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New Russian plant will build Chevy Cruze



Published: Fri, November 7, 2008 @ 11:12 a.m.

General Motors Corp. has opened its first assembly plant that will build the Cruze compact car.

The $300 million factory was dedicated today outside of St. Petersburg, Russia. Media reports have said that GM will use the plant to supply Europe with its new global compact car starting next spring. The plant is to produce 70,000 cars a year.

GM has said it will start building the Cruze at its Lordstown complex in 2010, but some reports indicate that the automaker will delay that launch. GM plans to make the Cruze at several locations around the world. GM is to make announcements today regarding its attempts to save money.


Comments

1Tomcat(202 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Must be a new Obama economic plan.

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2dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

No that is on the old Bush economic plan!

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3JMamo121(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Obama won't take office until January 20th; he's the president elect right now, and doesn't have control right now. Take it easy up there Tomcat.

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4alumni(10 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

OBAMA TAKES THE BLAME AND HASN'T EVEN STARTED YET. YOU CAN BLAME YOUR BUSH FOR THIS SCREWED UP ECOMOMY

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5wolfrun1(50 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

what a crock of bull .... invest over there ....then ask us to bail them out over here..... then our elected reps . , support the idea to prop them up ....and take a guess if the bonus's will get cut from the top officials in the auto industry ..... I THINK NOT !!!!!!

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6zieg2003(82 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Now gm is over here complaining about bankruptcy but yet they over in europe building a 300 million dollar plant. This is America where gm belongs why are they getting our products before us, that's dumb.

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7DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I thought Clinton opened up free trade throughout the world when he let China in the WTO so it must be his plan, wait Regan deregulated much of the industry and help create the Russia we know today by winning the Cold War so it must be his fault, no Carter had such high tax rates for corporations that they had no choice but to start looking elsewhere...

The truth is that it doesn't matter who is in office or what their plan is. If it is cheaper to do business in country A the corporation will do business there. The cost of labor in the US automarket is just too high here. Are you going to pay an American worker $17 per hour, give them free healthcare, and support their pension when they retire, or are you going to pay a Russian laborer $10 a day with lunch included? Pretty easy decision. There are no tax breaks that can entice a company to stay here when labor is that cheap.

The only long-term material solution involves management and labor getting together and being realistic about the situation. Compromise, real compromise, or else the whole thing is done real quick. You cannot expect those wages, free healthcare, and a fat pension in today's world without an advanced degree or skill. You cannot keep awarding yourself fat raises and bonuses for running a company into the ground either. Unfortunately neither side wants to budge, so here's what you get.

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8zieg2003(82 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I can agree with gm redoing their wages and healthcare. I know numerous workers from gm who collected paychecks for years and never worked. Their employees run to the hospital for every little thing and get their doctors to write up whatever excuse for them not to go to work and gm payed for it. Same thing goes for medicare, it used to have a co pay but when they got rid of the copay that gave them many reasons to run to the hospital. Sometimes people need to be deterred, I think co pays and deductibles are necessary to make people only go to the hospital when needed.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

High fuel costs affect shipping cars to Russia. Why shouldn't GM build them there to make money from selling cars to the Russians?

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10Dan(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

If the American people would buy American made cars from GM. GM would not have to go out side of the US to make money.

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11TheLostPatrol(755 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Whatever U.S President, they should sit down with all three CEO's of the Big "Detroit" Three and tell them to go ask CHINA for a loan instead of the USA. They opted to build new plants in that country and shuttered our plants in North America.

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12YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

This is what I was saying before and I got pegged a person who was having fun at other peoples losses (GM laying off 1100 people). The problem is that GM pays way too much money for a lot less work than what they can get in Russia for a lot less money.

Maybe if GM and the union can come to some agreement to lower wages to a reasonable amount and get more work and consistent work, then maybe they will stop sending work to other countries. That will not happen. Some people feel that they need outrageous wages for less work then most Americans. I think I would rather take a large cut in pay (down to minimum wage if necessary) to keep my job, then sit and complain about my 20 hour job and free benefits not being enough. I would be happy to still be working and trying to support my family then in the unemployment line hoping my check does not get cut.

I hope we all can get out of this messed up economy.

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13YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

PS Dan, I would buy an American made car from GM if it would run as good as a foreign car. More than not, foreign cars run better, better gas mileage, and less expensive than American cars. It is very hard to say we all need to buy American.

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14ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

where are you getting your information? show of hands, who here has ever stepped into an auto factory? just as i suspected.

one says we get unlimited benefits forever during a layoff, another says we laugh about how little work we do. someone calls our wages "outrageous".

most of us just got a job and went to work. we were at the mercy of the company's poor decisions, the economy, and i'll admit it, the union's heavy-handedness. should we have argued to get less.

