Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

An appropriate Labor Day question Did the union help to kill Studebaker?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
    I say a ONE on that scale, Richard. Labor may have provided the oar power, but it was management that had a hand on the tiller.
    Well, Bob, that seems like a good analogy on the surface...but both of our experiences in life could probably identify a major flaw in it.

    To wit: You have two union members rowing. One union member shows up on time, sober, rows steadily, does a good job, and is happy to have his job. In other words, a responsible fellow, as both of us have known. Meanwhile, the union oarsman on the other side of the boat has erratic attendance, punctuality, and sobriety, and only rows part of the time and doesn't pull steadily when he does show up.

    Now, obviously, both the good oarsman and the management member at the tiller are going to have one helluva time getting the boat to go in a consistent direction, where they would both like it to go, if one rower is intermittent at best. They both suffer, as does the subject enterprise boat, despite the best intentions of both the good union member and a responsible management man at the tiller.

    Sadly, you and I have both known both types of union members.

    Conversely, we have also both known (OK, I'll speak for myself, but I'll bet you have, too), management members (business owners) who genuinely care for their employees and will go the extra mile for them. Most of the time, the employees respond in kind. Likewise, we have both known management pr*cks who are an embarassment to the title entrepreneur, demeaning and taking advantage of their employees as disposable human fodder.

    So in reality, it isn't the position of oarsman or tiller-operator that is defective per se, but, rather, the constitution and commitment of a given individual occupying either position.

    As difficult as it is to believe, this was a major factor in my Dad and his brother Milton selling their Ford-Mercury dealership in Ottawa IL in 1966.

    Earlier, in 1953, they were struggling along selling Packards, Nashes, and Kaisers at 141 East Court Street in Paris IL in July 1953, when this picture of their entire staff was taken in front of the dealership:



    Although I was only 7(!) years old at the time, I knew every one of those guys by name and, today, can recall all their names except the second man from the left. Uncle Milt is behind the windshield and one after-school wash boy is not in the photo. Their only salesman, Floyd Phillips, is closest to the camera. My father is not in the photo; he probably took it.

    Those guys were family to Dad and Uncle Milt. I've never heard any of them, or their descendants, say anything but good about how they were treated by the Palma Brothers...and I have talked with several of them.

    So, what would be a good day to assume ownership of a Ford franchise? How about April 1, 1964, when the original Mustang was introduced and you could sell them off the transport before clean-up, if not sooner? Well, that is the day Dad and Uncle Milt opened Palma-Riverside Ford-Mercury in Ottawa IL.

    But two years later, almost to the day, they gave the franchise back to Ford and walked away.

    Why? As Dad and Uncle Milt have told me repeatedly, "it just wasn't the same" as being a small-town dealer in Paris. The shop was unionized and Uncle Milt said he could feel the glares as he walked through the shop, trying to be a decent guy (and, dammit, he was!) and get work through the shop in a timely manner.

    Can you imagine that? Dad and Uncle Milt were happier trying to sell 1953 Packards, Kaisers, Willys, and Nashes in a 10,000-population farm town than 1964-1966 Fords and Mercurys in a central-Illinois town with several times the market potential....largely because they couldn't establish the close relationship they had with their employees in Paris.

    Like the man said, some things you just can't make up. BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 09-04-2013, 05:55 AM. Reason: spelling
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

    Comment


    • #62
      During the Great Depression Studebaker was forced to lower wages and lay off a large number of the labor force. Some weeks the plants were only in operation for a few days a week. Despite this the company tried to shuffle assignments on the line to provide at least one or two days a week for as many as possible. In addition the management set up commissaries and sold food and fuel to employees on credit. They also aided employees in planting gardens on nearby truck farms and provided trucks to haul the produce.
      Richard Quinn
      Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

      Comment


      • #63
        Sadly the skids under Studebaker's Automotive Division had been undermined and greased by the Corporate boardroom business decisions so thoroughly and deliberately for so long, that it would have went under even if the workforce had worked for free.

