November 21, 2005

Booming Republican economy spreads to Detroit

General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner today said he will close 12 facilities and eliminate 30,000 jobs in the biggest round of cuts in more than a decade.

The world's largest automaker will idle or reduce operations at nine manufacturing sites and several non-manufacturing facilities

GM will close assembly plants in Doraville, Georgia; Lansing, Michigan; Oklahoma City; Spring Hill, Tennessee, and a car plant in Oshawa, Ontario. The automaker will shut down engine plants in St. Catharines, Ontario, and Flint, Michigan. GM will also reduce shifts at plants in Moraine, Ohio, and a second car plant in Oshawa.

Toyota, by contrast to Wagoner's plan to cut plants, is adding plants in North America and has released cars this year such as a redesigned Avalon sedan targeted at people who might otherwise buy GM's Buick Lucerne. Toyota plans to open a factory for Tundra pickups in San Antonio next year and a plant for the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle in Woodstock, Ontario, in 2008.

The Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker has said it plans to take 15 percent of the global auto market in the next decade, rising from about 12 percent now.
GM can be expected to make workers pay for the company's losses...

[Wagoner] may have to spend his bargaining time getting deeper health care concessions. As Wagoner shrinks the company, he has to spread the company's massive retiree pension and health care costs over a smaller fleet of cars sold. That means he will have to go back to the union for deeper health care cuts than he got last month.

In November, the union agreed to pay larger premiums on retiree health care, saving GM $1 billion in cash annually.

Wagoner could demand more health care cuts in 2007, when the current labor pact expires. But he may have to go back the UAW even sooner, McAlinden says: Wagoner has taken a huge step toward fixing his troubled company, but his work is far from over.
See ya later people. Good luck out there. Maybe you can work for Toyota. But at least the Bush tax cuts should keep you and your kids warm at night.

While Republicans are telling us that the economy is in fine shape, and Wall St. players and investors welcome news of huge job slashes and screwing employees out of health care and pension benefits as it will lead to further profits, or at least minmize any losses, the fact remains that the middle class is getting screwed in a thousand ways and the economy as a whole is heading into the ditch.

But the Republican party is so devoted to the wealthy investor class that it simply doesn't care. In the face of rampant unemployment, falling wages and rising cost of living, they hand out more goodies to these wealthy investors, heedless of the fact that if this trend continues, it could lead to economic disaster.

THIRTY THOUSAND well-paying jobs with benefits are now vanished, communities devastated with the ripple affect driving small businesses under, crime rate rising, local tax base depleted, and a whole host of problems attending it. And all the Republicans are concerned about is how GMs stock is doing.

6 Comments:

At 11/21/2005 5:38 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Did you ever think that things would be so bad that something like this would be a kind of footnote type story?

 
At 11/21/2005 7:51 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Let's dust off the film "Roger and Me" and show it at Brew and View....

People have forgotten how bad it was last time this happened. Homes were destroyed, marriages ended, kids went hungry, stress on the families was unbelievable....all so the stockholders can get the same dividend levels and keep on going to the French Rivera whenever they want!!!

 
At 11/21/2005 9:58 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

When are we finally going to concede the obvious? That human beings are not cost efficient.

 
At 11/22/2005 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HUH??

 
At 11/22/2005 8:32 AM, Anonymous the professor said...

I get you Matt.

Actual human beings are being phased out as too expensive. I should say American workers, as near slave labor is still really big with corporations who've rushed to take advantage of it in communist China, Mexico, and elsewhere.

Paying a decent wage, being required to at least not pollute in a massive and dangerous way, paying health care and pensions, all are things that corporations regard as poison and they're running as fast as they possibly can to places which require none of those things.

Rather than insisting that other countries rise to our standards, investors and CEOs have instead decided that to compete with slave labor, they'll lower the bar and either move out of the country or slash wages while making fewer employees do more work, cut benefits to the bone or eliminate them altogether, and in many instances, just announce that they're not going to pay pensions or benefits that people have been working for decades of their lives to earn.
Ooooops. Sorry. We told you that if you gave 30 years or more of your life and health to working your ass off for us, we'd take care of you when you retire. Well, we had our fingers crossed.

It's shameless.

And what can be done about it?

It appears nothing. Until we have a government that insists on making corporations adhere to living wages and environmental standards and commit to a massive effort to get other countries to conform to them too or else not get any of our trade.

 
At 10/21/2006 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful article :]

 

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