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  1. #1

    Default UAW Contract Talks. Meh?

    John Gallagher's article in the Sunday Free Press, "UAW talks no longer take center stage in US" in many ways begs a larger question, does Detroit [metro] as 'motor city' or automotive as a dominant factor in our local economy matter that much any more? The talks might be even more diminished if it were not for the ongoing UAW/FCA and now GM scandals.

    Striking in that regard is how little automotive figures in both the national and state economies. "Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, notes that in 1965 the motor-vehicle sector was 2.6% of U.S. total economic output and 25.1% of Michigan's total output or gross domestic product. But by 2017, that was down to 0.8% for the U.S. economy and just 8% for Michigan".

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    ...
    Striking in that regard is how little automotive figures in both the national and state economies. "Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, notes that in 1965 the motor-vehicle sector was 2.6% of U.S. total economic output and 25.1% of Michigan's total output or gross domestic product. But by 2017, that was down to 0.8% for the U.S. economy and just 8% for Michigan".
    Just 8%? Just 1 in 12 improvements in our state's economy? That's huge!

    Auto remains very important to Detroit, that's clear.

    1965: no significant foreign imports. The US South and Southwest not yet 'developed' to anything like now. I'm almost surprised that we are still that significant, in spite of the UAW monopoly that's made corruption easy.

  3. #3

    Default

    I am not familiar with the whole union thing outside of the factory’s that ended up closing after extended negotiations that failed.

    I wondered why,way back when Ford raised the wages based on his view of the workers should be able to afford to buy the products they produce,and created the mass employment migration,why did the unions continue to force themselves into Ford when they were already providing and setting the standards?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post

    I wondered why,way back when Ford raised the wages based on his view of the workers should be able to afford to buy the products they produce,and created the mass employment migration,why did the unions continue to force themselves into Ford when they were already providing and setting the standards?
    Money isn't everything. How a man is treated goes a long way.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett

  5. #5

    Default

    Ford introduced the $5/day wage in 1914 to reduce employee turnover, which was at upwards of 400% due to the awful working conditions. The unions didn't "continue to force themselves into Ford" because they weren't remotely IN Ford until the first UAW contract was signed in June 1941. Up to then, union organizers were harassed and beaten bloody. Until 1941 workers were at the mercy of their often sadistic foremen and Bennett's thugs. They had to reapply for work after every model changeover, with the older workers getting tossed aside. Lunch break at Highland Park? You had to wolf down a sandwich in 10 minutes from a company lunch cart without stepping away from the line.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncledave54 View Post
    Money isn't everything. How a man is treated goes a long way.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett
    That's an interesting article, but holy cow is it poor quality. Four cites, one from a TV show, one from a book that isn't specifically about Bennett? "The ruthless Bennett era was finally over." Seriously? Somebody needs to fix this.

  7. #7

    Default

    UAW membership is at its lowest in history, GM/Ford/Chrysler are smaller than they've ever been in the post-WWII (and continue to shrink) and Detroit is a stagnant growth region that has been leap frogged by numerous metros that were once much smaller than it as recently as 1980.

    So yes, as hard as it is to believe, America is frankly over Detroit/the auto industry in terms of relevance and has moved on to more important things.
    Last edited by 313WX; September-09-19 at 06:51 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsie View Post
    Ford introduced the $5/day wage in 1914 to reduce employee turnover, which was at upwards of 400% due to the awful working conditions. The unions didn't "continue to force themselves into Ford" because they weren't remotely IN Ford until the first UAW contract was signed in June 1941. Up to then, union organizers were harassed and beaten bloody. Until 1941 workers were at the mercy of their often sadistic foremen and Bennett's thugs. They had to reapply for work after every model changeover, with the older workers getting tossed aside. Lunch break at Highland Park? You had to wolf down a sandwich in 10 minutes from a company lunch cart without stepping away from the line.
    So what you're saying is that Ford knew they had a problem, and they were fixing it? Makes me think that the market was fixing things -- and then in steps the union. Maybe the real progress was Ford fixing things and not the union forcing improvements in working conditions. Maybe they actually slowed down progress. Yeah, I like that theory. It fits my world view. Maybe I could be a 1619 reporter for the NYT.

  9. #9

    Default

    Crain's August 26th Edition lists the area's largest employers. 1,3,4, and 21 are automotive-related. I'd say contract talks and automotive employment still matter locally. As for the national picture, we have a big, diversified economy, so auto looks small.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1953 View Post
    Crain's August 26th Edition lists the area's largest employers. 1,3,4, and 21 are automotive-related. I'd say contract talks and automotive employment still matter locally. As for the national picture, we have a big, diversified economy, so auto looks small.
    What's interesting is that with exception to Dan Gilbert's companies, amongst the top 15 employers, the rest are either health care, local/state government or education (all of which rely either entirely or significantly on taxpayer dollars).

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