        Diversification into multiple non-automotive ventures and fields certainly benefitted Corporate profits and pleased Wall Street and the stockholders..... but also shifted away the funding needed for needed upgrading infrastructure and development of market competitive products.

        In my view, what really killed Studebaker was the lure of their string of successes in building vehicles viewed as being a 'cheap, economical working men's cars' into a youthful 'baby boom' market, during a time when it was a virtual truism being experienced by every dealer that 'Its easy to sell an old man a young man's car ...but hard to sell a young man a car that is viewed to be an old person's car'.
        The thousands of rusted out, smoking, 'bottom-of-the-line' Lark's and dilapidated taxi's on the nations roads and used-car lots did nothing at all to boost the general public's perception of average Studebaker automobiles.
        Oh sure, there were those who admired the Hawks and Avanti's but actual buyers were precious few.
        The lure and goal of producing and marketing cheap Studebaker's as the principal automotive product line assured low profit-margins and low resale values ...exactly what an independent automaker ought not to have been striving for.
        In a booming automotive marketplace, they managed to do themselves in.
        Last edited by Jessie J.; 09-05-2013, 08:09 PM.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Jessie J. View Post
          In my view, what really killed Studebaker was the lure of their string of successes in building vehicles viewed as being a 'cheap, economical working men's cars' into a youthful 'baby boom' market, during a time when it was a virtual truism being experienced by every dealer that 'Its easy to sell an old man a young man's car ...but hard to sell a young man a car that is viewed to be an old person's car'.

          The thousands of rusted out, smoking, 'bottom-of-the-line' Lark's and dilapidated taxi's on the nations roads and used-car lots did nothing at all to boost the general public's perception of average Studebaker automobiles.

          Oh sure, there were those who admired the Hawks and Avanti's but actual buyers were precious few.
          The lure and goal of producing and marketing cheap Studebaker's as the principal automotive product line assured low profit-margins and low resale values ...exactly what an independent automaker ought not to have been striving for.
          In a booming automotive marketplace, they managed to do themselves in.
          Jesse, I deleted the first couple lines of your post when quoting it, because I wouldn't take issue with those observations.

          However, I believe you're on shaky ground with the above quoted material. If you have Turning Wheels from the past decade, go back and take a moment to read these Fred Fox feature articles:

          Part 1: 1934-1954 Studebaker Land Cruisers (December 2003)

          Part II: 1934-1954 Studebaker Land Cruisers (February 2004)

          1955-1958 Studebaker Y-Body Presidents (July 2004)

          1961-1966 Studebaker Cruisers (September 2004)

          If you'll read those, you'll see that Studebaker was quite successful marketing up-scale models. In fact, the production and sales of long-wheelbase 1947-1950 Land Cruisers will surprise you; I know it did me. They were popular cars, far beyond what you'd imagine.

          The 1959-1960 Lark's success without a Y-body for consumer (non-taxicab) sales speaks for itself; it was the thing to do at the time. Sales of up-scale Regal models were excellent: In 1959, they sold 26,428 Regal 4-doors (6s and 8s combined) against 27,933 DeLuxe 4-doors (again, 6s and 8s combined); not bad at all for what was being pitched as a new-sized economy car. 1959 Regal V8 hardtops outsold 1959 Regal Six hardtops 7,996 to 7,075.

          Even with all the turmoil of the 1964 model year, sales of up-scale Y body sedans weren't terribly skewed toward the cheapies. For the entire 1964 model year, Studebaker sold 16,995 Challenger and Commander 4-doors, sixes and eights combined. However, they also sold 11,449 1964 Daytona and Cruiser 4-doors, sixes (Canadian Daytonas) and eights combined.

          More than what Studebaker was offering during these times was the issue of what dealers were ordering. Many dealers were weak-kneed to such an extent that they would not order up-scale models for stock, which makes the above figures through the years even more impressive.

