Monday, September 24, 2007

When I grow to old to dream...

I might finally be there...

I just finished reading about the 11AM strike deadline the UAW has set. It seems that they've agreed to what GM wanted, but GM doesn't want to listen to what the union wanted in return. So by the time I wake up, I may be on strike for the first time in 29 years.

Though I'm dreading it, if not now, I don't know when. The media keeps printing numbers that are outrageous; they seem to think I make at least 1/3 more an hour than I do, and that my benefits are worth more than twice what the company is telling them I make. I've never known anyone in skilled trades to make an hourly rate like I've seen them printing, let alone a line worker!

I remember a few years ago they told us we needed to pay taxes for our parking lot because parking was a benefit we would have to pay for if we worked somewhere else. We do have to pay taxes on some of our other benefits...

They keep spouting off about the cost of labor; the cost of labor for my car from the time the first piece of metal goes on the line 'til it rolls off is about $600. Even if my benefits are worth as much as they say, that only amounts to $1300 for labor and benefits.

The CEO got a 3 million dollar bonus last year. I don't know what those below him got. I probably don't want to!

Oh well, off to bed and we'll see what "tomorrow" brings!



I got up at 1 and found out they had walked; I've been reading the Detroit Free Press and Reuters since, channel checking CNN and now our local news, along with checking my local's homepage. I don't know what to think about all this, other than just hang on and ride it out. I have picket duty Friday morning if it goes that long; if it does go that long I expect them to be out of the car business in the U.S. before the next contract it up no matter what terms they get.

I got a phone call from someone we've had loans with through the years a little while ago; the Beneficial rep just wanted to know if we needed anything. Her Dad retired from GM in '74 and so when she saw the news she thought she would check in on us! I was a bit shocked...

Hope it doesn't come to that!

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts!



ZBTzahBTzoo said...

Keeping a good thought for you and your co-workers this morning ... best of luck for a fair outcome.

robin andrea said...

I just read about the strike deadline this morning, alan, and I thought of you. I hope everything works out.

You surprise me when you say that the newspapers don't have the salaries right. It might be worth a letter to the editor to help them get the numbers right. It's really important information.

Dr. Deb said...

Parking is a "benefit"?

Holy shmahgoly. I hope breathing doesn't fall under that category for them?


Von Krankipantzen said...

Wow! I hope everything works out alright. It really pisses me off (um...sorry!) when they nit-pick over wages and minor benefits (like the parking) for the worker-bees when they are handing out mega bucks to the CEOs. Something is really wrong there.

Puffer said...

hang in there.

HAR said...

I am thinking of you. Hoping it is over by today.
They print our salaries in the paper too every time our contract is up and they are always screwed up figures.

Heidi said...

{{ alan}}} thinking about you.

Barbara said...

Oh Alan, you have been in my thoughts constantly throughout these talks and even more so now that the strike is on.

I would hope that any sentient person would know that the labour cost is only a small fraction of the cost of manufactured goods or services. But when the CEOs need to make their quarterly projections so they get their fat bonuses and stock options, labour is the first to get cut. Sheesh, don't get me started.

This GM strike in the US has already caused 3000 lay-offs here in Canada. The head of our union says that it could go as high as 100,000 if the strike is not settled quickly. Anyway, hugs to you and Dottie. I'll be keeping you in my daily intentions.
In sol, B.

taza said...

i agree w/Robin Andrea--let someone know those numbers are off!

alan, hope you don't have to walk the picket line on friday. sending prayers your way.

Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

I've been in a daze, but am so sorry for all this stress and uncertainty you've been pulled through.
NEVER heard the thing about parking. My God.
And the media inflating numbers to make you look whiny? Makes me sick.