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GM worker fears "downward spiral"
Tue Apr 29, 2008
By Amy England
http://www.newsdurhamregion.com/news/durham/article/97920

GM announced Monday that between 900 and 1,000 jobs will be eliminated in Oshawa leaving workers, still reeling from the loss of a shift and 1,000 jobs in January, shocked.

Falling demand for GM's full-size pickup trucks was blamed.

"I was in shock when I first heard but then I just look at the way gas prices are going up and it doesn't surprise me," said south Oshawa resident James Byrom Monday night.

An employee of GM for over 24 years, Mr. Byrom is currently on a temporary layoff from the car plant until the beginning of August.

Brian Lindensmith said he wasn't surprised. Mr. Lindensmith has been with GM for 26 years.

"Everyone that has worked for GM has been laid off at one time or another," he said. "Sales are down and this is what happens."

Larry Hardy, a GM worker who car pools with six men from St. Catharines, said he's concerned about the future outcome. Mr. Hardy said Monday night that he's seen this all before when he had to relocate to Oshawa from the St. Catharines plant after it closed 6 years ago.

Mr. Hardy, 56, commutes four hours every day to work in Oshawa. He was laid off for two years beginning in 2000 and has participated in retraining but was not successful finding another job outside of GM.

"A year ago the trunk plant was working three shifts," said Mr. Hardy. " And now this… most of us have been with GM for over 25 years and it is hard for us to find new work of any kind."

"It seems now it is a downward spiral, we always are asking who is to blame," said Mr. Hardy Monday night. "Are we making the mistakes? Is the union making the mistakes or is GM making the mistake? I wish we knew."

The truck plant had been running flat out since 1993 when a three-shift schedule started. Annual production regularly surpassed 300,000 trucks. It also won several awards for top productivity among truck plants in North America.

Oshawa Mayor John Gray hopes the news won't be as dark as it seems. "One of our saving graces is that it doesn't happen 'till September," he said, stressing that the job cuts are the result of economic conditions in the U.S. "That gives us some time and if the market changes, we may not have to cut that many."

Also See: $10 Gasoline Predicted in as Little as Three Years
 

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Obviously Mr. Hardy is not a GMI reader, or he would already know that all three parties (workers, union leadership, management) share the blame for the current woes.
 

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Obviously Mr. Hardy is not a GMI reader, or he would already know that all three parties (workers, union leadership, management) share the blame for the current woes.
Come on. If people are not buying pick-up trucks, GM is not going to build them. If GM is not building them, it is going to lay off employees. Period. There is nothing workers, union leadership or management can do about it.

If gasoline cost $2.00 a gallon, there would be demand for trucks, and GM would be hiring people, and we all would be waxing about how the UAW and GM leadership were the greatest.
 

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GM announced Monday that between 900 and 1,000 jobs will be eliminated in Oshawa leaving workers, still reeling from the loss of a shift and 1,000 jobs in January, shocked.
How the hell can any of these people be "shocked"??? I'm shocked that they're shocked ! Some people need to pick there heads up every now and then and take a look around at what's happening in the world. The days of the "guaranteed job" are over...$1.29 a gallon gas is long gone...and GM is in a dogfight for its very survival.

They're shocked at job losses ? Give me a break...
 

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the loss of market share appears graphically as a downward flight of stairs for over twenty years. stupidity is not that sequential. bankers, lawyers, and accountants are not that ignorant. ask yourself why are there no earnings guidances, and why are the so called "plans" so secretive? there must be a reason.
 

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the loss of market share appears graphically as a downward flight of stairs for over twenty years. stupidity is not that sequential. bankers, lawyers, and accountants are not that ignorant. ask yourself why are there no earnings guidances, and why are the so called "plans" so secretive? there must be a reason.
I'm not sure I follow what you're getting at above. But, all things being equal, I would have expected GM market share to decline over the last 20 years - numerous new players have entered the US auto market in the last two decades. The pie is only so big. I think it would be unreasonable to expect GM to hold on to 50% of the market now that we've gone from three players (GM, Ford and Chrysler) to like 30.

