Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Death of the WE Car and Zombie Motors

Wall Street Journal's former Detroit reporter Paul Ingrassia, reports on the failed marriage between the UAW and GM management:

"Saturn's chief UAW apostle was Donald Ephlin, the visionary head of the union's GM department who passed away in 2000. Ephlin strongly believed that Detroit's auto makers and the UAW had to change from confrontation to collaboration.

Thus the Saturn contract, built on the Memorandum of Understanding, eliminated most of the work rules that strictly limit the tasks UAW members can perform. Workers would be called "technicians" and get just 80% of standard UAW wages but would share in Saturn's profits, allowing them to earn more if Saturn succeeded. Most Saturn executives and managers would be assigned a UAW counterpart, and the two would share in key decisions.

The latter provision was overly idealistic, but certainly an improvement over constant and costly combat. Nonetheless, Saturn's labor innovations were attacked by UAW traditionalists, who coined the term "Ephlinism" to describe Saturn's heresies. Ephlin retired, on the defensive, in 1989. Mr. Smith retired a year later, his reputation besmirched by GM's chronic underperformance, just before Saturn built its first cars".

Okay...the Saturn...the WE car (womens entertainment) car concept...with "no hassle" negotiation. Sweet, kind, and plastic. If any male wanted to chop at least an inch off his manhood, driving a WE car was the road to that end. No one can resurrect this stinking corpse, and GM is a zombie eatting off the living tissue of the American taxpayer. In fact, Detroit is the "Land of the Zombies". The economy didn't destroy the auto industry, the UAW and bad management did.

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