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    Now that Ford has announced the cutting of over 25,ooo jobs I have a question:
    Where are the UNIONS?? What do they have to say about this? Are they willing to admit they are the biggest part of the problem here? Probably not. But it's the way I see it. Unions come in, demand the companies pay out a lot more in wages and benefits than they can really support; companies have to pass this costs onto we the consumer (who says BULLSHIT, gonna buy a Jap car cause it's cheaper, runs better, works better)...the company loses profit and the end result: Layoffs. The unions kill more jobs than they ever created or protected. In my little town for instance, we have a factory that makes parts for Ford vehicles...now many of these people stand a pretty good chance of being laid off. How many other small towns are home to these factories? The domino effect.

    HAZELWOOD, Mo., Jan. 23 -- The morning announcement from headquarters did not come from out of the blue, but that did not stop the tears or stem the frustration. The Ford plant in this St. Louis suburb had dodged bullets before. Just maybe, thought the 1,400 workers, they could do it again.

    "We were hoping to hang on or that something would come along," said Jay Parker, an 18-year plant veteran.

    Instead, Ford Motor Co. turned off the sport-utility vehicle assembly line that makes Explorers to declare that Hazelwood would go idle in March and go out of business when the current union contract expires next year. The auto market had passed them by, the workers heard, and there was nothing they could do about it.

    "Some were sad. Some were crying," said Cassandra Williams, 26, standing in the factory parking lot. "I knew it would come, but I didn't think it would be this soon."

    Hazelwood yielded to clear-eyed calculations. Explorer sales were down 30 percent last year, and sales of the Mercury Mountaineer, a sister sport-utility vehicle produced here, are going nowhere. Retooling the plant would cost too much. Ford concluded that Hazelwood could manufacture nothing that made business sense.

    Yet just last month, with workers still motivated to save their jobs, the factory was named the highest-quality Ford plant in North America and the one with the best cost controls, according to union and management officials. The push to raise standards came after Ford warned Hazelwood in 2002 that the plant would be eliminated by the middle of the decade.

    Union and local management reckoned that their only chance in a ferociously competitive work universe was to prove to Ford that they could earn their keep, which with overtime averaged $65,000 annually per worker -- twice the statewide norm. The goal was to persuade Ford to assign another car or truck to the plant after the Explorer faded away.

    That was the goal eh? Did these poor saps who are getting paid way higher wages then their skills ever deserved consider that they could drop a few bucks and hour, pay out a little more in their own benefits and "rights"- they might save their jobs? Ford Explorers are outragiously expensive. Who the hell wants to pay THAT kind of money for a vehicle? Not the average working Joe. He can't afford it. Demand dwindled purely because of the price.

    "We told them we controlled our own destiny, that our livelihoods were in our hands," said Ken Dearing, president of United Auto Workers Local 325. "Everybody responded. We were doing everything correctly."

    State and local government leaders wooed Ford with $17 million in incentives. A year ago, the plant axed its second shift, sacrificing 800 jobs. The line went idle for several weeks when supply outstripped withering demand, but Hazelwood met its quality goals and earned its performance awards -- only to get the ax.

    This thinking is off base. No one cares about quality when they cannot afford it. It's that simple. And no employee controls his own destiny when he works for someone else. AND no union controls anything. This should be a lesson for many people.

    I have a hard time having any sympathy for people who are members of these auto unions. I consider them not very well informed about anything economic (as with me...). I consider them greedy and selfish. They get this way thanks to the unions, who tell them it's their right to take away the earnings of the hand who feeds them in the first place.
    Unions had their day...way back when employees were really and truly treated poorly. We don't need that now. We need competive prices and healthy businesses. People need to educate themselves about the true costs of union membership.

    Blogging friend Woody, at GM's Corner, has a post up about this:

    Unions have forced wages and benefits from U.S. manufacturers that far exceed the productivity of workers, and the unions have forced the closings of major industries and companies in our country. The labor dilemma is described in this article and discusses problems such as having to pay 12,000 workers to do nothing and grass cutters getting $65 an hour--not to mention that the Democrats want to use this problem in which they are culpable to call for commissions and more government "entitlements." (I can't stand that term.) Such waste doesn't help workers...it kills companies and results in unemployment.

    It's time that the American worker realized that those who claim to care about him and who claim to help him are only making matters worse. Unions, with the help of the Democratic Party, are destroying companies and are costing them jobs. Workers and families are important and deserve better.


    I couldn't have said it better.

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