As far as the rest of your statement, I'm not sure I'm following you...
 

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I love all the doomsday gasoline price predictions.

Once the economy rebounds and people stop stuffing money into oil futures (to offset losses in other investments) the price of futures will go down. As that drops, assuming supply and demand remain fluid (as they are now) prices will FALL not rise.

Last time I checked people are not waiting at the pump for gasoline because there is a shortage.



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It's an election year.....there will be doomsday gasoline price predictions.

They'll be plenty more doomsday predictions soon, and for some strange reason they will die off around November, when it will kick back to the usual global warming (if a hurricane hits the US in the summer/fall).
 

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The big shock to me is that the layoffs affect workers with 24 & 26 years of seniority. Canadian plant workers would seem to be ripe of some early retirement buyouts and some geritol laced coffee.
 

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Well I know I am in GM's SAP (Special Attrition Program) window. I am not going to take the buyout, But many people worried about the layoffs will consider taking it. Heck atleast take the early retirement. I think if you are wanting to take the SAP you have till May 12th to put in and final numbers wont be official until May 22nd. Atleast that is what it is for Moraine Assembly IUE-CWA.



As of April 14, 2008 35 people have taken some form of the SAP except regular retirement.

Presently there have been approximately 50 people who have applied for retirement for a July 1st retirement date. Please note that not necessarily all 50 are retiring they are just enquiring.

We will be updating regularly as new information is forthcoming, and we will keep you up to date as accurately and as often as we possibly can. Please note that no definite numbers can be given until after May 22, 2008.
http://www.iuecwa798.com/
 

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I would also like to add before the Union Bashers come in here. Even if the Union did take a $15 pay cut. This still would happen because of Gas Prices $3.50 is the doomsday price for Trucks and SUV's, $2.50 and they will sell again.
 

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If the sales for full sized trucks and SUV declines precipitously.... so go the fortunes of GM.
They have depended on them for far too long as a cash cow.
 

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I feel for the guys and gals at the plants, times are tough. I am struggling at the dealership level. I understand accepting lower pay is a hard decision but I have to accept the lower pay every week and you don't hear anyone crying for me and my family. GM could be doing alot to help me but what do you do in a time like this??? you can't force people to buy what they can't afford and you can't keep building what the dealerships can't afford to buy and store.

Remember this affects alot more than the couple thousand people getting laid off with unemployment benifits that are much higher than the average blue collar income level. This is hurting a much larger scale with no tears for their loses.
 

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My wife regularly paid $4.79 in the 2006 summer season in the New York City area.

The Navy's ship planning process, regarding oil- vs. nuclear-powered cruisers, from years past when oil was under 50 bucks, looked at the potential oil cost of 80-250+ per barrel.
Makes a big difference in lifetime ship costs.

So, very expensive oil is certainly a future possibility.

Until the people wake up and demand an end to PC-driven "leadership" that on the one hand thinks it would be good to increase costs and decrease US competitiveness by the utterly idiotic carbon-credit mass insanity/con job, and on the other hand drill more oil wells off our coasts and on our lands and build a few new refineries, we will continue wailing and gnashing our teeth.

I place much of the blame on Kissinger and his boy RM Nixon who "opened" China, and subsequent administrations and congresses and businessmen who opened the doors to moving our manufacturing base to the land of 10 cent labor in order for their lobbyist friends to make a quick billion or ten.

The most serious shortage we have in our nation is strong, smart, principled leadership.

As we've seen on other threads here, 4000+ LB. truck used car demand is also spiraling downward. Those who want to get out from under their big honkers are finding themselves in positions similar to the folks who bypassed the normal mortgage vetting process for the quick n easy, grasshopper vs. ant nonplanning way.
 

