Jun 20, 2005
GM pretends it can't compete with the "transplants" – the factories built in this country by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. – because these much newer factories have no retirees. This is what they mean when they fuss about "legacy costs." Well legacy costs are something every company is supposed to set money aside for as they go, every year for every worker. What did GM do with it? Steal it?
***The media always tell us that auto workers are so much better off than other workers – implying or even saying they need to give up something to make things more equal.
Well, if auto workers are a little better off – and it's getting littler fast! – it wasn't because some generous company gave them the wages and benefits we all need. It was because workers who started with nothing organized themselves and became a power and fought the companies to the bitter end. When those fights were won, auto workers not only improved their own situation, their fights helped to bring up other parts of the working class too.
It works both ways. We can be sure if GM takes medical benefits away from its workers, that will be the end of medical benefits for all workers – and not just at Ford and Chrysler.
***Wall Street downgraded GM bonds to junk bond status – that's supposed to scare the workers.
No, all it means is that Wall Street wants to get in on the scam GM is trying to run on its workers. With junk bond status, GM will have to pay a higher rate of interest to all the big money men who will scarf up these bonds. Higher interest, which GM intends to take out of the hide of its workers.