Autoworker families see end of the line

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Four generations and 127 years. That's Kurt Surato's direct bloodline to General Motors Corp.

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Chicago, IL

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#21
Feb 10, 2009
 

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Mark wrote:
Yikes! Didn't the parents have greater dreams for their kids? More than installing seats in cars on an assembly line? Amazing.
To quote Jack Nicholson in the move A Few Good Men: "I'd just rather you said 'thank you' and be on your way."
Truth

Ashburn, VA

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#22
Feb 10, 2009
 
Terry F wrote:
<quoted text>
Mark, they probably did. Not every child/sibling in every family ends up at the factory, not even close.
But what's troubling about your comment is your apparent put-down about that type of work. Do you drive a car? Then be glad someone, somewhere, installed the seats, and the engine and the brakes and everything else so you can get to your job, your loved ones, your vacations, your summertime drives.
Might not be your particular choice of a rewarding profession, but you know what? Those jobs have to be done just like all the other jobs you or I might consider "beneath" us.
I could have said it better! Just maybe there parents told them to be the best at whatever you do.
Truth

Ashburn, VA

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#23
Feb 10, 2009
 
Terry F...

I intended to say...I could NOT have stated it better.
The Master Cylinder

Chicago, IL

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#24
Feb 10, 2009
 
And it's probably worth noting that there has probably been far many more millions and even billions stolen and squandered by people pushing pens in suits and ties than any "overpaid" factory workers.
A European-America n

San Diego, CA

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#25
Feb 10, 2009
 

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jim wrote:
What they won't tell you is that the majority of the profits go back to Japan or Korea, or whatever foreign country sells the car.
Exactly. And over there, executives get fired for non-performance perhaps more easily than workers. I blame US execs for being short-sighted and not seeing the bigger picture. Other automakers are successful in our own country.

Am I alone in thinking that a German company buying and selling the Jeep trademark is highly ironic?

How about a Chinese company buying the AC Delco name to make cheap dry cell batteries?
HC Here

Arlington, VA

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#26
Feb 10, 2009
 
When you read today that GM is slashing 10,000 white collar jobs, ask yourself:
1.) What did the union do to help these white collar fellow GM employees keep their jobs. The GM union workers said "We're all in this together," so we should help the union man out. What actions did the unions take today to help a fellow GM employee?
2.) Why hasn't the media profiled any of the white collar GM workers as frequently as these union workers.
3.) Isn't it more of a pity when someone who tried to better themselves in life, a white collar worker, is laid off due to the greed of blue collar screw turning high school educated union thugs.

The union - silent when their white collar peers take a hit.
Paul C

North Chicago, IL

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#27
Feb 10, 2009
 
The auto industry created it's own problems - Unions demanding more and the company giving it to them without securing productivity improvements. As we say in finance, those are all sunk costs now, no way to unspend the money.

What bothers me is if the government can go in and adjust wages, benefits and retirement plans for auto workers - what prevents them from doing the same to other industries. Henry Ford knew that in order for his company to succeed, he had to pay his workers enough so they could afford to purchase what they ewre making. The middle class was born and we all profited from the union fights of the 30's & 40's. Everything in this country is connected through the market for goods and services. What happens when we hit the point where we have more people working at low paying jobs, unable to buy the necessities to survive? Does anyone think you can really survive in this country on the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour (that's 13,600 for a normal year)? We need to take care of each other, bring work home, and realize that if we lose the middle class, this place is screwed.
magnum

Lake Forest, IL

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#28
Feb 10, 2009
 
congratulation to the UAW, you won. You showed GM who's boss.
You reap what you sew.
mdf

Syracuse, KS

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#29
Feb 10, 2009
 
The "Big Three" cut their own throats.

My 92 Park Avenue Ultra runs better and gets better gas mileage than my parents 08 Lucerne! It is quieter, rides better, roomier and overall, a better car. Of course it does not have heated/cooled front seats.

You could always hear a Dodge pickup rust away, but it always ran. Now you can hear them rust because it is sitting in the driveway needing lots of money thrown at the engine to even get it to the shop.

Ford can still make a pickup, too bad they forgot to put a decent sized bed on the thing.

But I don't think I will get a 1/4 million miles on my "new" Park Ave. due to the blower sitting on top of the engine! And it blows the doors off of a Camaro!

We can build good cars, it's just the average American can't afford to pay for the Unions cut of the paycheck.
Mary

Palo Alto, CA

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#30
Feb 10, 2009
 
Maybe the workers at GM, Ford, and Chrysler could afford to buy what they produced...good for them! There are MILLIONS OF US who COULDN'T! It seems to me that the pendulum swung too far when it came to unions and their annual bargaining. Just because it's contract time, does that mean you have to keep on asking for MORE??? Just like I thought years ago, they brought about their OWN DEMISE!!!!(AND IF THEIR CARS ARE SO GOOD, why DON'T THEY HAVE WARRANTIES COMPARABLE TO THE WARRANTIES OF THE IMPORTS?)
liberal fascism

Burkburnett, TX

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#31
Feb 10, 2009
 
1) There are 4 GM cars in the driveway (got two teenagers besides wife&me). Our grandparents were imigrants from the last surge before WW1. Wife and I left Waukegan, Ill 20 years ago when the factories started closing, gotta move on.

