July 6, 2007

Delphi Contract Rejection

The rejection of the wage-cutting agreement by Delphi workers at the Lockport plant has been an issue I have been unsure I want to tackle. After all, if I disagree with the vote, I must be anti-union. If I agree with the vote, I am out of touch with the international economy, and unwilling to adapt to a dynamic, volatile market.

I respect the position of the workers at Delphi on the contract vote. I believe it shows tremendous fortitude and courage to show management that they are not satisfied with the contract, and they stood together.

But what price are you willing to pay to show your courage? Are you willing to lose your job to show how strong and unified you are? I am not asking because I doubt your rationale, I simply would like to know.

With Lockport slated to be one of four sites in the U.S. to remain open, while 10 others are scheduled to close, the vote may change future plans, and the future of the Lockport plant may be in jeopardy.

What does annoy me is the concern of contract workers with the management compensation. Workers often say that management is undeservedly overpaid. Who cares? As my mom always said when my siblings got something I didn't, or got to stay up later, or got to go somewhere I didn't get to go: Worry about yourself. Management's bonuses didn't put Delphi in a hole, a changing world economy did.

Granted, in the 70's, when Datsun was making toy cars that got 40 mpg, management failed to adapt accordingly. However, the reason they didn't adapt accordingly was the gluttony of the American consumer. Bigger, faster, more, more, more. Ultimately the consumer did come to the realization that smaller and more economical was necessary, and the American automakers found themselves way behind their Japanese counterparts.

Members of UAW in Lockport will soon have the opportunity to vote on another agreement that will be the tell-tale sign of the future of this facility. With the national agreement in place let's hope that the local shows a willingness to adapt.

No one wants to see anyone take a drastic pay cut, but is unemployment a better alternative?


larry s said...

I don't think there is any answer for the Delphi workers. Most of us have never been in that situation, and never will. Personally, I think they'd better vote yes on the next vote or the plant goes on the "hit list". The world is changing and those that don't change with it get left behind.

Mr. Pink said...

Tough position to be in and it's a shame it had to come to this. It really is the fault of both management and union leadership and the national level that failed to recognize the auto world was shifting and take steps to avert the crisis we are currently in.

I agree that all of this concern about management is misplaced, but it's hard to overlook the bonus payments...what are they being bonused for?