"now wait just a doggone minute here. this paycheck is way too high. and what about these benefits? i want mine slashed."

other countries hate the united states government but not the people. go ahead and hate the big three but those who go to work every day are just trying to make the best living they could.

and for the record, the assembly lines at gm are set up for the average worker to be working 54 seconds out of every minute. it's smoky, hot, loud, mind-numbing and impersonal. statistically, factory workers live an average of twelve years less than the norm.

thanks. this has been a fine discussion.

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15YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Idchian you may have been one of the many that was hard working at GM, and I applaud you for that. But, you also have to admit that there are many at Lordstown that do not do their job. There have been MANY news report of employees drinking alcohol and doing drugs during lunch hours, sleeping during shifts, and just plain not doing their job. Yet, the union still made sure they got what they did not deserve.

So please stop giving us a lecture about how wonderful and hardworking all the GM workers are. We all know what the truth is.

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16boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow youngstown mom sounds like you have first hand experience with this. Are you or one of your family perhaps a disgruntled ex gm worker? You should just stop the hate and concentrate on why you are so unhappy instead of why and how so many people get away with these so called atrocities at gm. HA!

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17JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Ytown Mom: *There have been MANY news report of employees drinking alcohol and doing drugs during lunch hours, sleeping during shifts, and just plain not doing their job.*

1. No company/profession is immune from this type of thing.
2. Since hate sells it isn't surprising that trumped-up versions of this type of thing dominate headlines in this country.

Grump: *GM deserves not a penny of taxpayer dollars.*
By this elided rationale your small business doesn't deserve a tax break. Also literally every major party candidate for president spoke of a desire to retool NAFTA, this isn't exactly an unpopular idea and certainly not one that has eluded those in government. Finally, regardless of what types of goods/services you provide at your business your bottom line would be affected negatively buy GM "falling off." Sadly your short-sightedness is shared by many on these pages who openly root for disaster. Oppose suggested ideas to help the situation if you want but wishing for people to lose their jobs isn't right.

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18YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

First of all, boardmanneedschange you need to get your head out of your a$$ and stop trying to make people feel like crap. I am not an unhappy person, unlike you. I have never worked for GM and no family have either, but that does mean that I don't care what happens. I have no idea where you get that I am a hater. By all means, it is the opposite. I just wish for fairness to everyone.

If you can get a large amount of money for your job then more power to you. Everyone has the right to make what they can. If the Union can get you good money, then that is great, but if it comes down to losing your job, why not take less. There is no shame in working for less money and keeping your job. That is the point for sacrifices. I know that CEOs of big companies get great big bonuses. If we use your thinking on this, then they should. They have worked as hard getting where they are, worked longer hours, did their time in college, they deserve what they get, IT IS IN THEIR CONTRACT. Fairness should be for EVERYONE, not just people YOU believe should get it.

Jefflebowski, I know no company or profession is immune from that type of behavior. I have seen it in the company I work for. It does not make it any less of a problem. The company I work for fires you if you are caugth doing these things, as well as a lot of companies in the US. These people need help, not coddling.

My job would not be affected by GM falling off. I am aware that some businesses will suffer, but as a community, we all need to support the small business through times like these. We all need to do our part to help youngstown and ALL the outlying cities survive this. If you have some ideas on how to fix it great, but please stop trying to make yourself more superior to the rest of us by telling people how wrong they are because they do not believe what you do.

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19ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

sure, there were bad autoworkers. some guys would intentionally damage parts if a foreman made them mad. it drove me nuts.

some would drink on the job. that scared me to death. some passed on junk (we called it a vega.) but most took pride in what they did and calling a guy a bad worker could get your nose twisted.

and after we started losing business to foreign imports, even the worst realized those practices had to stop. you keep making generalizations about something you only think is true. and im not lecturing, i'm soap-boxing. big difference.

as for us getting all the press, it's true. a while ago the youngstown police set up a sting operation on market street to catch guys looking for love in all the wrong places. they nabbed fifteen men and the next morning the front page had two pictures--the guys from gm.

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20JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry if an air of superiority comes with my basic grasp of economics, not the intention and I should remember to consider my audience. How are public works projects paid for with a huge percentage of those contributing income tax are no longer doing so? How many hospitals already on thin ice will have to lay off and/or close when healthcare coverage runs out on these people? This is basic stuff totally free from bias or opinion.

Are we talking about a poorly managed/marketed company -- absolutely. Are current situations in this country well-suited for union-backed labor forces -- probably not. While most including you and I could probably agree on these things they are still opinions.

