Monday, June 04, 2007

Tired, old union tactics in the New Global Economy

Yeah, here's the way to convince those beleaguered manufacturing companies to stay in Canada, right Buzz?

That's for sure. Threaten them with a nationwide strike.

Yeah, that'll keep those jobs in Canada boy.


Just brilliant.


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17 comments:

Lemon said...

Buzz is a unionist. Speaks volumes.
From New Brunswick.
Louder volumes.
Dumb as a bag of nails.
Abandoned NDP (the Union Party) for Paul Martin last time.
Dumber than a bag of dull nails.
GM would LOVE a reason to close down any plants.
Good riddance. I'd never buy a GM anyway.

Sandy said...

Jo -- I tracked down the McGuinty 231 promises -- http://crux-of-the-matter.com/?p=147

Pass them around.

Anonymous said...

This may just be the push Buzz needs to start a new Labour Party in Canada or Ontario. He can't side with the NDP or Greens because of their eco policies. He has to protect his member's interests and I don't see any party doing that at least from a union perspective. If proportional representation takes hold it would be a natural for him. Lots of small special interest parties.

West coast Teddi

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.
The Looney has been kept artificially low to keep those jobs for buzz and his votes at the cost of every other Canadian's buying power and monetary standing in the world playground.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Looney has been kept artificially low to keep those jobs for buzz and his votes

There's an interesting thought. Anything to back it up?

I've heard rumours of interest rates being hiked, which would theoretically have a calming effect on the dollar and inflation, from what I've been reading. Otherwise we will soon be at par which would be disastrous for exports.

BBS said...

This is what makes living in Windsor soooo much fun!

Anonymous said...

If it weren’t for unions the economy wouldn’t be in the tank with the dollar going thru the roof. Buzz Hargrove is killing our economy!!!!

Brian in Calgary said...

Yeah, that'll keep those jobs in Canada boy.

And, it'll really help his pro-labour buddies in Saskatchewan. [/sarcasm]

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If it weren’t for unions the economy wouldn’t be in the tank with the dollar going thru the roof.

Well, I don't know if I'd go that far, but considering that Canadian manufacturing companies are dealing with cheap offshore labour competition and the double whammy of a high Loonie, they need Buzz Hargrove and his antics like they need a hole in the head.

If you watch the number of companies packing up and moving elsewhere, just note how many had disagreements with militant unions in the preceding years and finally just gave up.

Anonymous said...

The only way to compete with cheap labour is to lower our own wages and get rid of expensive pensions. If not jobs are just going to be shipped to China anyway. If the unions don’t like that, well too bad for them! Have fun striking when your EI payments run out suckers!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, assuming that high-paying manufacturing jobs are going to continue to disappear, who do you suppose is going to pay for all those high-paying public sector union jobs with the indexed pensions?

eg. teachers, health care workers, public servants, etc.

Brian said...

This is not a big deal. Next fall is when all of the big 3's contract expire. He's merely letting it be known that he considers work in Windsor to be part of any agreement.

I've heard rumours of interest rates being hiked, which would theoretically have a calming effect on the dollar and inflation

This is not quite correct. A hike in interest rates would calm inflation, but it would theoretically attract investment, which would increase the dollar. That's why the BoC didn't increase rates last week, their juggling the two contradictory issues.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

A hike in interest rates would calm inflation, but it would theoretically attract investment, which would increase the dollar.

Ah, thanks for clarifying that, Brian. Economics is not one of my strong suits.

You're a union man, right? What do you see as the major reasons for loss of jobs here in Canada; especially Ontario?

PGP said...

To Quote Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles ... " Gentlemen We've got to protect our phony baloney jobs! Harrumph! "

And so the Trade Union elites continue to con the membership into believing the indefensible.

liberal supporter said...

You're a union man, right? What do you see as the major reasons for loss of jobs here in Canada; especially Ontario?
That wasn't addressed to me, but I'll take a stab at it.

At one time we had an Auto Pact, requiring the number of cars made here to match the number sold here. They could freely cross the border, so one of our plants could build all of one model and by cross border trade maintain the balance.

The Free Trade Agreement, in addition to giving us free trade in the 20% of trade that was not already free, also abolished the Auto Pact.

The North American auto makers got caught with their pants down in the 80s when the Japanese started building higher quality cars. The NA makers caught up, but there is still this subjective view of the Japanese cars being better. Partly that comes from everyone's memories of growing up when sooner or later the family Laurentian would be needing work all the time. Our parents didn't mind, it was way better than the daily maintenance the 30s cars needed, but we recall those old cars, and assume today's NA cars are as bad, when of course they are not.

Where the NA makers again got caught flat footed is in making fuel efficient vehicles and even hybrids. There are currently no NA equivalents to the Prius. The NA makers were busy building SUVs, mainly because favourable US tax treatment cut the effective cost nearly in half. If an SUV waighed over 6000 lbs, it was treated as a farm vehicle, with the attendant huge subsidies.

Paraphrasing the words of the Governator, he doesn't want the NA auto makers to get off the market, he wants them to get off their behinds.

Brian said...

Aarrrgh, I hate blogger!

Joanne, I just spent 20 minutes writing a dissertation on manufacturing, and suddenly my screen changed and it is gone.

I will point form my argument here instead now.

1) disagree with Liberal supporter about the auto pact, but agree about the big 3 and it's failure to anticipate/respond to the Japanese (mainly) and demand for fuel efficiency. I added that when the Japanese cars became better, yet more expensive, the Big 3 added CD changers and coffee cup holders and matched the Japanese on price. Had they not gotten greedy, had they ;left a true base model for consumers, the Japanese would never have taken over like they have.

2) Ignore the dollar. Companies absorb the cost of the dollar, whether high or low, internally. It is a paper cost only. Don't, however, ignore the low dollar of the 90's in all this. Why was the dollar low in the 90's? Because investment was not happening. That's a warning sign, and it has come to pass:

http://hespeler.blogspot.com/2007/05/caw-and-currency-rates.html

3)Pensions, and those legacy costs are a biggie. Did you know GM has a guy who's 104 (working from memory here) on pension. Worked for them for 35 years, has been on pension over 40. But don't blame the unions: they demanded these pensions, but the companies gave it to them, often without even the pretence of a fight. A lot of short-term thinking went on.

I used to joke about the place where I work: "long term pain for short term gain." They are masters at it, and as events are showing, it was industry wide, if not sector wide.

4)Of note as well, this is happening in virtually all developed economies. We are moving to a service based economy, much the same way we moved from an agricultural economy 60 or so years ago.

Believe it or not, that's the short form Joanne. What I lost is much more detailed. Hope it helps.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Brian, so sorry about your dissertation. I've had a few problems with Blogger as well today. I guess the best thing is to write a long comment on notepad and then paste it.

Good points in your response. I'll have to give this some thought. Thanks.