          As to the Avanti being admired but not purchased, it's been well-documented, including Dick Quinn's internal, high-level material presented here on the forum within the past year, that Studebaker could have easily sold twice as many Avantis as they did, had they been able to produce them. They were in terribly short supply for the entire first calendar year of production if you figure production should have been underway in earnest by May 1, 1962. That was not the fault of the product, but the manifold problems they had producing them.

          And the Gran Turismo Hawk certainly was given its place in the Studebaker sun; it was difficult to see a piece of 1962 Studebaker promotional material that did not feature, or at least mention, the restyled Hawk.

          Please re-read (or read for the first time) those Fred Fox articles with an open mind and see if you come away with the same opinion of Studebaker marketing and promoting only cheap cars. There's no denying they did, often successfully, but I believe your condemnation of them in that regard is harsh.

          Respectfully, BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          Ayn Rand:
          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

          Comment


          • #65
            Anyone that thinks that labor does not have a hand in the success or failure of a company is out to lunch. I own my own company and I can tell you that without labor cooperation I am dead. However, that assumes I treat them respectively and pay them a fair wage. I grew up in a UAW household I know from the stories my Dad would bring home about the crap that went on that was an absolute waste of time and money, but GM was making big bucks then and the loss of time on the line was buried in the numbers. I also heard stories of what the union leadership would say about the company and how GM would always give in if they pushed their agenda enough. To give you an idea of what poor labor relations can do to a community, in 1974 GM employed over 28,000 direct employees in Anderson Indiana, today they employ exactly 0, yes not one direct GM employee with the exception of some one that checks on some of the unsold or donated real estate. The Union Local 662 and 663 pushed their luck one too many times and GM said enough was enough. It was an amazing turn around as GM had just completed a new engineering center in 1966 in Anderson and new plants were scheduled to be built , but by 1980 the downsizing was begun and never stopped.

            If you read much of the commentaries of the early 50s there are numerous stories of Studebaker employees running their piece part quota for the day then playing cards or goofing off. Others double dipped, clocked in at Studebaker or Oliver and then going over to the other firm and working their shift, while one of their buddies clocked them out. Yes management made some stupid decisions but the labor took advantage of every loop hole they could and in the end everyone suffered. Ask the folks in Anderson today and see what they say about what happened there, when I go home it is like a ghost town from what it once was and it will never recover.
            Last edited by Dan White; 09-06-2013, 06:57 AM.
            Dan White
            64 R1 GT
            64 R2 GT
            58 C Cab
            57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Dan White View Post
              Anyone that thinks that labor does not have a hand in the success or failure of a company is out to lunch. I own my own company and I can tell you that without labor cooperation I am dead. However, that assumes I treat them respectively and pay them a fair wage. I grew up in a UAW household I know from the stories my Dad would bring home about the crap that went on that was an absolute waste of time and money, but GM was making big bucks then and the loss of time on the line was buried in the numbers. I also heard stories of what the union leadership would say about the company and how GM would always give in if they pushed their agenda enough. To give you an idea of what poor labor relations can do to a community, in 1974 GM employed over 28,000 direct employees in Anderson Indiana, today they employ exactly 0, yes not one direct GM employee with the exception of some one that checks on some of the unsold or donated real estate. The Union Local 662 and 663 pushed their luck one too many times and GM said enough was enough. It was an amazing turn around as GM had just completed a new engineering center in 1966 in Anderson and new plants were scheduled to be built , but by 1980 the downsizing was begun and never stopped.

              If you read much of the commentaries of the early 50s there are numerous stories of Studebaker employees running their piece part quota for the day then playing cards or goofing off. Others double dipped, clocked in at Studebaker or Oliver and then going over to the other firm and working their shift, while one of their buddies clocked them out. Yes management made some stupid decisions but the labor took advantage of every loop hole they could and in the end everyone suffered. Ask the folks in Anderson today and see what they say about what happened there, when I go home it is like a ghost town from what it once was and it will never recover.


