going to last with that sort of increase in pay. From what I've seen, from my company our profit margin is extremely small per unit that we make, and ship to Ford. (It's literally in the cents range).
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Well, considering that those jobs when they were at the Chrysler plant paid over $30.00 an hour and then they outsourced them and TRW was paying $11.25, they are still ahead of the game as far as the labour costs are concerned. Avenger is correct. The labour costs in manufacturing a vehicle are in the 3 to 5 percent range of the vehicle costs. I don't feel guilty getting my paycheck when they can pay a CEO that they fired a compensation package in the millions. As far as getting into trouble, TRW is the same union and local as our plant. I actually work in the Transportation department, so I'm not in the plant anymore(thank God). Our guys transport the parts from their plant to ours, so we were more than happy to shut the trucks down at their plant when the strike started. It's all good, and I'm really glad they got their pay boosted to a living wage + benefits.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Very interesting!!! It wont matter to them though they will just raise the price on the cars. Since you work at a plant please dont get urself into any trouble as other plant workers and plant managers may read this forum and prolly do.

Since when does the workers wage have anything to do with the price of the car? I don't see a big price drop on the PT Cruiser, and that's made in Mexico by workers getting something like $4.00/hour.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 04:43 PM
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Well, considering that those jobs when they were at the Chrysler plant paid over $30.00 an hour and then they outsourced them and TRW was paying $11.25, they are still ahead of the game as far as the labour costs are concerned. Avenger is correct. The labour costs in manufacturing a vehicle are in the 3 to 5 percent range of the vehicle costs. I don't feel guilty getting my paycheck when they can pay a CEO that they fired a compensation package in the millions. As far as getting into trouble, TRW is the same union and local as our plant. I actually work in the Transportation department, so I'm not in the plant anymore(thank God). Our guys transport the parts from their plant to ours, so we were more than happy to shut the trucks down at their plant when the strike started. It's all good, and I'm really glad they got their pay boosted to a living wage + benefits.
3 to 5 percent? Please, considering Ford, GM and Chrysler are pratically begging guys to get the hell out, with labor costs running around $72 an hour (wage, insurance, pension), I'd say it's way more than that.

Give it time, with rising labor costs, and the increased stupidity of the Union and the Big 3, you'll see more and more companies headed south of the border. Hope at least they're doing Six Sigma.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2008, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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3 to 5 percent? Please, considering Ford, GM and Chrysler are pratically begging guys to get the hell out, with labor costs running around $72 an hour (wage, insurance, pension), I'd say it's way more than that.

Give it time, with rising labor costs, and the increased stupidity of the Union and the Big 3, you'll see more and more companies headed south of the border. Hope at least they're doing Six Sigma.
Why do the labour costs rise? Is it because everyone wants to pad their bank account? No, it's because the costs of everything else goes up to! See the price of gas lately? Check out your hydro bill, gas bill, etc.....
The stupidity of the union? Oh I see, everyone should take a huge paycut to work on the line to help the company out. Except for the executives and the stock holders that is.
South of the border, where there are no unions, no health and safety, no environmental regulations, no honest politicians or law enforcement. When all the good paying jobs go to third world countries, who the the hell will be left in the US to buy all these vehicles???? Bill Gates can only drive one car at a time, and all the rich bankers, stock brokers, doctors and lawyers don't drive cars that are built in the US anyway.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2008, 04:35 AM
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Bill Gates can only drive one car at a time, and all the rich bankers, stock brokers, doctors and lawyers don't drive cars that are built in the US anyway.
ACTUALLY I think a lot of them drive 300C's.........but those are made in Canada.



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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2008, 07:44 PM
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I know this is probably gonna stir some shit, but...

I think the pay for union auto workers is overly high in many cases. It's not that I disagree about executives being overpaid, they're just as bad. However, 15 executives and their salaries vs. say 1000 union workers + their medical benefits (which are second to fucking NONE), their pensions, and their future costs of benefits beyond their working years far outweigh that of the executives. These union workers say how terrible things would be if their pay gets cut, benefits get cut, etc... I make $50,000 a year, have terrible medical insurance even though I'm management, no pension, a lousy 3% match on 401k and 2 whopping weeks of paid vaca. I do just dam fine on that. There are people that turn screws and glue in windshields that make more then me in base pay alone, nevermind benefits. The complain if their hours or pay get cut. What are they gonna do when the car companies they work for go under? Will it be completely their fault? No. Will labor costs play a signifigant part in it? Absolutely.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2008, 08:09 PM
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I work at the Chrysler Minivan Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario. Last year, the company outsourced many jobs to outside companies. These jobs included Instrument Panel assembly, Tire mounting, Front End component assembly and Front and Rear suspension component assembly. The deal between Chrysler and our union was that these jobs were to remain local and that they be given to shops that would be unionized. Last Friday, the TRW plant that now does the suspension component assembly went on strike for better wages and benefits since the company was not forthcoming in their promises. After a five day strike which idled Windsor Assembly, the company finally conceded to a $4.00 an hour wage increase, benefits and paid holidays. This just goes to show you that you don't have to take the shit that these companies want to feed you and that you have a right as a worker to make a decent, living wage.
I'm sorry to slightly dissagree with you. I see first hand every day the effects the unions are having on the Windsor and Leamington and Chatham economy.
I don't think the unions are doing anybody any favours. ( except maybe themselves )
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2008, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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So exactly what effect are unions having on Leamington? If it wasn't for the CAW, Navistar in Chatham would be CLOSED! Is it the union's fault that Ford Essex Engine or Windsor Aluminum closed? I would really like a little clarification, since you don't explain the effects, you just say you see them.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2008, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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I know this is probably gonna stir some shit, but...