Glad you asked because I've got a really good idea to fix it all -- buy American cars.

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21boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Yea , Im the one making people feel bad.........didnt you post something like "waaah gm workers losing their jobs...waaah" lady you are nuts. So effing what if your job would not be affected if gm falls off! the mahoning valley as a whole would feel a huge pinch! I don't work there, nor do I know anyone who works there. But I sure as hell hope they can keep their jobs because everyone should have a job. period. You are a real patriot lady, think twice about making fun of those who are willing to work instead of raping the welfare system while you sit at work on your company's payroll posting on message boards. Talk about hard working.....

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22boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

By YoungstownMom (Anonymous) on 11/07/08

Not to sound mean, but boo hoo. Poor GM workers. Now they won't get paid 17$ an hour to put a lightbulb in the trunk of a car. Now, they have to work for lower wages like the rest of us. Learn to live on a lot less. Boo hooo.

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23JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The "not to sound mean" lead-in is outstanding...

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24Erplane(475 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Here are my 2 cents (or one share of GM stock):

1) GM and Ford have been on the road to restructuring their products. The Last Chevy Malibu was well engineered, but cheap looking. The current one looks great, and is competitive with the Japanese. They are already working on the next one, and its suppose to be out of this world good. I had a Ford Fusion for a rental last month. Nice competent car. And the 2010 version looks good.

The restructuring was going to have a new UAW contract with a better cost structure, but it doesnt start until 2010. Yes, I wish the UAW would go away, but since it ain't happening, then at least they better cooperate. The local one has done a good job with management, but national one isnt there yet.

2) I bought a 2007 Pontiac G6 last year. Love that car. It gets compliments here in New York (which is not a GM town at all). People have to realize its more perception now than actual quality.

3) GM needs to succeed overseas. While the whole world is hurting these days, its still better to be diversified. GM makes money in Asia and Latin America (In China, Buicks have the same rapport as Lexus and BMW). The new Chevy Cruze is a global car for all markets (I believe it was designed in Korea). Part of the reason Chrysler is a dead man walking is that it has very little presence outside North America. Not good.

GM and Ford will get bailed out. With Chrysler probably not. And if Chrysler goes away, it hurts the industry but ultimately helps the other 2. And in 18 months, when consumers really need to buy new cars out of neccessity, they will not go back to unaffordable SUVs. They will go to small good cars like Cobalt and Cruze. Lordstown will be fine, but it will take time. The Valley needs it to succeed.

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25ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

jefflebowski's right. pulling for gm to fail in this area is stupid. just like pulling for obama to fail--which some of you are doing. to what end? to say i told you so?

and youngstownmom, you really are mean. you cloak everything you say in niceties--I just wish for fairness to everyone--but your words tell the story. gm has nothing to do with your job, you say. so what do you care what someone makes "for putting in a lightbulb in the trunk of a car"? (there are other jobs out there, you know). someone who makes more than you do may get a pay cut and it just tickles you.

"Learn to live on a lot less. Boo hooo."

what's next? nyah nyah nyah?

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26YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You all say I am the mean person, but yet you all continue to push your views on everyone that does not agree with you. Whatever. I never said I wanted people to lose their job, but regardless of what I say, you all will twist it to make me look like the bad person.

I hope that next time before you start yelling at someone for something they said (and may have not put it so eloquently) you will give them a little more curtesy than you gave me.

Have a wonderful day (by the way boardmanneedschange, I am not posting on my company's payroll, I do it on my own time.)

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27boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Whatever nutty nutterson. I sleep well at night. You demean people for working for good money at a repetitive job you would burn out at in a week. You don't need us to make you look mean, you do it all by yourself. One look at your posts and it's clear to see that you are unhappy making what YOU make, that's why you keep preaching about your education and why people need to learn to live on less. Why can't you be glad for people who have jobs and sympathetic towards people who lose them, no matter what they do, how much they make(with the exception of ignoramus ceo's), or whether they are union or non union. If you are so pissed off at making not enough money then get an extra job flipping burgers for 10 or 20 hours a week. It's not above anyone to do it. I myself work a part time gig that I enjoy on the side because I like money, I like getting it , spending it, and saving it too. Basically, just stop whining about other people and do whats best for you, and you won't have time to worry about what other people are making, like it's any of your business anyway........

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28TheLostPatrol(755 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Why didn't we (The U.S. Government) bail out the Mahoning Valley Steelworker's and aid their families in the 70's?

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29DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Jimmy Carter was trying to figure out to win a nobel peace prize so he didn't have time.

