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Johnson Controls Inc. plans to move almost 900 jobs from Holland, Mich., to Mexico over the next year-and-a-half as it seeks lower wages for workers making sun visors.

Workers and local officials were told Monday that Holland's biggest employer and taxpayer was cutting its local workforce by one-sixth.

The move comes as manufacturing jobs seem to be heading from Michigan to Mexico in droves. Electrolux AB is moving 2,700 refrigerator-making jobs from Greenville, Mich., to Mexico. Southfield-based Federal-Mogul Corp. is considering closing two plants and moving the work to Mexico. Over the last four years, Michigan has lost about 300,000 jobs -- more than half of them in manufacturing.

Keith Wandell, president of JCI's automotive group, said the decision was difficult, but the choice was simple: Move the work to Mexico or lose sales to a company that would. "This business, quite frankly, would be gone one way or another," he said.

JCI executives said that automaker demands for lower prices forced the decision. The plant makes visors for most of the world's major automakers: General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

The company said visor production would be phased out during 18 months, beginning this summer, although Holland Mayor Al McGeehan said at least one worker told him he was laid off on Monday.

Wandell said the 885 employees who lose these jobs will be considered for other spots at JCI plants, or they will receive severance pay, benefits and other assistance.

The Southview plant, which is one of five JCI plants in Holland, will continue to employ 427 people making door panels, which are often more profitable -- and harder to ship to automakers' assembly plants.

Full Story HERE
 

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OUR government MUST hear our voice with the vote! If the Republicans and Democrats don't change their act and repeal NAFTA and adjust the WTO terms, we're going down the :flush:.

I'm republican 99% of the time, but nothing is changing, I'm out of work, the job pool in engineering for manufacturing is shrinking, more jobs are moving to Mexico, and the government is NOT taking any action :angry:

:YMCA: :plasma:
 

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When are consumers going to wake up and realize they only they can stop this? When consumers start making a choice as to where they spend their dollars, this will end. Drive by a GM owned facility and see how many foreign vehicles are in the parking lot. Why is the market share of foreigners rising? Look around your house a see how many of your purchases were made outside the U.S.

Until you make better decision with your purchasing power, shut up and let US companies do what is necessary to compete.
 

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Originally posted by leadfoot85@Mar 30 2004, 11:15 AM
OUR government MUST hear our voice with the vote! If the Republicans and Democrats don't change their act and repeal NAFTA and adjust the WTO terms, we're going down the :flush:.

I'm republican 99% of the time, but nothing is changing, I'm out of work, the job pool in engineering for manufacturing is shrinking, more jobs are moving to Mexico, and the government is NOT taking any action :angry:

:YMCA: :plasma:
Actually, the government IS taking action, just not in the way you want :(

They closed my father's helicopter program right as most of the R & D was done. Production choppers would've come out in 2005. Yea, that makes a lot of sense. That was around ~400 engineers, along with ~900 other workers. So, the government takes action, just not helping to CREATE jobs...
 

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I'm afraid monkeylizard is right (I don't think I've ever said that before) - This goes way beyond government policies and big business greed.

The simple fact is that the vast majority of consumers reward the company that gives them their products at the lowest cost, and we pay little attention to where it is made. Even if we try to pay attention, it's getting harder and harder to tell just exactly where all the pieces come from.

There are fewer and fewer things that our advanced technology can build more cheaply in the US, and so the simple fact is that all our voting with our wallets will drive the source of more things overseas. It's the never-ending quest for the Best Deal.

Throw up protectionist policies, and our standard of living (which ironically can be abbreviated SOL) will slowly decline as we won't be able to take advantage of products made more efficiently elsewhere, but at least we won't see whole sectors of the population losing their occupations to people overseas willing to work for much less.
 

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Johnson Controls Inc. plans to move almost 900 jobs from Holland, Mich., to Mexico over the next year-and-a-half as it seeks lower wages for workers making sun visors.
Giving Mexicans jobs and stealing the benefit of illegals crossing the border to get them here?

