happy autoworkers

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Thu Jul 9 08:11:13 PDT 1998

I had a long chat with a guy who does union education, mainly for auto and steel, last night. He painted a picture of a very happy workforce, with 25-year-olds pulling down $75k and senior skilled crafts guys (they are almost all guys, aren't they?) making over $100k. This would make the Flint strikers look pretty anomalous. But he argued that GM's failure to downsize aggressively in the early 1980s was a missed opportunity - had they done something like Ford, which cut its workforce nearly in half in 18 months, and then cut in the UAW as a junior partner in jointness - they'd be in much better shape today.

Any thoughts on this?


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