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30Raincheck(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Now that we have Obama, we can finally have the Ultimate Strong Union!

What's that? Oh... let me see... where did I put those pictures of the old Soviet Union.

Please allow me to speak plainly Ohians; yes, I know that plain speaking has lost it's legitimacy in this Country, but hey, just for old times sake, OK?

I have lived on this Planet for 53 years now, and I've found that collectively, there's nowhere more Stupid than a Union.

You are constantly the source of much that ails this Country, Period. And no, I'm not going to try to explain it to you. Try putting the beer down one night a week and do some magic called Reading... study... research... Inform yourself a little, then go out and get your OWN LIFE!

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31FormerYoungstowner(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I worked at Lordstown, so i know what's true and what's not and i've been on both sides. But someone justify this to me:

How can someone that has a master's degree plus additional college credits make much less than someone doing unskilled labor that requires minimal education on an assembly line making automobiles?

Now remember, i worked at Lordstown too, so before you answer, please don't tell me how hard the job is etc., etc., etc.,
Just simply justify this to me...

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32YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Becareful Former Youngstowner, you might also be pegged mean and wishing people to fail, unpatriotic, lets not forget the name that the most intelligent boardman needs change came up with, nutty nutterson.

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33boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

life isn't fair. im just kidding. There are many reasons why. One is that manufacturing has always been a moneymaker. Something always has to be made before it can be sold. Another is what everyone seems to be griping about on here, the unions. Unions used to be a way of making sure the working man didn't get cheated by big business, and now its the unions who are strongarming big business. Thats a lil crazy. Perhaps another is that it might be harder and harder to find someone who is willing to get his/her hands dirty to make a living. America is getting lazier by the minute and there are alot of people who think a degree entitles them to some job behind a desk shuffling papers for 20 hours a week and working the other 20. I could sit here and give reasons why and reasons why not, but I am nowhere near a solution. All I can say is I lead my kids by example, I tell them if they want to earn money, they are going to have to do something worth the earnings, and if it isn't enough, too bad, do more. Get a second job, learn a second skill, and never stop learning or working or you will fall behind. I don't see that mindset being instilled in todays youth enough. If you aren't happy with what you are earning, work more. work harder and work well. Whining doesnt pay bills, and if someone else makes more than you for doing less, who cares. It shouldn't be anyones business what who makes for what. Your focus should be you, not pointing fingers at the problems. Arguing a point is one thing, but whining about it is another. One might get you a solution, the other gets you nothing. Again, I could go on all day, but it will get us all nowhere.

And if I could, I'd like to say this about message boards such as this one. Even though I'm guilty of this too, I think many of us waste our time arguing on here with too many ignorant, opinionated people. It's one thing to have an educated conversation on a forum like this, but some of us go a little too far. None of the people on here plan on running for office anytime soon, and it's obvious that an opinion is rarely changed because of a post on here. The internet has made america lazy and uneducated, something it had the power to change. Everyone is a tough guy behind the monitor, and no one would stand up and say half this crap in public. I liked it better when people got together and talked about this stuff in bars and restaurants and homes and shops instead of typing useless, mindless insults in between political and social opinions. I think I'm done here. yea, I'm done here. Enjoy your vindy.com I'm going back to the regular print edition, so I can get my hands dirty. Over and OUT

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34boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

By the way youngstownmom I actually tried to give an answer to the previous questioner, and you again came up with a useless waste of space and time by writing a snide remark with no point.....I rest my case......

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35Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I cheer success but I also criticize failure. Will we in 2012 vote for Obama or NoBama? It's his choice!

High fuel costs hurt GM sales but they should've had a plan to switch to small energy efficent cars when the SUV and truck market started to decline. A plant closing is a loss for everyone.

GM makes vehicles for our military and if they shut the doors we will be in a real predicament!

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36Jane(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

FormerYoungstowner,
I too, am a former Youngstowner. I left the Valley because of the same reason most leave, more job opportunities elsewhere. I too, have a Master's degree and at one point did make less money than an unskilled autoworker. I have to admit that even at a lower salary and all the school loans I would still have chosen my job over a higher paying factory job. I cannot imagine anything more boring than working on an assembly line where it is hot, noisy, boring, monotonous,......it just sounds awful. As awful as it sounds, I still believe that the union and management have successfully worked together (not knowingly) to bring down the auto industry, the backbone of American manufacturing. What a sad time for America.