Darn, my dream of working in a factory making sun visors has been destroyed! I'd better vote for Kerry!
 

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Originally posted by markform@Mar 30 2004, 07:13 PM
Maybe we are asking the wrong qustions!? For one - where does all the money go from this increased efficiency?

Consider this.

1-It used to be that a guy could work a production job and support a family. No more - it often takes 2 paychecks to support that same family.

2-People are much more efficient. With computers, a secretary produces more in 1 hour today, than a secretary of 30 years ago -- yet, she makes no more money. Why is that? Where does all the money go from this increased efficiency? The same is true for production workers, store clerks, salesmen, financial analysts, engineeers, etc.

My answer?

Taxes.

Look around and you'll see that taxes are much, much higher today. Every time money changes hands, the gov't gets a cut. Buy something in the store, and the gov't makes more in sales tax than the merchant selling the item. The buyer pays with 'after tax' dollars. Any profit the merchant makes is also taxed. The salary of the employee is also taxed. Even the building and land is taxed.

It's crazy. 1984 has arrived, but the public is too distracted to notice.
Not to discount your tax idea in any way, but a lot of the extra efficiency goes to us having a lot more things these days. 30 years ago, a lot of families had just one car, now 2 or 3 are more common. The number of miles travelled today is huge compared with 30 years ago. 3 or 4 TVs instead of one. 2 bathrooms instead of 1. Air conditioning. I'm sure the average house size has grown. These are all things marking an increase in the standard of living.

Medical care is better now and certainly more expensive, so there goes a big part of it also.
 

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Does anyone understand economics? NAFTA is a good deal for all those involved. Yes there are some jobs that are lost as a country starts to concentrate on production in which they have a comparitive advantage or lower opportunity costs. The new jobs created far exceed the number lost. This is why countries allocate their resources in the production of goods or services where they have a comparative advantage and then trade among themselves for the products they do not produce. This way everyone is better off. This is the marvel of SPECIALIZATION. This is why you have a higher standard of living, the people are paid more on average, and there is an increase in exports.
A industry or firm backed by government protection almost never is profitable. Look at Air Canada, the biggest airline in Canada. For years they have been recieving government hand outs, taxpayers money wasted. What is the result after all this money given out? Air Canada is still not making a profit, they have never grown up, they didn't need to because the of the free money.
Specialization and free trade mean that what a country produces today may not be what it produces tomorrow. It is understandable why some labour groups, especially in those sectors of the economy that face stiff international competition, would oppose freer trade. :)
 

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The UAW will possibly still get compensated for not building these vehicles, as I am told they are for the Aveo.

I think the criticisms of the UAW, in terms of the quality of their work and of the vehicles they build, is now largely moot, but the union has done a good job of pricing themselves on the high end of the market. They no longer have a monopoly on their work, and they need to be more competitive in their pricing.

GM has the option of reducing their labor costs, or being undercut by imports, just as many former American industries already have been.

I agree with MTrans, in that globalization also has the benefit of opening export markets and therefore new American job opportunities, though that is rarely mentioned.

Ghrankenstein
 

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There is a point were free trade can go to far and we are all seeing it happen before our eyes. The (IDEAL) free trade system has been curropted over the years to the point were to meny jobs ARE leaveing our country. ITS GOING TO FAR NOW :angry: and should be looked at AGAIN by ALL Americans. Its getting to the point now were the term (FREE-TRADER-) means Freely being a (TRADER) to the NATION wile makeing the all mighty $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!
 

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While they are at it, they should just send the jobs to china - labor is much cheaper there than it is in mexico. I am still wondering how americans are going to be able to buy anything if they do not have any jobs. I wish the government would put a huge tax on all imports from china - I know it would have horrible ramifications, but I think these huge corperations need a taste of their own medicine.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Mar 30 2004, 10:03 AM
Johnson Controls Inc. plans to move almost 900 jobs from Holland, Mich., to Mexico over the next year-and-a-half as it seeks lower wages for workers making sun visors.
Giving Mexicans jobs and stealing the benefit of illegals crossing the border to get them here?

