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11/22/2005

UAW statement on GM's plant closing announcement

Source: UAW

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker, who directs the UAW General Motors Department, issued this statement on today’s announcement by General Motors:

“Today’s action by General Motors is not only extremely disappointing, unfair and unfortunate, it is devastating to many thousands of workers, their families and their communities. While GM’s continuing decline in market share is not the fault of workers or our communities, it is these groups that will suffer because of the actions announced today. For the workers, their families and the thousands of other people who work in the small businesses that supply these facilities, hope is diminished, the future is unclear and communities are less stable.

“The UAW-represented workers impacted by today’s action are protected by our job security program as well as the other provisions and protections of the UAW-GM National Agreement. The UAW will do everything in its power to enforce those programs and protect the interests of the workers impacted by today’s action.

“We have said consistently that General Motors cannot shrink itself to prosperity. In fact, shrinking General Motors only exacerbates its problems.

“Workers and their unions have worked hard to improve product quality and productivity at GM facilities in the United States and Canada, and these efforts have produced strong gains in both these critical areas, as reported in recent studies by J.D. Power & Associates and the Harbour Report.

“The actions covered by today’s announcement will be the subject of ongoing discussions and the 2007 negotiations between the UAW and General Motors. Today’s announcement clearly makes those negotiations much more difficult.

“GM’s return to prosperity depends on it offering products that consumers find attractive, exciting and want to buy. Only then will GM’s market share stabilize and grow, only then will revenues increase and only then will General Motors return to prosperity. Being successful in this regard is the exclusive responsibility of management: Workers have no control over GM’s capital investment, product development, design, marketing and advertising decisions. But, unfortunately, it is workers, their families and our communities that are being forced to suffer because of the failures of others.”

2 Comments:

Anonymous art said...

“We have said consistently that General Motors cannot shrink itself to prosperity. In fact, shrinking General Motors only exacerbates its problems."

Elaboration - one of GMs big problems is that it has a relatively small group of workers supporting the health and retirement benefits of a large group of retired workers. These layoffs clearly exacerbates that problem. Other manufacturers (like Chrysler) are more balanced, where the numbers of workers and retirees are closer.

So, I don't pretend to know what GM hopes to accomplish by laying these people off, but what IS clear is that it will NOT fix their biggest problem - their huge retiree health and retirement costs. So would someone who knows more than me, please tell me, what are they up to - do they view bankruptcy as inevitable?

11:21 AM  
Blogger rygnn2@voteswagon.com said...

It is good that the UAW is at least involved in trying to help protect American jobs. House Bill 2830 is causing a lot of commotion on Capitol Hill as well as a lot of stir from various unions. Many have not paid much attention to 2830, some think its another strain of the H5N1 bird flu, others think its just another tax bill they will be getting hit with. If you work in a unionized shop, or factory, you may want to dig a little deeper into the details of this bill that is going to the House of Representatives for approval, it could have a drastic affect on your livelihood.


The Pension Protection Act of 2005 (H.R.2830) is legislation that has resulted from Congress’s belief that the retirement security of American workers who are covered by defined benefit pension plans is seriously at risk. Congress feels that many of the pensions are under-funded because the pensions do not have enough money to pay all of the benefits they have promised. Congressmen have deferred to the recent United Airlines pension disaster as an example of the importance of this bill. Congress has also mentioned the Government Accountability Offices’ report that detailed the under-funding of the 100 largest defined benefit pension plans between 1995 and 2002.
Raymond B
www.voteswagon.com

6:31 PM  

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