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37YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

GM, Ford & Chrysler should have begun changing their operating model over a decade ago. I'm pretty sure they would have if the unions would have payed attention. Instead they brainwashed their members into believing that they should fight for their nearly 100% paid healthcare and excessive wages for non skilled labor. All this despite the fact that the rest of the free world was far more competitive in labor costs! Real einsteins running those unions! Now, even though the rest of the world saw the writing on the wall, our auto makers are struggling to survive. What will all you union folks do when no more cars are made in the USA by US manufacturers. I'm pretty sure Toyota and Honda aren't hiring! Morons...couldn't you just once think outside the box?

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38ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"How can someone that has a master's degree plus additional college credits make much less than someone doing unskilled labor that requires minimal education on an assembly line making automobiles?"

the answer is simple. life isn't fair. autoworkers should make what they make and someone with a masters degree should make more.

how about actors, athletes or rock stars? some of them move their lips to read their own names but they make incredible amounts of money.

now you explain something to me. if money is the only factor, why would someone who made more working a mindless unfulfilling job at gm earn an advanced degree to work for less in the first place?

is it because whatever job you have is more challenging? or that the working conditions are measurably better? and at the end of the day, you'd rather work at what you like than what you hate, right?

besides, because someone doesn't (or can't) go to college should he or she be comdemned to provide less for their family? a blue collar kid doesn't want a bike too? or maybe a chance for a college degree?

it's ridiculous to challenge what autoworkers make. only those who make less than an autoworker complain. if you want the money from gm, work there.

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39tdhjones(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I feel we as american people have been dumbed down; since when have a union been a bad thing? Do you know that Wal-Mart for example can not come into the European countries without offering at least a 2 week paid vacation and benefits. It isn't the unions that are breaking the backs of companies it is the plain and simple greed of these companies! When is the last time an ad-man offered an innovative ad? I remember the "Clara Peller" ad for Wendy's in which she asked "where's the beef?" That ad was creative and the ad-men earned their pay. What do the ad men do theses days; they hire stars and pay them exorbitant amounts of money to pitch their product and give them all perks such as free cars and the like. Wake up America!!! Do you know what it is to work without a union... in a right-to-work state (which is most of the south); they (the company) can tell you I do not like the way you look today you're fired and you have no recourse. However if you wish to resign a position you are required to give the company a two week notice. In a perfect world we would not need unions however we do not live in a perfect world and thusly I prefer a union.

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40ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

raincheck: my wife is way nicer than i am and even she says you're an ass.

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41YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ldchian, I do pretty well for myself, so I'm certainly not going to get a job at GM. I just feel that you should be paid what the job is worth...and its not worth $70 or $80k per year plus tons of vaction and nearly 100% healthcare. These people could be making $35 or $40k or $45k per year and shared cost of healthcare and still afford to buy their kid a bike...I mean really.

Workers at Honda or Toyota plants here in the U.S. do not pay nearly as much as GM, Chrysler or Ford...look how well there doing! Plus, their employee's build some of the best quality vehicles in the world. Do you ever read Consumer Reports? Lexus, Toyota and Honda vehicles consistently beat out GM, Chrysler and Ford on quality and maintenance issues. So, for much less money, Honda and Toyata even build a much better car. Are you getting my drift yet?

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42FormerYoungstowner(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

YSUgrad99,

I couldn't have put it better myself. I love the career path that i've chosen, and i wouldn't give it up to work at General Motors either. I did work there and had the choice to stay, but it wasn't for me. I'm not putting down those that work at GM, but you are correct when you stated that "You should be paid what the job is worth". GM is not an $80,000 a year job, and it's not difficult to understand why the company is in financial trouble when an old majority of workers there make that much or more. Times have changed wether we like it or not, and i would rather see workers and management both give up some to keep the company afloat rather than let it die. In my career we have to pay more for health benefits and such every year and i hate it, but at least i have a job.

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43JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

*These people could be making $35 or $40k or $45k per year and shared cost of healthcare and still afford...*
An absolutely ridiculous statement with no basis. Help quantify what determines an $80k/year job for me, please. I got out of YSU in 2000...they must have quit teaching Baseless and Slanted Economics before I got there. Unless of course you are a labor expert...which doesn't seem too likely.

Consumer Reports is published by a company called Consumer Union. They are also paid off somewhere along the line by these foreign automakers because the bias in their publication is more than palpable.

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44dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

No it is not an $80,000 dollar a year job for those on the line. There are people who do work at GM who do deserve those kind of wages. I just think that the tax payers money should not be used to bail GM out. They put themselves where they are, and now they need to lay in their bed. They need to cut jobs, and start at the very top and work their way down. Start in corporate, cause I am sure there are alot of people who work there that are not needed at all. Everyone starting from the CEO all the way down to the line worker need to take pay cuts!