Darn, my dream of working in a factory making sun visors has been destroyed! I'd better vote for Kerry!
:lol:
 

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There is one constant in any deal making. Each (every) party that enters into the agreement figures that he is going to come out ahead at the expense of the other(s). Otherwise, there is no deal (or that party is asleep or naive or an idiot).
Unfortunately, the US is on the short end of that stick and the main reason is that it had the most to lose. For somebody who does not have a car plant (for this discussion's sake) in their country, it is a win-win situation. Especially since the populace cannot afford the imported material anyway (We let your product in but nobody is buying it. Sorry). China is the blatant/aggressive partner since it is doing everything toward enlarging its manufacturing/export output with open actions such as holding down its monetary value despite WTO objections. It does have an answer though "tough!".
How many of those vehicles sold in China have a Made in America stamped on them? How about the parts? How long will it be until China says "We'll go it alone, Mr GM".
Another example is the European Union. As demonstrated in the last years, not all nations are created equal. Germany, France and England have all jockeyed for special favors relative to the poorer countries if this deal was going to go through. Have they really come to an agreement regarding whose currency is to be used? The Brits gave up the pound? "You mean to tell me that, after fighting 2 wars with them, we're going to hand over our finances to them?" A statement made by one of England's statesmen regarding the assimilation of the pound into the German mark.
If NAFTA did so much good, where are all these newly created jobs? Does Detroit have a huge shortage of manpower to fill all these positions? Chicago? Pittsburgh? Outsourcing would not be an issue today nor would it be a topic for the presidential elections. So, do we ride the rails in an ever-changing economic situation? The depression era did have one advantage-there were smokestacks to return to after the economic debacle.
NAFTA could defend itself on its own merits. It has not.
As I read the different opinions, I detect the various groups present.
Members who are directly involved with manufacturing and have been affected by a downsizing (how about rightsizing-a softer word that lends credence to the companies' decisions).
Members who are not directly involved with manufacturing. Maybe salespeople or clerks or people in the people industry (doctors, lawyers,..) who are not affected by the downturn (yet).
Members who are in academia and are insulated from these situations but do affect the economy since they write treatises on subjects (that many do not practice) while sitting in isolation. (Here, read Ed Kohl's article in this month's Machine Design). They tend to forget that most theories are not correct the first time then get tweaked.
People in the farming commumity that fit somewhere in the blue collar zone. They are seeing fruit from Chile and other countries invade our shores. Imagine, we cannot even grow fruit (apples are northern hemisphere growable) in the US as cheaply as a foreign country.
It wasn't long ago that the white collar people were turning a blind eye toward the loss of blue collar jobs."Oh, let them re-train, something else will pop up". Now, the white collar people are doing the sweating and it is making the news. The "I don't have to outrun the tiger, I only have to outrun you." is a poor philosophy that never has worked.
 

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I understand economics, but consider this.
I live in Maine, where each year many manufacturing jobs are leaving the state.
Every six months it seems another plant is closing, dropping another 500-900 employees.

