Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yes, Flint Still Has Automotive Jobs that Can Move to Mexico

This is an unwelcome blast from the past...Flint losing automotive industry jobs to Mexico.

Shaun Byron of The Flint Journal reports:
It was announced Tuesday, Feb. 5, that Flint East, which has undergone multiple name and ownership changes in its history, will close November 2013.

Local UAW officials say they were told the work is being taken to Mexico following the end of an agreement that was already extended beyond its deadline.

1 comment:

  1. I think I read that the closing wasn't due to the recent strike vote, because the work transfer had been decided months ago. That of course means only that GM discerned long ago that the local was militant instead of union-plus-corporation-team-oriented, as is the local at the Truck Plant. Manufacturing-union militancy seems to be economic suicide these days.

    I assume that this didn't happen, but suppose that the local had a history of cooperation and had offered some time ago to work for a two-tier payscale, with the lower tier equating to GM's costs to have the work done in Mexico, plus duties and transport, and with a commitment that the plant would be GM's highest quality instrument operation. It's not as if the writing hasn't been on the wall for years...decades, even. But, GM certainly knows that any work-transfer always has significant costs and risks related to learning curves and unexpected glitches.

    Sure, a few of the existing workers can transfer, some can retire, and many others have significant benefits for a while. The militant approach, though, amounts to making a decision for the next generation: if the jobs can't continue to exist at current pay, they're not wanted at all. Would it be better to let the next generation make their own decision whether to do the jobs for less pay?

    It's unfortunate, I think, that when the union idea first arose, this endgame situation wasn't well enough thought through. The community in which the jobs are located really needs to have a seat at the table, and the ability to negotiate with the employer on behalf of the next generation even if the current generation isn't interested.


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