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45YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

JeffLebowski, you are correct on one point, consumer reports is operated by a company called consumer union, but the truth of your statement ends there. Consumer Reports does not take donations of vehicles from ANY manufacturer in the world. They buy the vehicles at MSRP pricing. Consumer Union is a non for profit organization...accepting vehicles for free would be illegal. They must report all their purchases to the federal government to keep their tax exemption. I own two vehicles, one is a Honda and one is a Chevy. The chevy has far more maint. issues than the honda. Believe it or not, consumer reports told me just as much on these two specific vehicles. Go figure...

I'm also not really sure what your point is in your statement? I know plenty of people who earn incomes between 35k and 50k per year and pay some of their healthcare...they seem to be doing just fine. Alot of them do work in two income homes...I will concede that. Why can't autoworkers survive on such an income? Wether you want to believe it or not, workers at Honda and Toyota here in the U.S. average about 45k to 50k per year in wages plus their share of healthcare. Some mainstays earn closer to $60k after 20 years of service. GM, Chrysler and Ford union workers and rep's are blind. To be competitive in a world market, you must adjust to current world economics or be left behind and bankrupt, which GM and Ford almost are! How do you explain that? Oh, please, do me a favor and don't blame it on Bush either...I'm tired on political blame.

I do agree with dmets, the automakers must start at the top with the executives and trim the fat, which I've read in the papers has begun at GM. They will laying off over a thousand white collar workers from middle and top management. I would also hope CEO's and top executives accept no bonuses while their companies are suffering such huge losses...it sends such a bad signal to investors and company workers when they see such irresponsible behavior.

Case in point, both management and hourly workers must make sacrifices to survive, or none of you will have jobs for long with a U.S. auto manufacturer!

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46JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

My point is that to assume you can determine someone's "worth" in terms of income is ridiculous. For you or I to maintain without merit that someone else doesn't deserve their hourly wage just holds no water for me.

American auto makers' problem isn't simply employee wages/benefits/pension as they'd have you believe to save face (although it is certainly a big part of the problem), their fall began: a.) when they couldn't adequately capture market share on the hybrid fad, and b.) when they refused to drop prices to meet those of the foreign competition. No excuse for having their head in the sand to the extent that they did with the hybrid thing but the price thing was dictated both by labor cost and R&D for emerging technology (Volt, hydrogen-based vehicles, etc.) and c.) their resistance to trim fat by consolidating some of their unnecessary lines of business like they did with Olds. The R&D piece is what ultimately saves GM and perhaps the others (not sure what they have in the works) but the cash bailout is necessary to bridge the gap for Ford and GM since production is still distant.

I still think Consumer Reports is propaganda and that at some point they get funded through a back or side door. Obviously no way to prove that but it’s just my opinion. Honda and Toyota send their profits over to Japan to build things up at home then share the rest with employees; I will never partake in funding that.

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47ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ysugrad, i think i get your drift. reading something from someone who actually graduated from college is a little tough on me, though. next time use words of one syllable, will you? my head hurts.

fact is, i graduated from ysu too. it took me a while because i relaxed away many hours at the gm spa.

i'm not going to defend what autoworkers make to you and the former youngstowner. factory work is mind-numbing, back-breaking and hopeless work. look at you two sitting in judgement of what another man's job is worth. what incredible gall.

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48ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

and frankly, i couldn't live on $80,000 a year.

oh, close your mouths, i'm kidding.

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49YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Jeff and ldchian, I appreciate both your comments in this forum...that's what makes it a great place to leave your thoughts! Also, my hats off to andersonathan, takes a big man to make those comments while being a union member!
Jeff, I know you and I have our differences on what an auto workers worth is in the workplace. I want all people to earn a good living. I just think autoworkers make to much for what they do. I know there are some skilled workers in those plants, but most of them are unskilled workers performing repetitious tasks. Let me ask a question, who works more; the McDonalds worker who flips burgers, drops fries and deals with a few hundred customers per day for 8 hours....or the GM worker who pops rivets into a door, or even the quality control guy who stares at a monitor all day(yes, this job exists)? The majority of the jobs at lordstown are of this variety. Who determined that fast food worker earns $8 bucks to the GM workers $25, $29 or even $35 bucks per hour? I don't aim this at the true skilled workers (ex. electricians, maintenance or paintshop). I do know one thing, we both agree that GM and others were greedy and ignored the writing on the wall. They continued to build gas guzzling SUV's because they were more profitable, even though the world consumer was asking for more fuel efficient vehicles a decade ago! Without concessions from both sides, GM will fail and go into bankruptcy. Cuts must be made within upper management, with top executives receiving no bonuses...seeing as the company is losing money! Unions and their workers must pay more of their healthcare and accept lower wages in line with the rest of the world. These two things together, with more R&D going into fuel efficient technologies will help them be profitable once again. Also Jeff, I realize Honda and Toyota send profits overseas, but they still pay state and federal taxes as well as paying thousands of employee's wages which also contribute to state and federal taxes and local economies....they are still good jobs! They earn incomes appropriate for the work they perform. It's also been made known to all that they are happy workers who take pride in the quality vehicles they produce. All this without unions present....hmmmm.