              This is complete BALONEY...If all this 'double dipping' was going on by 'untrustworthy' union workers, WHERE WERE THEIR SUPERVISORS AT THE TIME????????

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Chris Pile View Post
                As a former union member at a large aircraft plant, and as a former business owner with multiple employees - I can tell you emphatically, it's ALWAYS managements fault if a business fails.
                Absolutely true. The big three were unionized and survived. Studebaker management made one blunder after another.

                Unions are bad? Half the BMW board of directors are non-management employees, their version of unions. And how is BMW doing? Quite well.

                The BMW plant here in SC is about to become unionized, because....and get this....German management welcomes it. It isn't the angry, name-calling relationship that American car makers have towards unions. BMW has figured out that cooperation between unions and management is smart business for all concerned.

                If you're down this way, take a tour of the BMW factory. You will not see any, ever, goofing off, either by management or shop labor. They are serious people, top to bottom, and they all know where their income comes from.

                And, if you think only union members goofed off, you don't have a clue about all the short work days, golfing afternoons, three-martini lunches and BS discussions by management, not to mention filling their pockets while the ship went down.
                Last edited by jnormanh; 09-06-2013, 07:35 AM.

                Comment


                • #68
                  SN-60 I stand by my post. I worked in college at a union shop and I know first hand the crap that goes on. I was hired as an injection mold janitor at a company in Lafayette IN for the summer. My job was to clean the injection molders that leaked hydraulic fluid. So I show up and being the farm boy (may Dad had a farm plus worked at GM if anyone is counting) that I am went to work. I was told that there had not been anyone in this position for over a month and that there was no one on first shift either. So with broom and cat litter in hand I got busy. This was a 10 hr shift. I was done with cleaning all the machines in about 8 hrs. I went to my supervisor and asked what I could do now. He did not believe I had finished my work so he inspected it. Satisfied it was done he said and I quote: "from now on try to make this job last longer no use to bust your butt to get it done." Since this was the night shift I witnessed employees comeback from their lunch hour stoned and drunk from the bar down the road at 1am in the morning. That experience was enough for me to know there was no way I was ever going to work in a unionized place. Is this managements fault, you bet, but employees are also accountable.

                  So don't even try to tell that double dipping and other wasteful activities don't happen.

                  As for Unions at European companies, they are a totally different kettle of fish than what we have here in the US.
                  Dan White
                  64 R1 GT
                  64 R2 GT
                  58 C Cab
                  57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Dan, both of your posts are spot on. Nothing to argue with there.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Lets all play nice, now

                      I will say this much. I have had one union job in my entire life. It was a government job. I was given a pile of sites I needed to go to and conduct surveys at. On Monday (my first day on the job) I was given 10 site surveys. I felt awful, because I was slow and didn't know what I was doing, and I only got two of them done. I got a good early start on my second day in the field though, and I had the remaining 8 completed, and done properly, shortly after lunch. I called my supervisor to let him know that I was sorry I was so off my game on day one, but I had all of yesterday's sites surveyed, and I could come pick up more. He sounded upset, and asked me to come into the office.

                      I got to the office, and he was upset, but for the wrong reason. Apparently, the agreed upon quota for site surveyors was one to two surveys per day. I had completed over a week's work in one and a half days! He told me that this was a problem, and basically asked me to file them two at a time for the rest of my week, and next week not to do so much in one day.

                      I was two days on the job, and could have probably done a dozen of these in a day, and done them well and to the standards I was trained to. I'm not even sure what you'd have to have wrong with you to be so impaired that you could only manage two of these in a day. The most complicated one I had, where I had to make several phone calls from the site and deal with an angry site manager, took me all of an hour and a half to complete. I could have had nothing but those for a week and still doubled quota.