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I'll guarantee you GM is having meetings up the 'ol wazzoo to figure what to do with product planning, especially RWD. Turbo 4's may be a partial answer but they are caught with their pants around their knees on the Cobalt / G5 /Aveo. They may have to REALLY put the BEAT in the USA pipeline but can they cover cost?

With economists predicting $4.00 to $ 8.00 per gal. for fuel, the G8 and Camaro, big block Challengers, Chargers, Mustangs et al., are ultimately going to go the way of the trucks. Corvette and CTS V will live on since they are such small niches and are priced for people who don't worry about the price of gas.

Time for GM to paint with very bold strokes right now on fuel efficient (but high content)
vehicles or they'll get their hiny handed to them ....again...by Toyonda. The Volt will not be available in enough numbers or at a price to be a volume daily commuter.

Decisions in the next 6 months could spell either success or doom. Kinda scary.
 

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"ask yourself why are there no earnings guidances, and why are the so called "plans" so secretive? there must be a reason."
Pls enlighten me further;
 

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"ask yourself why are there no earnings guidances, and why are the so called "plans" so secretive? there must be a reason."
Pls enlighten me further;
"give me control over their money and I care not who makes their laws."
 

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Let's go back to the period where GM was developing the "new" Silverdodo. GM had allocated BILLIONS for the product and then decided to RUSH the product to market. GM had a chance at that moment to introduce a revolutionary product that could have had SIGNIFICANT competitive advantages over any other truck on the market.

What GM delivered was a new song and a same old tired truck dance. The product was a marginal improvement over the old one. GM tarted up the interior and dumbed down the exterior. It wasn't better than anything on the market.

Yet GM rushed it to the market.

GM could have introduced an innovative full-sized pickup WHILE still selling the old one. The new truck should have been on the model of the Honda Ridgeline only more logically designed. It could have been so different from the other Big Three trucks that it would have weathered economic and gas crises far better than the eventual new Silverdodo has.

GM missed the boat. But then again, today's GM isn't about making the boat. It is all about talking about making the boat. Results don't matter. Improvement doesn't matter. Just saying you are better is all that matters.
 

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I'm not sure I follow what you're getting at above. But, all things being equal, I would have expected GM market share to decline over the last 20 years - numerous new players have entered the US auto market in the last two decades. The pie is only so big. I think it would be unreasonable to expect GM to hold on to 50% of the market now that we've gone from three players (GM, Ford and Chrysler) to like 30
Psst, windvale, don't tell that to Microsoft, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart. Despite new competitors, they seem to do well holding onto their market share... and even growing in some cases. To be clear, GM did not lose market share because it was building strong product and newer companies came in and magically took share. They lost share because they were building garbage. If they were pleasing their consumers, consumers would not have had a reason to flee the company. Saying that GM share fell because the market was getting crowded is a cop-out; they built crap, and their share fell. They're building better product now, and their retail share is holding. See how that works?

Toyota is actually one of the older competitors in the US market now; it's been around for 50 years in the US. Despite new entries like Hyundai and Kia (and GM's own Saturn!) coming in after Toyota did and offering products in the same exact market as Toyota fields its products, Toyota really hasn't retreated. It may have had a few bad months recently, but if you follow the growth curve for Toyota over the past several decades, both before and after Hyundai's and Kia's entries into the US market, you will nicely see that these two companies had very little effect on Toyota sales. Funny, Saturn hasn't really grown over the past decade or so, either.
 

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Psst, windvale, don't tell that to Microsoft, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart. Despite new competitors, they seem to do well holding onto their market share... and even growing in some cases.
I'm missing something...who are Microsoft's 30 competitors ? I'm seeing Apple and maybe Red Hat. Who are Intel's competitors ? AMD ? Coke - Pepsi ?

I'm not seeing that any of the above companies have had to compete with well funded competition from foreign companies that are supported behind the scenes by their governments.
 
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