Jeff, I wish I could change your mind about consumer reports. I believe they are one of the best non-for-profit organizations I've come across. They purchase all products they test...period. Even an average citizen such as myself in Youngstown, OH has voted for their board members. I also contribute to their foundation several times per year...that's how they are funded. They educate the consumer on products as well as prove or disprove product claims.

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50YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ldchian, I will try to use less syllables next time, lol. I do know there are hard workers at lordstown, but there are lazy ones to. I've been in that plant before, as well as having a few friends and family working there. I remember a time when quotas were hit, workers would sit on their buts until the whistle blew, even if they only worked 5 hours. Those sorts of practices must be abolished, which this particular one was a several years ago. It makes the autoworker look lazy. The industry must be retooled from the top to the bottom!

Oh, and no bailout money...let them go into bankruptcy. I know jobs will be lost both within the automakers and their suppliers, but it will rebound. GM could actually come out of bankruptcy stronger.

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51ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ysugrad, the only value-added employees in a factory are the people who actually make parts. no production worker, no need for electricians, managers, ceos "or even the quality control guy who stares at a monitor all day." incidentally, some people sit at a desk all day and stare at a computer screen. yes, this job exists, too. some hit a baseball, what's your point?

and someone working at macdonalds should make more money. so should someone working at wal-mart. when fortune magazine announces its top five hundred every year, the first five names are walton. if there was a union, people who worked at walmart would make more, have better benefits and the waltons would still be filthy rich.

the problem isn't that some workers make too much. it's that others make too little. if the money wasn't there, the UAW could not have negotiated the $30 an hour pay you keep talking about in the first place. but it is there. twenty-five years ago there was a huge layoff at christmas time. "merry christmas, don't come back." rick waggoner got a bonus of $893,000. the money is there.

in this country no one should have to scratch his head wondering how to get by. we need to figure out a way to somehow redistribute some of that wealth. sure, some may make less there isn't such a gap between the haves and have-nots, the waltons and the walmarts, the auto makers and hamburger makers.

hmmm, how could a group of people working in a place that doesn't pay enough get the company to pay them more wages?

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52ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

also, i've read several of your posts and i hafta say you're an intelligent and decent person. but the first thing noticed is that you're a little condescending. of course, i would never mention it aloud because that would be unkind.

still when you ever-so-sweetly say you know there are hard workers at lordstown BUT there are also lazy ones, you come off that way. laziness isn't a quality possessed only by autoworkers.

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53YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ldchian, I agree, lazy workers exist in every walk of life. I can't cover all of them in this post. This particular article was about GM and its efforts to save money.

The only way this can happen is by lowering the price tags on their vehicles thereby hopefully increasing volume...which equals more profit. They must also introduce more fuel efficient vehicles soon, as the consumer is wants it now! Most importantly, they need to curb labor costs.

I'm sorry, but no other auto workers in this country or abroad makes as much as GM, Chrysler and Ford autoworkers. Now look at all the individual automakers performances. Only GM, Ford and Chrysler are on the verge of collapse. Toyota, Honda, VW, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and others are posting good earnings. Not to mention most of the automakers are building better cars. Holy smokes, do you know how many people have told me how shoddy their cobalts are and all the stupid little quality issues they have with them? Too many!!! That's the main reason it's already being discontinued in 2010. Once the news hit the streets, sales dived. It's a shame really, cause the sales have gone back up in the last year since they fixed some of those issues. Anyway.....

Unions serve no good purpose anymore. They did 50 years ago, but no longer. Do you even remember why they were formed? Workers were valued no better than cattle back in the early 20th century. In order to improve job security, work conditions and pay, a union was needed to negotiate on behalf of the average worker. Those type of conditions were abolished long ago...so why keep unions if the reason they were created doesn't exist anymore? All they do is collect dues, then donate them to politicians, special interests and lobbyists, while their workers go on strike and lose their jobs. Either they don't belong, or they need to be doing a better job.

Remember, its only my opinion, but a very uncertain future is ahead for GM. Several more thousand positions are being eliminated in the next few months...blue and white collar alike! How does GM become profitable again? Lets hear some suggestions!