Life is constant change. Textiles moved from England to New Englan in early 1800"s $'s. Then moved to the South after the Civil War,$'s. After WW2 textiles began there move to carabien and central america,$'s. Now textile is moving to SE Asia,$'s.

Big 3 failed to negotiate hard after Ron Regean broke air traffic controllers.

Wife and I are 50, currently talkin retirement options, Panama, Belize, or Argentina. Kids are going into medical fields.

Life is change deal with it, whiners.
Tom

Honolulu, HI

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#32
Feb 10, 2009
 
GetReal wrote:
If you have safe working conditions and a 40 hour work-week, thank a union.
Typical brainwashed union response. It should read: When the big three go belly up for good, thank the UAW.
Bill Gagne

Bristol, RI

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#33
Feb 10, 2009
 
Sorry. They screwed the American public for years, trading union power for productivity, and relied upon cheap gas instead of creativity. Remember the 80's Cadillacs? Made over Chevy Celebrity. No sympathy here.
gilmore

United States

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#34
Feb 10, 2009
 
jim wrote:
"I see far too many "Democrat" bumper stickers on foreign automobiles. If the "Democrats" really believed in organized labor, they would buy American cars."
You hit the nail on the head. I can't tell you how many Toyotas and Hondas I saw with Obama/Biden stickers on them. Of course the Demos will say that these cars are manufactured by American workers.
What they won't tell you is that the majority of the profits go back to Japan or Korea, or whatever foreign country sells the car.
Jim, you left out the fact that those profits go home to pay for their country's retirement, health care and other social programs.
While it would appear that the benefits that the UAW got and the companies agreed to keep many of these workers off the social expenses of the rest of us. So I ask what's worse, the taxpayer paying for retirement and healthcare or paying an extra 1,200 to 1,500 dollars more for a car where the profits go to American workers?
Me, I'll pay the extra money because it's cheaper for me to pay the extra because I buy a new car every 8 to ten years or so. With Obama's plan it will likely be that all of us will be paying a great deal more than that annually to cover his plans for a socialized nation.
gilmore

United States

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#35
Feb 10, 2009
 
I have a friend that belongs to a CWA local. There are about 400 members who belong to the local and between them they pay about $160,000 a year to belong to the union (MO is a right to work state but by contract all employees must belong or pay fair share to the union).

Any idea where that money goes? The majority goes to paying the President, Vice President, Sectretary, Treasurer, and 10 or so stewards wages when they are doing "union business". The rest goes towards sending these good union members to union sponsored seminars, conferences, etc. where their travel and living expenses are paid in full. In many cases, their wages as well (it includes their social security, medicare, etc.).

The result? When these people are away from their work doing union work the work load they would be doing is passed on to the remaining members including the time when they attend their so-called junkets. In summation, the members are paying for their so-called leadership to live the union lifestyle at the tune of $160,000 year.

A union at work my friends.
just me

United States

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#36
Feb 10, 2009
 
The Master Cylinder wrote:
And it's probably worth noting that there has probably been far many more millions and even billions stolen and squandered by people pushing pens in suits and ties than any "overpaid" factory workers.
I agree 100% with you. The white collar greed is what put us in the condition we're in. I have nothing against a blue collar worker making a decent wage.
CHICAGO

Chicago, IL

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#37
Feb 10, 2009
 
Assuming Tom Surato started working at 18 he was 56 when he retired in 1998 at full pay and full benefits. The unions greed and blackmail "give us more or we strke" saddled the american people with their legacy costs and that ultimately became the snake that is swallowing its own tail.
Terry

United States

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#38
Feb 10, 2009
 
Bill Gagne wrote:
Remember the 80's Cadillacs? Made over Chevy Celebrity. No sympathy here.
Ancient history, relatively speaking. No car buyer under 35 years old (and there are millions of 'em) would even know--or probably care--what you are referring to.
boss tweed mummert

Riverside, IL

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#39
Feb 10, 2009
 
the simple math is this. people out of work don't buy new cars. people working but afraid they might lose their job, don't buy new cars. seniors on fixed incomes, who saw their retirement portfolio's get the living s..t kicked out of it, don't buy new cars. young people without established credit find it hard to get a loan. so they don't buy new cars. and rich people buy bmw, mercedes, lexus, and some cadillacs. and who is the target market for the chevy volt? Starting Price of 25,000. yikes. good luck.
moreofthesame

Chicago, IL

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#40
Feb 11, 2009
 
The Master Cylinder wrote:
And it's probably worth noting that there has probably been far many more millions and even billions stolen and squandered by people pushing pens in suits and ties than any "overpaid" factory workers.
Especially suits and ties that went to Ivy League or private schools.
I wouldn't trust a person from an Ivy League school, Havard especially!

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