Now, for everyone for the nafta agreement, I agree, there are also more jobs coming back in. They are planning on building a Wendys, and staples, and a burger king in my home town this year. I don't understand how all of the people who lose thier $13/hour+ jobs at the manufacturing plants aren't pleased as hell to have all of these options to work at so many different places. I mean, they can even choose to call thier own pay, lets see.....hmmm, theres minimum wage, then minimum wage, and oh yeah....minimum wage! I understand that free trade brings us the best deals, and allows us more choice in our purchases, thereby allowing us to afford a higher standard of living for the same price. But what happens if we keep losing all of the higher paying jobs, and the average person keeps losing more and more money every few years?? The CEOs and owners of large corporations will get richer, but the rest of us are losing big time. I understand why companies feel as though they are being forced out of the country, and the UAW is part of the problem. There, I said it. I do not know anyone that makes 30 dollars an hour in a production plant. No one, and I have worked in my share of these places. And I don't care what you say, they are not going to lower thier price, I mean think about it, if you were making 30 dollars an hour to hang doors on the passenger sides of a buick regal all day long, would you be willing to take a 10 dollars an hour pay cut?? Hell no. The constitution and the bill of rights were written in a time when people prided themselves on being good people, doing the right thing, and expecting others to do the same. This no longer the case. People are expected to be unscrupulous, and to always be looking for the better deal. You do it when you go buy electronics or anything else, and why wouldn't you expect companies to do the same?? The quality of the UAW is a moot point, as someone stated. People now expect a good VALUE, which the UAW does not give.

Of course, there will be a point when this will have to plateau. It will have to. I am just deathly afraid of the conditions that will have to exist for the changes we need to take place. I'm just sick of our hard work and enterprise being given freely to other countries simply because of the destitute economies they allow. Hey, **** on your people, make it so that no one can afford thier own car, and GM will build a plant here so they can get a better job than they ever thought possible, and still it's a great deal for gm because they can afford to pay 8-10 chinese for the price of one UAW. I you think that 1 american worker is better than 10 chinese workers, I think you're wrong, they may be better than 5 chinese workers, but it's time to stop kidding ourselves. For this to change the UAW needs to lower thier price, and something needs to be done to penalize companies for moving out of the US. Nafta was not created to allow companies with plants in the us to ship the plants to other countries, take advantage of the (nearly)free labor, and then import without tariff, it was to encourage competition from outside countries.

I know, I know, we win some jobs, lose others. And a Global marketplace is invitable. But the trickle-down economics needs to stop. The rich are the only ones getting ahead in this country. I think that the additional pay the CEOs and kickbacks Government officials are getting is skewing the average wage data.
Maybe it's different in your neck of the woods, but around here Burger King is booming, and Looming, for most of us.
 

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Originally posted by MTRANS@Mar 30 2004, 08:57 PM
Does anyone understand economics? NAFTA is a good deal for all those involved. Yes there are some jobs that are lost as a country starts to concentrate on production in which they have a comparitive advantage or lower opportunity costs. The new jobs created far exceed the number lost. This is why countries allocate their resources in the production of goods or services where they have a comparative advantage and then trade among themselves for the products they do not produce. This way everyone is better off. This is the marvel of SPECIALIZATION. This is why you have a higher standard of living, the people are paid more on average, and there is an increase in exports.
A industry or firm backed by government protection almost never is profitable. Look at Air Canada, the biggest airline in Canada. For years they have been recieving government hand outs, taxpayers money wasted. What is the result after all this money given out? Air Canada is still not making a profit, they have never grown up, they didn't need to because the of the free money.
Specialization and free trade mean that what a country produces today may not be what it produces tomorrow. It is understandable why some labour groups, especially in those sectors of the economy that face stiff international competition, would oppose freer trade. :)
I remember and understand these economic theories, but my question is, just what are the specialties that the US has a competitive advantage in? Agriculture? Sure, we have the most productive land on earth, but that's small potatoes these days.

What else is there where we have a clear advantage in cost/efficiency? The lower cost of labor in other countries is prompting US companies to make large investments in plants and technology there, so that advantage is evaporating quickly.
 

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and Ming, you really think that the Mexicans sneak into the US to get jobs??
adn if they do, you think that another GM plant paying the same as any other plant in Mexico will pursuade them to stay?? Me neither.
That was funny though.
Hey, if this keeps up, the sad thing is that texans will be sneaking into mexico to find work for american corporations, LOL

I wonder, if a boatload of Americans washes up in haiti, do they get shipped back??
 