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54OhioPerson(76 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Why aren't people pissed at what the owners are making? Why aren't people pissed that these CEO's can throw money around at politicians and media outlets and build plants in Russia and live in mansions and send their kids to Ivy League schools while the rest of us bicker over how well autoworkers are serving their masters? Do you think the CEO's don't keep a few $100 bottles of scotch in their offices? They do. And they serve their business partners in crystal glasses during working hours. Or should I say they have their secretaries serve it... So attack workers for drinking beer or otherwise "indulging" but please realize your view of workers is classist and unfair. I have met some of the most despicable upper-management-types and owners who drink, come in late/ hungover, cheat on their spouses, take lazy and totally immoral shortcuts, etc... So it's really annoying to see this kind of bickering between "have-nots" when we should be focusing on the ones holding the cash.

As for GM, I'd say instead of making cars exclusively, they could start making public transit equipment, railways, buses, etc. also. There are lots of different kinds of corporate structures that could be considered besides this top down kind of way.

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55ldchian(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ysugrad, ya see what i mean when i say condescending? you look at the world from 1999 on--when you graduated from ysu. you have no idea what came before yet you proselytize as if you've figured it all out.

you say poor working conditions were abolished 50 years ago and "unions serve no good purpose anymore". oh, really?

in 1994 lordstown installed fans. the union had been trying to get them for thirty years because autoworkers were breathing thick oily smoke from galvanized metal directly into their lungs. you could actually see the metal flakes glistening in the smoke when a shaft of sunlight cut through.

many of the jobs required an employee to bend over at the waste and lift heavy metal parts onto a conveyor in front of him. as the load got lower, the worker bent over further until the union finally negotiated more ergonomic designs so homo erectus could stand as he was meant to do.

also in 1994, they installed spark shields. when two metal parts are welded together, there's smoke and there's sparks. nothing like little beads of white hot steel blasting you flush in the face or upper torso. our canvas aprons sometimes ignited. understand, the company didn't add them to be nice. the union had to trade something.

so please don't tell me about working conditions that were abolished long ago. though the jobs have improved, the practice of favoritism, racial bias and sexual harrassment still exists and in many cases the union is the only place a person can turn.

walking through a factory once or talking to some friends and family does not give you the inside scoop on the life of a factory worker. and though the purpose of a union has changed, the usefullness has not.

thank you for the history lesson. i earned my degree in history in 1988 and have a daughter who has a masters degree in history. but what you said here today is news to both of us.

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56lebronjeremy(16 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ysugrad, ldchian is right.
If unions become obsolete there will be another worker revolution in 50-100 years. You seem to know your history well, but you haven't learned anything. Didn't you ever hear that timeless quote by George Santayana? "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Corporations already try their hardest to take advantage of the workers. Example: A few years ago Delphi asked it's workers to take a $10/hour paycut and a benefits cut, and at the same time they gave the CEO $440,000 bonus. Why didn't you bring that up in your history lesson?
There's also the less documented cases like, me working in a restaurant for three years without a single raise and no vacation. I worked six days a week for the last year and a half, and I never took a day off. Any compensation for my loyalty? ...
The only reason why competative wages exist in non-union jobs is because they don't want the workers to form union. If that threat doesn't exit anymore, the wages will drop. And those good working conditions will suffer.
Now, I might not know everything. I only graduated high school in 2007, but I know this: the union is the only thing that protects the workers. The executives couldn't care less about the people and they proved this with Fanny and Freddy, Enron, Delphi and any other company that gave their CEO a huge severance pay after that same CEO ran the company into the ground.

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57YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ldchian, the only one I see as condescending is you. What does a history major know about hard work? Have you've ever been in a union? I actually was before. Today though, I've been able to advance my career and wages on my own without the help of a union. How did I do it you ask...with hard work...period. My company employs all races, ethnicities and creeds. It makes no difference...for crying out loud we just elected a black man for president!

Here's a history lesson, read 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair someday...that's the sort of poor working conditions that brought about labor unions. Honestly, is it that bad out there today in non-union auto plants? Before you answer, maybe you should talk to a Honda worker in Marysville, Ohio...which I have before. Have you? I don't just speak in pure conjecture like you...I try to back it up with some real experiences by talking to those who live in that world. Unions do still provide some basic services, but honestly, the hard worker can accomplish it on their own. The lazy worker though, needs the union to protect them and guarantee them wage increases...even if their performance doesn't call for it. You and I both know that happens, alot!

Oh well, we differ on opinions...you and I will both watch over the next few months to see what happens. I'm sure we both hope that GM doesn't fold!

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