                      Most of my days where I stayed on quota were spent hanging out at various coffee or donut shops, going to the store, taking an hour right before "lunch break" to get my two surveys done, and spending the rest of the 8 hours I was paid for at home, goofing around on the Internet after I spent 5 minutes filing my reports. I didn't work there too long before I left out of sheer guilt that I was squandering taxpayers money, and nobody in the organization seemed to mind aside from myself.

                      Unions can be a great thing. But they can also go too far, make ludicrous demands, and look like big jerks. When I drove past the Archdiocese in town, and saw the union had put guys on their sidewalk with a big "Shame on the Archdiocese" banner, handing out negative flyers, all because they exercised their constitutional right to hire non-union labor to do a non-major construction project, that was too far in my book. There wasn't even any sort of existing contract between the union and the church in this case. The union was just upset that they didn't get picked to do the job, and were reacting like big babies. (The bigger irony - the people they hired to carry the banner and hand out fliers protesting not hiring union labor, were non-union! )
                      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        During WWII my dad worked at the Washington Navy Yard in what was called the "Big Gun Shop"...where the big guns for combatant ships were built. He worked in the breech mechanisms area and had to be a qualified machinist for the position. Now I don't know if the shop was unionized...dad's not around to ask anymore.

                        There was an automated machine that took the better part of three shifts to conduct its machining job. The first shift operator set the machine up and started it. The last operator finished the job. The middle shift operator simply observed and maintained the job. My dad was a perfectionist in anything he did and was always looking for a more economic way to do things. He worked out a way to cut the machining time roughly in half and increase the amount of finished product in the same amount of time. When his method was accepted and implemented for the war effort he had others come to him complaining he ruined their cushy jobs by making them have to put forth more effort. Dad was dumbfounded...we were in the middle of a war and these guys didn't want to get off their duffs to help.

                        As I said...I have no idea if this was a unionized shop...but if people on the line (or management) don't want to give fair work for a fair days wage, it matters not whether they're unionized. The mindset is simply astounding.

                        After the war my dad went to work for a grocery store chain, eventually becoming a store manager before going off to start his own businesses. He said the company employees were unionized. Whenever contract negotiations time came about and some meetings were held and minor concessions made, the company owners would pay off the union leaders who would then go to the membership and tell them the new contract offer was a good deal for them and to vote for it.

                        Dishonest people exist on both sides. No one side is blameless but on a case by case basis, I'm sure one can change the percentages of who carried more responsibility in causing harm to a company.
                        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by JimC View Post
                          Unions can be a great thing. But they can also go too far, make ludicrous demands, and look like big jerks.
                          All one has to do is look at England's labor situation over the past 300 years. Unions did accomplish a LOT in the first half of the Industrial Revolution, abolishing child labor, long hours with no breaks, unsafe working conditions, etc. Then they went WAY to far in the mid-twentieth century where it made British industry as a whole uncompetitive with the rest of the world in price and build quality of their goods.

                          Craig

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            True Bob. Even some of the lesser models could be optioned so as to make a nice little vehicle. I know there were some real strippies sent out, but my '61 Lark VI Deluxe two door was ordered by a savvy Dealer, I think. It was ordered in Ermine white with a Blue interior, which I think is a classy combo. Then, they upgraded with the Regal package which gave it the Moudings around the windshield and back window, upgraded to vinyl upholstery, deluxe steering wheel and an automatic transmission. It was plain yet an eye catcher! Quentin
                            Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                            Jesse, I deleted the first couple lines of your post when quoting it, because I wouldn't take issue with those observations.

                            However, I believe you're on shaky ground with the above quoted material. If you have Turning Wheels from the past decade, go back and take a moment to read these Fred Fox feature articles:

                            Part 1: 1934-1954 Studebaker Land Cruisers (December 2003)

                            Part II: 1934-1954 Studebaker Land Cruisers (February 2004)

                            1955-1958 Studebaker Y-Body Presidents (July 2004)

                            1961-1966 Studebaker Cruisers (September 2004)

                            If you'll read those, you'll see that Studebaker was quite successful marketing up-scale models. In fact, the production and sales of long-wheelbase 1947-1950 Land Cruisers will surprise you; I know it did me. They were popular cars, far beyond what you'd imagine.

