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  1. #1

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    Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    First off, I am sure that many of you Autopians have detailed a (or many) General Motors (GM) vehicle(s) in your detailing career/hobby or that you may be a current owner of such a vehicle, regardless of its age. This strike by the United Auto Worker (UAW) union is a watershed moment, not only for its immediate workers that it represents, but unions in general (no pun intended), General Motors Corporation management and its shareholders, and the American auto industry and the US economy. For every striking UAW worker there are 3 others non-union workers that are directly affected by their actions and 3 more that are indirectly affected. I have every reason to believe that this will be a protracted and drawn-out affair, and if this is so, we all will in some way be affected.
    Less new vehicles could mean that the existing nation`s vehicles will need mechanical and detailing services, presenting service opportunities for some. On the other hand if the economy is even somewhat affected because of the shear number of workers directly and indirectly affected by a protracted strike, even a slightly recessional economy could have negative effect on detailing as this service is one of the first to be put off when personal discretionary spending is reduced and limited. Anyone detailer who witnessed and experienced the Great Recession 11 years ago knows what that means.
    Am I concerned? Yes and no. Yes, indirectly with respect to the economy and somewhere within my managed 401K retirement are probably a few share of GM stock and no, because I do not own a GM vehicle nor do I have a job directly related to the automotive industry, although vehicle detailing is still a hobby for me.

    I will say this in defense of the UAW that, while I am a staunch non-union supporter, I have personally benefited from their actions when working at a company that made machines for the paper industry that had represented machine shop and assembly workers. I road their wage and benefit coat tails that trickled down to engineering and office staff. I also experienced their worst when its workers went on strike and saw the union worker shenanigans when reporting to work and having to cross that picket line each morning entering work and each evening leaving work. It was never the same company or shop worker-engineering worker relationship after that as before the strike. I experienced much the same at a subsidiary company to this company that I worked at some years later when its shop workers chose to unionize and be represented by the UAW. The lines of communication now had to follow strict union protocol rules and I could no longer go out and take assembly floor machines apart myself to review the engineering-error assembly punch list or talk directly to machine shop personnel about concerns I had for making parts and how that may be best represented on the technical part drawings (blueprints) I produced.

    As stated, I do not think than the union or GM stands to win from this. I do understand that GM is also poised to take a different direction in vehicle production with its emphasis on electric vehicles. While I am an old-school combustion engine vehicle supporter, I do realize that the day is coming when electric and autonomous vehicles will be the norm in the not too distant future. Just as Henry Ford and the assembly line of the Model T changed the auto industry forever and marked the end of the horse-and-buggy days , GM management wants to be at the forefront of this emerging technology and market and that requires some drastic changes within GM. Is this strike and its perception of the UAW and the workers it represents the beginning of this? Or is it the end of GM as we know it? Is GM too big to fail? Will the government intervene of behalf of the company, its workers, or the American economy as a whole?

    What do you think?
    GB detailer
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  2. #2

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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    I think you`ve grabbed a whole lot of topics which are really a lot broader than what this strike is about. I guess I`m trying to say you`re reading too much into it. I don`t think this will be a watershed moment for unions, GM, detailing, the economy, or America.

    I have been on both sides of management and labor and have seen good and bad in both. There is a Detroit show that`s available on YouTube called AutoLine After Hours. A guest there made a good point about GM when the closing of Lordstown was announced. Addressing the criticism of closing the plant when the company was very profitable, he noted that in the old days GM would be criticized for keeping an under-utilized plant open, appeasing the union, having too much capacity, etc. So they can`t win, now they are trying to be proactive and they get criticized also.

    If you`re looking for something that may change the downward spiral that US industry and manufacturing have been in for...well, my entire adult life, this might be a lot more important than the GM strike and makes for an interesting read...however I doubt it`s really going to change the trajectory of the MBA-CEO greed cycle: https://fortune.com/longform/busines...tions-purpose/
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  3. #3

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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    Well I love this place and Im keeping politics out of it for fear that whatever I say will offend someone.

    I hope everyone involved gets what they need.

    Right now Im concerned that I have water spots.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    I saw on the news that the average wage for an hourly worker was 90K a year. I think in this day and age that I would learn to live on that before I went on strike. Now having said that, I’m a union member and both my uncle and cousin worked for GM in Baltimore for 30 years a piece.
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  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    I think you`ve grabbed a whole lot of topics which are really a lot broader than what this strike is about. I guess I`m trying to say you`re reading too much into it. I don`t think this will be a watershed moment for unions, GM, detailing, the economy, or America.

    I have been on both sides of management and labor and have seen good and bad in both. There is a Detroit show that`s available on YouTube called AutoLine After Hours. A guest there made a good point about GM when the closing of Lordstown was announced. Addressing the criticism of closing the plant when the company was very profitable, he noted that in the old days GM would be criticized for keeping an under-utilized plant open, appeasing the union, having too much capacity, etc. So they can`t win, now they are trying to be proactive and they get criticized also.

