The grievance attests that hourly workers should have received raises and benefit improvements last year when salaried workers did. The grievance is slated to go to arbitration Sept. 15, a day after the contract expires.
Brian Pannebecker, a production worker at the Sterling Heights axle plant and member of Local 228, doesn’t see a compelling reason to strike and believes job security comes from Ford’s ability to compete and remain profitable. He fears higher labor costs put local jobs at risk.
They’re also wanting $8,000 to 10,000 in signing bonuses for each member
The UAW just might get what they ask for, but not what they want. They seem to be asking to have their jobs given to someone else, a least at the F-150 plant. The plan worked for the United Steel Workers. How many of them are left? I suspect that with layoffs at many facilities, only workers with 20+ years are working. They might prefer to lose their jobs and just retire. Don’t laugh. That seemed to be the attitude at the mill I worked in.
Mike - as for the salaried employees, they gave up quite a bit during Ford’s struggles, putting them below comparable pay and benefits at other companies for similar workers… It all comes down to supply/demand. Believe it or not, the unemployment rate for experienced engineers is actually pretty darn low - and salaries have been increasing throughout the recession. After years of cuts and salary freezes, Ford’s wages are no longer competitive. They need to allow for raises to keep staff from fleeing.
On the other hand, Ford’s line workers are currently the best paid in the industry. I’m not complaining that they’re overpaid when I say this - but for them to demand hikes in pay is a little out of line when they’re already the best paid and the competition is working to cut wages (Toyota already stated that this is their goal)
Mike - as for the salaried employees, they gave up quite a bit during Ford’s struggles, putting them below comparable pay and benefits at other companies for similar workers…
So has every salaried worker in my industry also. We’ve taken pay cuts…lost benefits…and it’s continuing. Part of our industry are now profitable…but we won’t see our pay restored to the 2008 levels and we probably lost some of those benefits forever. Even though our company is profitable now it’s lubricious to be asking for any pay increases.
“The VAST MAJORITY of workers on the assembly who do excellent work will NEVER be promoted to a salaried position even if they wanted to.”
Perhaps, but it’s not Ford’s fault they chose to do the blue collar thing (I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it at all). As opposed to futhering their education and having the qualifications to be one of the white collar guys. What this is amounting to is that you have people who want to get paid like their bosses, but don’t have the same qualfications and/or education. They to have their cake and eat it too. UAW workers aren’t exactly underpaid as it is. Installing windshield washer arms for a living isn’t a $15-$20/hr job. But the UAW seems to think it is.
I do agree at giving anyone a raise right now isn’t a great idea though.
FoDaddy…You have to remember that the vast majority of the UAW right now if over 40…the average is over 50…A little too late for them to be furthering their education. Not saying it can’t be done…but it’s unlikely to happen. Their pay isn’t even close to many of their bosses…Maybe low-level line supervisors…but well short of upper management.
Mike - what industry are you in? Engineering (depending on discipline) currently has unemployment rates of 1 to 4%. Those with college degrees currently have an overall unemployment rate of 4.3%. These are unemployment rates, especially among engineering, that are still conducive to growing wages.
Furthermore, raises do not necessarily result in overall cost increases to the company. Your highest wage employees are typically your most experienced, and as they retire and leave and are replaced with cheaper new employees, everyone can take a step up in pay without the company paying anything extra. For example, imagine you have 5 employees, earning $25k, $30k, $35k, $40k, and $45k, respectively. The one earning $45k leaves. You can give the remaining 4 a $5k raise each and hire a new employee at $25k. Your overall cost is identical, your average wages are identical, but you’ve given out raises to individuals.
I’m Director of Software engineer in Telecom industry. Our industry has lost MILLIONS over the years…Only a handful of us are now profitable.
There are several factors to low unemployment rates in engineering…One…many have gotten out of the field. We had many more engineers in the US just 15 years ago. Companies like Oracle, HP, IBM and Microsoft are NOT hiring a lot of engineers in the US. So we are competing with India (and other third world countries) for jobs. Why hire a engineer in the US at $80k when you can hire a engineer just as qualified (maybe even more qualified) in India for $30k. I have friends at HP and Oracle…they haven’t had a raise in YEARS…And those companies have been doing fairly well.
In my industry…it’s mainly software engineers…We have a total of 2 mechanical engineers in the whole company…and only 4 electrical engineers…The rest (75+) engineers are software.