                            The 1959-1960 Lark's success without a Y-body for consumer (non-taxicab) sales speaks for itself; it was the thing to do at the time. Sales of up-scale Regal models were excellent: In 1959, they sold 26,428 Regal 4-doors (6s and 8s combined) against 27,933 DeLuxe 4-doors (again, 6s and 8s combined); not bad at all for what was being pitched as a new-sized economy car. 1959 Regal V8 hardtops outsold 1959 Regal Six hardtops 7,996 to 7,075.

                            Even with all the turmoil of the 1964 model year, sales of up-scale Y body sedans weren't terribly skewed toward the cheapies. For the entire 1964 model year, Studebaker sold 16,995 Challenger and Commander 4-doors, sixes and eights combined. However, they also sold 11,449 1964 Daytona and Cruiser 4-doors, sixes (Canadian Daytonas) and eights combined.

                            More than what Studebaker was offering during these times was the issue of what dealers were ordering. Many dealers were weak-kneed to such an extent that they would not order up-scale models for stock, which makes the above figures through the years even more impressive.

                            As to the Avanti being admired but not purchased, it's been well-documented, including Dick Quinn's internal, high-level material presented here on the forum within the past year, that Studebaker could have easily sold twice as many Avantis as they did, had they been able to produce them. They were in terribly short supply for the entire first calendar year of production if you figure production should have been underway in earnest by May 1, 1962. That was not the fault of the product, but the manifold problems they had producing them.

                            And the Gran Turismo Hawk certainly was given its place in the Studebaker sun; it was difficult to see a piece of 1962 Studebaker promotional material that did not feature, or at least mention, the restyled Hawk.

                            Please re-read (or read for the first time) those Fred Fox articles with an open mind and see if you come away with the same opinion of Studebaker marketing and promoting only cheap cars. There's no denying they did, often successfully, but I believe your condemnation of them in that regard is harsh.

                            Respectfully, BP

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Dan White View Post
                              SN-60 I stand by my post. I worked in college at a union shop and I know first hand the crap that goes on. I was hired as an injection mold janitor at a company in Lafayette IN for the summer. My job was to clean the injection molders that leaked hydraulic fluid. So I show up and being the farm boy (may Dad had a farm plus worked at GM if anyone is counting) that I am went to work.
                              Dan: Reading between the lines, may I assume you went to Purdue University and lived in Indiana at the time?

                              Where and when?

                              Your comments about Anderson IN are spot-on. Back in the day, I often went to Anderson to buy cars for different dealerships. There were a lot of General Motors cars there because there was a lot of General Motors there! But as you say, now zero today!

                              I had occasion to drive Indiana Route 32 straight through Anderson, west to east, last year. That was the same year friends and I visited Detroit to explore "the ruins." The only difference between Anderson and Detroit is size. Of particular note is the enormous brown and green brownfield along Indiana 9, north and south, on the east side of Anderson, where the largest Delco-Remy plant (possibly in the world, seriously) used to be.

                              It's gone, now, leveled as flat as a pancake and looking exactly like the South Bend acreage where Studebaker's machine shop, engineering building, foundry, etc., once stood. But General Motors is still in business building motor vehicles that each have an alternator and a starter motor; the primary components that were made in Anderson for General Motors vehicles and many other manufacturers. Just about anyone reading our SDC Forum with Delco-Remy electrical components in their Studebaker can go out and read the little tag on the generator: Delco-Remy / Anderson Indiana.

                              Famous SDCer Ted Harbit has lived and worked his entire life within maybe 40 miles of Anderson...in fact, the first new Studebaker Ted ever purchased, his 1957 Silver Hawk (225 HP 289 V8 / overdrive) was ordered and delivered through the Anderson Studebaker dealer.