I think the pay for union auto workers is overly high in many cases. It's not that I disagree about executives being overpaid, they're just as bad. However, 15 executives and their salaries vs. say 1000 union workers + their medical benefits (which are second to fucking NONE), their pensions, and their future costs of benefits beyond their working years far outweigh that of the executives. These union workers say how terrible things would be if their pay gets cut, benefits get cut, etc... I make $50,000 a year, have terrible medical insurance even though I'm management, no pension, a lousy 3% match on 401k and 2 whopping weeks of paid vaca. I do just dam fine on that. There are people that turn screws and glue in windshields that make more then me in base pay alone, nevermind benefits. The complain if their hours or pay get cut. What are they gonna do when the car companies they work for go under? Will it be completely their fault? No. Will labor costs play a signifigant part in it? Absolutely.
I like how you even come out and admit that your medical insurance is terrible and your 401k match is lousy. Do you feel that because you are unhappy with these things but cannot change them that others should give up what they have? If the domestic car companies go under it won't be because of the workers pay and benefits. It will be because there are no longer any tariffs on import vehicles to make the prices comparable. How is Chrysler suppossed to build a minivan in Windsor or St. Louis paying union wages, benefits, property tax, corporate tax and following environmental + health and safety regulations but can't sell them in Korea when KIA can build one with basically slave labour and no other major obstacles. On top of that, they can dump them in North America at will, and people buy them because they are cheap.

Have you ever worked in an automotive assembly plant? It sucks, large. You can't just go to the bathroom, someone has to take your spot first. You have about 3 seconds between jobs if you are lucky. The repetative nature of the job is mindnumbing believe me. You get a 12 minute break, a 24 minute lunch and then a 9 minute break. You get paid those kinds of wages because if it paid $10.00/hour, no one would do it. Until you have been there, don't say that they are overpaid.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2008, 05:26 AM
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So exactly what effect are unions having on Leamington? If it wasn't for the CAW, Navistar in Chatham would be CLOSED! Is it the union's fault that Ford Essex Engine or Windsor Aluminum closed? I would really like a little clarification, since you don't explain the effects, you just say you see them.
Real estate pricess have dropped drastically, and even with the drop nobody can sell, massive layoffs, ( last week Windsor had the highest unemployment rate of any city it's size in Canada ), retails sales are down, businesses are closing all over the place. I agree that unions have a place, especially in factories, but they sometimes need to think before they act. I and most of my co-workers were contract for a company for many years, then one election changed it all...we had to join the union...on paper...we got benefits, vacation, pension, and a $13.00 / hr raise in pay....now I make $13,000 - $15,000 a year less than I did before, working more hours for free because we are on a fixed 7.25 hr / day salary, but still have 12hrs / day of work to do, and lost the tax write offs I used to get because I use my own car for work purposes...oh and I now also pay more for car insurance. I'd take that paycut and give back all the " perks " if I could, I'd be much happier.
A large meat processing plant in Guelph area was recently purchased by a huge company out west, the employees were told they would have to take a pay cut from $24/hr to $18/hr if they wanted the plant to stay open and keep their jobs....they're thinking about it. I'm sorry but there is something so very wrong with that!

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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You DO know that the cost of assembling a car is under $1000 right? That's less than 5% of what a new car costs. The rest? Materials, Plants, R&D, and PROFIT.
The labor cost for an assembly plant isn't hard to figure, you take the a rate of pay x number of factory workers and divide by the number of cars. Let's say $25/hr x 1000 people / 70 cars = $357 per car. Double that for benefits and you're well under $1000. I would trade a raise for profit sharing any day, provided they use the same figures that they calculate executive bonuses. The regular executive wages of $10,000,000 + might sound in line with some but what you don't see is the bonuses they get, 200, 300, 400% and the golden parachutes. Take all the factory job cuts over the last few years and tell me how much the price of the car went down.
The debate over unions and wages will go on forever, the problem is a global economy. Get it made cheaper somewhere else and make a bigger profit. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is growing very fast and the middle class is disappearing. As they outsource to lower wage countries the number of good paying jobs disappear and as people buy cheaper goods from other countries there's pressure to lower wages as you lower wages people buy cheaper goods from other countries and the cycle goes on till someone steps in to save American jobs.
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