You also have to consider that many jobs still have moved overseas…Let’s look at Oracle…they have more engineers NOW then they did 10 years ago…HOWEVER…their US presence is about the same. The VAST majority were hired overseas.
If companies weren’t outsourcing our jobs to foreign countries…those numbers would be substantially higher. IBM has something like 20k engineers in India and China.
You can’t substitute a software engineer in a mechanical engineering position. While they both have the title “engineer” there is very little in common between the two fields.
Even among software folks, though, its really a mixed bag. When you add together research scientists, programmers, analysts, and developers, we had 1,479,720 employed in 1999 and 1,732,520 today. That is a substantial increase. We had a considerable dropoff in programmers that was more than replaced by higher end development jobs.
If you consider ALL computer-related jobs, we’ve had a 25.3% increase in those employed in those fields since 1999. Could you have had more people employed without off-shoring? Sure. Would you have had enough people trained in the field for all those jobs? Maybe, maybe not. Do we have some inherent right to those jobs? I find that debatable. It isn’t like IBM or Oracle get all their business from the US. 41% of IBM’s revenue last quarter came from the Western Hemisphere - they didn’t break out by US/other. They have about 25% of their employees in the US. So depending on how much of that 41% comes from the US, they may or may not be underemploying in the US.
I simply reject out of hand the idea that because a company is based in the US they should have all their employees in the US. I believe it should be proportional to the amount of revenue they get from the US, regardless of where the company is based. Anything better is a bonus. Anything worse is a negative. That’s why I view GM, Ford, and Chrysler (all of whom meet the proportionality requirement) as American and Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etal as far from it. Hyundai, on the other hand, is rapidly approaching the point where they might be considered American. IF they can keep their US operations growing as fast as they have been in recent years, they may reach that point in the next few years.
Do we have some inherent right to those jobs? I find that debatable. It isn’t like IBM or Oracle get all their business from the US. 41% of IBM’s revenue last quarter came from the Western Hemisphere - they didn’t break out by US/other. They have about 25% of their employees in the US.
Right now India and China are growing so they are buying more products from Oracle and IBM…But just 10 years ago…India and China accounted for less then 10% of Oracle’s and IBM’s revenue…yet they had over 20% of the engineers.
If you think this is good for the country…GREAT…GO FOR IT…It’s GREAT for people who are retired (which I’m NOT) and millionaires who already have their money (again which I am NOT). Which one do you fall into. Because unless you’re one of them moving good paying jobs overseas is extremely bad for this economy. The minimal job growth we’ve seen in the tech sector…doesn’t even account for new graduates.
Mike - ok - so 10 years ago, what % of Oracle and IBM’s revenue came from the US and what % of their employees were based here? Your statement that they may have been overemploying in India and China at the time does not mean that they were underemploying in the US.
There are a LOT of countries my co. sells products in where we have very little to no employee base. Then there are others (like the US) where we overemploy relative to our sales.
Your statement that they may have been overemploying in India and China at the time does not mean that they were underemploying in the US.
What it means is that Oracle and IBM are NOT hiring engineers here in the US at the rate they are in India and China…They both sell far more products to the US then to India and China…PERIOD…The percentage of employees in the US is shrinking while the percentage of employees in India and China is growing…
I’m glad you think that’s OK…You must be a millionaire or retired. Our economy can NOT survive on service jobs…sorry…but it’s NOT going to happen. Not to mention the technical reverse brain drain that’s happening…That’s a whole new set of problems we’re now facing. Take a look at colleges today and you’ll find a drastic decrease in number of students applying for and graduating with degrees in engineering.
What’s the current unemployment rate in the US…9%…some areas are even seeing 15%…And not to mention that wages of current workers have declined or hasn’t kept up with inflation…Yup…outsourcing is GREAT for millionaires and retirees…Which I’m NOT one.
Mike - again, you’re failing to see the big picture. Oracle/IBM are growing employees there and their SALES are growing there. They aren’t growing anywhere NEAR the same rate in the US. Its simple math - imagine you have a company like this:
200,000 employees worldwide
50,000 employees in the US
$10 billion in revenue worldwide
$2.5 billion in revenue from the US
297,200 employees worldwide
34,350 employees in the US
$32.1 billion in revenue worldwide
$3.71 billion in revenue from the US
Your attitude says that this company is evil because it is hiring outside the US and laying off inside the US. However, in 1990, that hypothetical company had 25% of its revenue and employees inside the US. In 2010, it had 11.6% of its revenue and employees inside the US. It had a 2% annual productivity improvement, 2% annual sales growth in the US, and 6% annual growth outside the US. My approach says that the company has met its obligation to provide jobs relative to the amount of business it gets from the US. Would it be nice to have them have employees in the US providing services to Africa? Sure. Do we have any inherent right to those jobs? No. Do we have any more right than an employee in India or China? No.
