Ford Employees: It's a New Ball Game (11/3/09)
When Ford Motor Company recently asked for contract concessions that would bring its labor costs more in line with its domestic competitors, most rank and file union members resisted. And last week, the proposal was voted down locally by a large margin.
I think this is bad news - for Ford and its employees. Because the truth is, the auto industry is changing right before our eyes in real time, and we'd better change with it or get left behind.
I previously worked at Buick in Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors, and I saw a stubborn workforce almost completely force GM out of the city. Today, that city is basically surviving on the GM pension plans of retired and displaced workers - and that can't last forever.
History is a predictable teacher and we certainly don't want to become Flint.
I recognize it's difficult for anyone to go backward and you Ford workers know more about this than I do. All I'm saying is the days are nearly over for guaranteed lifelong employment at wages and benefits for jobs that don't demand high education levels or rare skills. In a rapidly changing world a job that is slightly less today than it was yesterday is still preferable to no job at all tomorrow - isn't it?
What do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.