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Originally posted by Maetrix66@Mar 31 2004, 09:19 AM
and Ming, you really think that the Mexicans sneak into the US to get jobs??
adn if they do, you think that another GM plant paying the same as any other plant in Mexico will pursuade them to stay?? Me neither.
That was funny though.
Hey, if this keeps up, the sad thing is that texans will be sneaking into mexico to find work for american corporations, LOL

I wonder, if a boatload of Americans washes up in haiti, do they get shipped back??
Umm... yes, Mexicans DO sneak across the border for American jobs. Haven't you read the news? Bush wants to make this pratice legal. It does however, happen far less in major industry than "handyman" work and such.
 

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Okay, I see not that many people do understand the economic term of specialization. First of all the majority of jobs that go to other countries are jobs that monkeys can do, making sun visors for example. The american worker is more educated and can use technology more easily than their counterparts in the south. These worker's talents are wasted on trivial work like making sun visors, instead they should better utilize these abilities in other areas of work. The more technological needed areas of manufacture, research and development, management, the list goes on. The whole idea is that the american worker can earn more because is he is more qualified, he should not be doing these trivial jobs. Let the mexicans have them, you don't want them. The best vehicle plants for quality are in the states, corvettes and Caddys for example are built here, no place else because they could not do a good job of it.
The best part of this situation is that both groups are better off, the american worker is paid better and is doing better, more-fulfilling jobs. So he has a better standard of living, and is happier. The company makes more money which is transferred to the surrounding areas. The mexicans are also better off, the little money they make comes back to the states in the increase of exports. :)
I always find it funny when someone says Free Trade does not work because there town is getting smaller due to the loss of jobs. Such short-sightedness, your town may be shrinking but the town just down the road is growing. I come from a small rural town, at first I did not want to leave but now I look back and think it was a good choice to leave. There are more opportunities else-where. Maybe not in farming or plant work but other interesting areas. A person should not expect to stay in the same city his whole life, you must go to where the work is. If this also means getting some more training or schooling, then do it. Most mexicans do not have this ability. The more abilities you have working in your favor the better off you will be, and your country will be when they trade on the global market. :D

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country! :woot2:
 

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You mean to tell me that the Corvette and Cadillac are so specialized that they cannot be outsourced? Somebody has no idea of the technological advances that are occurring there.
Engineering-wise, many of these countries are equal or have surpassed us in the use of CAD and affiliated software (such as FEA) China uses extensive 3-D drafting- many US companies still use 2-D CAD.
Long ago, I had a proposition for work being done by my company which concerned converting manual drawings into CAD drawings. The proposition was from Argentina and the price was 2/3 lower than any contract firm in the area. The talent was there and all they needed were jobs. BTW, we didn't use this source.

India has concentrated on the software industry and is quickly becoming a center of excellence. For the millenia project (when everybody was afraid that all computing would stop due to the 00 insert), India became a center for work done to avoid the so-called catastrophe.
Using robotics, the foreign plants are the equals to US plants.
You don't need to look far back when US Steel workers were looking at European and Japanese oxygen furnaces out producing the older Amercian open hearths. In the 50's, Japan was known for only making trinkets and small items. It didn't take long for that kitten to grow into a tiger. And every other emerging area is the same.

So, you may be going to the next town and the next town and so on. As the information age breaks all barriers, the offshore talent will grow and become more aggressive.

The news ran a story, last year, that many American trucking companies are buying Mexican companies in the foreseen opportunity that Mexican trucks will be plying American roads. So, it is not only Mexican laborers wanting jobs but American companies relinquishing them in the hopes of a quick profit.
 

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Corvettes and Caddy's can be outsourced, but that is not the point I was making. The point is that the capabilities of American workers are better utilized in a plant where their abilities are more fully used. They are more productive making more sophisticated items than compared to building say Sun Visors. Clear enough? :p
 
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