8/21/2008

Bye Bye Miss America Pie

Nothing is more American Pie than General Motors a car company that has been around for our entire lives. I occasionally hang out with some relatives and friends who are pretty dam high in the US financial hierarchy and because of my relationships I get to become a "fly on the wall" so to speak and I hear conversations. Most of the talk is chit chat about this and that (especially that) but every once in a while a discussion will turn to an investment vehicle (stocks, bonds, etc.) because all have clients and they like to "talk it up or down." I met one of the people back in the early 90s at a seminar at which several "young guns" spoke on various topics. He shocked all when he announced "no American car company with a UAW contract can have a long future." He pointed out what was then unknown about the costs of union contracted health care and unfunded pensions. It was in the billions. He spoke to the work rules that were actually "lay around and pick up a check" rules that no company anywhere could possibly sign in that early 90s era. He painted an uncontested bleak picture for the biggest car company in the world, General Motors, that he said would eventually become just a marketing company selling products made by other companies but carrying a GM logo.

We could be there now.

2 comments:

Fred said...

Yep. I visited a UAW GM plant in 1991. I saw UAW people all aged forty something to retirement. It was like discovering the elephants' graveyard. These people were all old enought to have adult children, who I assume are working somewhere - just not here. This generation of UAW workers has eaten their childrens' jobs.

I knew then that GM was doomed.

cubanbob said...

What other choice does GM have if it intends to survive? They could learn a thing or two from Apple, design and engineer in the USA and contract manufacture overseas. The UAW has killed Detroit.