    If you`re looking for something that may change the downward spiral that US industry and manufacturing have been in for...well, my entire adult life, this might be a lot more important than the GM strike and makes for an interesting read...however I doubt it`s really going to change the trajectory of the MBA-CEO greed cycle: https://fortune.com/longform/busines...tions-purpose/
    Setec --

    Thanks for your post, and for that link.. Read every word.. I hope the BRT will be able to start this rolling in their own Companies..
    But you are so correct - the MBA-CEO-Greed Cycle --
    Dan F

  6. #6
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    First off, I am sure that many of you Autopians have detailed a (or many) General Motors (GM) vehicle(s) in your detailing career/hobby or that you may be a current owner of such a vehicle, regardless of its age. This strike by the United Auto Worker (UAW) union is a watershed moment, not only for its immediate workers that it represents, but unions in general (no pun intended), General Motors Corporation management and its shareholders, and the American auto industry and the US economy. For every striking UAW worker there are 3 others non-union workers that are directly affected by their actions and 3 more that are indirectly affected. I have every reason to believe that this will be a protracted and drawn-out affair, and if this is so, we all will in some way be affected.
    Less new vehicles could mean that the existing nation`s vehicles will need mechanical and detailing services, presenting service opportunities for some. On the other hand if the economy is even somewhat affected because of the shear number of workers directly and indirectly affected by a protracted strike, even a slightly recessional economy could have negative effect on detailing as this service is one of the first to be put off when personal discretionary spending is reduced and limited. Anyone detailer who witnessed and experienced the Great Recession 11 years ago knows what that means.
    Am I concerned? Yes and no. Yes, indirectly with respect to the economy and somewhere within my managed 401K retirement are probably a few share of GM stock and no, because I do not own a GM vehicle nor do I have a job directly related to the automotive industry, although vehicle detailing is still a hobby for me.

    I will say this in defense of the UAW that, while I am a staunch non-union supporter, I have personally benefited from their actions when working at a company that made machines for the paper industry that had represented machine shop and assembly workers. I road their wage and benefit coat tails that trickled down to engineering and office staff. I also experienced their worst when its workers went on strike and saw the union worker shenanigans when reporting to work and having to cross that picket line each morning entering work and each evening leaving work. It was never the same company or shop worker-engineering worker relationship after that as before the strike. I experienced much the same at a subsidiary company to this company that I worked at some years later when its shop workers chose to unionize and be represented by the UAW. The lines of communication now had to follow strict union protocol rules and I could no longer go out and take assembly floor machines apart myself to review the engineering-error assembly punch list or talk directly to machine shop personnel about concerns I had for making parts and how that may be best represented on the technical part drawings (blueprints) I produced.

    As stated, I do not think than the union or GM stands to win from this. I do understand that GM is also poised to take a different direction in vehicle production with its emphasis on electric vehicles. While I am an old-school combustion engine vehicle supporter, I do realize that the day is coming when electric and autonomous vehicles will be the norm in the not too distant future. Just as Henry Ford and the assembly line of the Model T changed the auto industry forever and marked the end of the horse-and-buggy days , GM management wants to be at the forefront of this emerging technology and market and that requires some drastic changes within GM. Is this strike and its perception of the UAW and the workers it represents the beginning of this? Or is it the end of GM as we know it? Is GM too big to fail? Will the government intervene of behalf of the company, its workers, or the American economy as a whole?

    What do you think?
    Lonnie --
    Thanks for this ^^^
    There is so much baggage that both GM AND the Unions have, it would take decades to unpack it..
    I would rather not have to be in charge of that ever..

    What always makes me chuckle about all the awesome possibilities for Electric vehicles, their incredible future, etc., and on, is I hear NO Solutions on How all these things will be charged, since hardly any talk is directed to the logistics of placing Zillions of Charging Stations forever, across the Nation..Perhaps placing it at every Gasoline Station, over there by where you air up your tires ???

    And then, NO Talk about how many More Electricity Suppliers burning COAL, (Oh NO, forgot about the RAW GREEN NEW DEAL/Climate Change), will have to be built and added to the Grid to charge all these vehicles up every night..

    Yes, I am positive, some talking head has already said - "we will have enough to do this" but no one shares the paper that proves this out - ever-...
    Dan F
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  7. #7

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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    Setec:
    thanks for your comments. I do not see this as an attack on my person (character) or credibility. Is is just my opinion made from evaluations and judgments (or perhaps more correctly surmising and conjecture) of information drawn from modern media sources. (We all know that Captain Obvious is the THE source for "fake news", according to a recent POTUS Tweet)
    Yes, I did read the linked article from the Business Roundtable (BRT) of various American corporation CEO`s. Drastic operating business ideologies and practices that may be difficult to realize, the summation being: "good of the people before profits".

    JSFM35X:
    Maybe you are correct: stick to things you can control and don`t worry about things you cannot , like GM-UAW relations and their (perceived) outcome or effects.
    How DO you get rid of water spots??

    One question to all Autopians reading this thread:
    Would not having GM around as a business as we know it today change what you do detailing-wise?
    GB detailer

  8. #8

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    Re: Thoughts On the GM Strike and Its Consequences for Detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    .. stick to things you can..[and will ]... control and don`t worry about things you cannot..[and/or won`t]....
    That.

 

 

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