Its the same thing in the auto industry - GM has cut back dramatically on US employment - but the cutbacks can be traced to lower sales, market share, and higher productivity. They still employ a number of Americans in proportion to the amount of their business they get from the US … and ironically, you attack them for what you perceive to be a lack of commitment to US labor on their part, while praising Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, who don’t come anywhere close to GM’s balance of revenue and employment.
Unlike you eraser1998 I do understand the big picture…Sorry but you haven’t a clue.
Oracle and IBM employees are NOT growing at the rate the company is growing…sorry but you’re wrong. They are shifting many jobs over to India and China. Many new development is now being done outside the US.
Your attitude says that this company is evil because it is hiring outside the US and laying off inside the US.
Where did I say that or even imply that…Re-read the posts.
What I said is that it’s NOT good for the US economy…and it’s NOT…Simple…You may think it is. Our economy can NOT survive on service jobs…The trend has started…if it keeps going…we won’t have a middle class in the US in less then 20 years…I understand that many people want that (I guess you must be one). We’ll have millionaires…and people who make minimum wage (basically servants to the millionaires).
GM has cut back dramatically on US employment - but the cutbacks can be traced to lower sales, market share, and higher productivity
I’m not as biased toward GM as you are. But keep investing in China GM. They are already shipping vehicles from China to the US market…but keep supporting that. GM workforce in the US is shrinking…GREAT…glad you’re all for it. I guess you don’t have children to worry about and where they’re going to work. Retirement must be good for you.
And to throw another wrench in your THEORY…There are MANY companies who outsource who have no market what-so-ever outside the US…Sorry…but that’s a fact. I’ve worked for several. All sales are in the US…yet 20% of their workforce is overseas. Many venture capitalists want to see your plan to shipping engineering and manufacturing overseas before they’ll give you any money. WHY…much cheaper labor costs. They even have a list of companies for you to consider. How many Burger Kings are there in India (a country that thinks the Cow is sacred)??? Want to venture a guess where Burger Kings IT department is located??? It’s NOT the US.
And wages???..While some companies have kept jobs here in the US…their wages haven’t changed. I know MANY engineers who work at Oracle…they haven’t had a raise in over 10 years…Company is doing very well. Same with HP, IBM. And not only have wages NOT gone up…but benefits have declined or the cost has been shifted to the employee. Good thing inflation is low.
I could list sources upon sources…but there are far too numerous to mention.
Just do a google search on “outsourcing the middle class”. You’ll find several hundred thousand articles.
Mike - the fact is that they ARE growing in India and China. And they are growing jobs in India and China ahead of where their sales are there. But despite your rhetoric, their US labor force has actually been fairly steady when you account for sales growth in the US offset by productivity growth.
And I never said that having our economy run on the service sector was good - but what you are demanding is simply that a company, because of where they are headquartered, provide far more jobs to us than we earn via consumption of their goods.
Your approach would say that GM should keep all their employees in the US - even if we don’t buy their products (a policy which you also advocate), and even if it makes it impossible for them to compete elsewhere in the world. These companies would NEVER survive given that approach.
As for any company that gets 100% of its sales from the US and only 80% of its workforce is in the US - THAT is a problem to me. Same thing with Toyota - ~25% of its sales come from the US, but only about 8% of their employees are in the US. And yet you praise them! I don’t even care for most GM vehicles, but I do recognize that they are still employing a number of Americans relative to the amount of sales they get in the US. And despite your claims, GM is NOT shipping vehicles from China to the US market. Not one.
Look - I want jobs here, too - and there are absolutely cases where companies have outsourced to the point where they employ fewer americans than they should given their dependence on the US market. We should avoid those companies. However, I don’t believe a company owes us every job they have because they are headquartered in the US. I believe Indians deserve jobs supporting the products that they buy as well. The companies we should be upset at are the ones that are UNDER employing Americans. In the auto industry, despite your rhetoric, that’s actually the foreign brands. Toyota has worsened their balance. Honda has stagnated short of a balance. Nissan has stagnated short of a balance. VW is better than they were, but a long way from a proper balance. Only Hyundai can really claim recent improvement.