GM strike

Michael Eisenscher meisenscher at
Fri Jun 26 16:58:18 PDT 1998

They manage to sustain a worthless army of managers, not to mention grossly over-compensated executives at all levels. Why question only the viability of those at the bottom of the ladder? If GM can pay millions in salary, stock options, retirement plans, golden handshakes, and all the other perks of exploitation, what's the matter with a wire harness assembler earning enough to raise a family with a modicum of comfort. Besides $44 is total compensation, probably including payroll taxes and employer share of SS. No one bothered to ask the "Wall Street analyst" what s/he earned and what value s/he created in return for that compensation!

At 01:57 PM 6/26/98 -0400, Doug Henwood wrote: [SNIP]

if you can find equally productive
>workers in Mexico who are paid in a week what some U.S. and Canadian
>workers earn in an hour or two - well, you don't need an MBA to figure that
>one out. Sustaining those $44/hr jobs would require taking on capitalism
>itself, and I don't see the UAW about to do that.

When won't they be able to find another worker somewhere in the world they can hire to work for less? Once you accept their logic, you buy into the never-ending cycle of playing worker and worker, whether across borders, union v. non-union, right-to-work states v. non-RTW (for less) states, native-born v. immigrants, men v. women, old v. young, even one UAW local against another within the same company. The only significant difference is at what pace you will run the 'race to the bottom.'

To another message Doug responded:

The unsustainability is this: if U.S. labor costs $44/hr (or $30 even, to please Nathan), and Mexican labor costs $1/hr (or even $3/hr), at the very least, GM will run down its plants in the U.S. until they're worn out and hire no new U.S. workers. The UAW can strike to slow down the process, but unless they're willing to challenge managerial and stockholder power, they're not going to stop, much less reverse, it.

Michael: Now, on that point we are in full agreement!

In solidarity, Michael E.

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