                              Ted's working career in education (teaching and coaching) to some extent depended on the earnings of the 28,000 people you cited in Post #65, Delco being by far the largest employer in Indiana's Madison and southern Grant Counties. And I can assure you, probably the last topic you want to broach with Ted is his opinion as to why the enormous brownfield I referenced above, exists along Indiana 9 on Anderson's east side!

                              Several years ago, The Nestle Company came to Anderson and built an all-new, decent-sized plant along I-69 on Anderson's SW corner. It's up and running; they have a huge, smiling electronic Nestle Quik Rabbit along the north side of I-69 that's really cute. I'm not sure how many jobs that plant created, but I do remember the hoopla surrounding the announcement: You would have thought General Motors was pulling out of Detroit and establishing its world HQ in Anderson, the community was so excited to have any new employer to help ameliorate Madsion County's persistent double-digit unemployment upon The General's gradual exit.

                              'Back to my point of origin, Dan: Hail Purdue! BP

                              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                              Ayn Rand:
                              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Bob:

                                Shenandoah HS near Middletown '74, Purdue '74 - 78 Purdue grad school to '85, MBA '97 So yes Hail Purdue!!!

                                Sadly Anderson is mostly a wasteland in many areas. When I lived in nearby Middletown Anderson had 3 major high schools, major in athletics, band, etc. Now they are lucky to have one. I believe the Nestle' plant brought in something like 300 - 500 new jobs and that was a Godsend to many, but the pay scale and benefits are not even close to what GM workers had made not that many years ago. Kokomo is not too far behind Anderson! But take a look at the Subaru plant in Lafayette. I took a tour of it a couple of summers ago, wow what a nice place. My Dad a UAW member asked about any union at the plant. The tour guide said why would the want one: day care, on-site college classes from Purdue, on-site health club,....... all provided by the company. Far different situation just 100 miles from Anderson! Oh by the way that plant just got $250 million expansion recently to employ even more Hoosiers!

                                To the point

                                Are all union workers lazy SOBs, absolutely not, never said that. However, (USA) Union management has a way of negotiating to the lowest common denominator. There focus is the less work that the workers can do for the most money. Why not? This is not how European Unions work. There is a common understanding that the company must survive if everyone expects to have a job and cooperation is key. There is also a moral issue, even the best worker is not going to do his best if he sees Jack over there slacking off, not getting caught, or worse the Union rep goes to bat for him when he is caught (I heard this from my Dad I don't know how many times of crap workers getting caught, even sometimes turned in by other workers and then keeping their job because the union would go to bat for them). This breeds low moral and working standards for all involved. Yes, management is also responsible, but it is a two way street. So the rating is 5 for labor and 5 for management.

                                What happened at Studebaker and why was that different than GM:

                                1) Studebaker gave very generous benefits and work rules during the war and had a devil of a time clawing any of them back. Military contracts are far different than when you are in a competitive environment. Studebaker's benefits and pay rates were the highest in the industry in the early and most of the 50s.
                                2) Financial soundness. Studebaker did not have the deep pockets and lacked the more modern plants that the big 3 had. Any strike would hurt them far worse than the larger manufacturers and the Union took advantage of that in negotiations. I don't think anyone in labor (or most management) at Studebaker really ever thought the company would stop making cars, it was going to go on forever, but guess what!
                                3) As in number 2 poor work attitude and quality of work was far more detrimental to Studebaker than the big boys. Just less volume to cover the extra costs!!!!

                                Had management and the union worked together to solve problems, increase productivity and overall quality things could have been different, but that was not the way it was in the 50s and beyond in the entire automotive industry. It was all who could get the best deal before the company lost too much money during a strike.
                                Last edited by Dan White; 09-06-2013, 02:00 PM.
                                Dan White
                                64 R1 GT
                                64 R2 GT
                                58 C Cab
                                57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X