copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert
The morning broke. There was a momentary blip in the air as broadcasters spoke of the pending United Auto Workers potential strike. Was the short and sweet General Motors walkout the topic of discussion, or perhaps, the work stoppage at Chrysler was the focus. No matter; neither was of interest to Jack, a corporate executive. He received word from his accountant hours earlier; health care costs are too high. We must cut benefits. Perhaps it would be better if we eliminate a large portion of the workforce. Certainly, that would save us much money. The company must consider the stockholders. Individual buyers and brokers look at earnings and expenses.
Richard, a man that rose through the ranks, currently holds the title of Vice President in a well-known organization. His company is up for sale. Potential buyers will scrutinize the books. Every penny, nickel, and dime must be accounted for. He too was summoned. In his case, the President called. Employee medical expenses must be slashed. We can no longer offer life insurance. This business already purged the employees they could afford to lose. Workers wages are exceedingly low. That helps to make this company competitive. Richard recalls, years ago, he chose to work for this institute because of the benefits. Even then, he knew how valuable remuneration was. How might he endorse such a reduction or loss?
Bethany slept soundly, more so than she had before. Yesterday, she went to the doctor for a routine examination. Her tests were clear. A clean bill of health was delivered. That was wonderful. The results calmed her mind; indeed, she was elated. In the immediate, she was comforted by the knowledge she had health insurance. An indemnity would cover the bill. She said this aloud; for most of her adult life, she had no health care coverage.
Marion, a woman Bethany met in the waiting room, spoke of her concerns. She diligently punched a time clock for forty years. Marion is a retired member of the city staff. Possibly, she was a state employee, communications worker, a retail associate, or a salesperson. Maybe her hours were not logged in a conventional manner; nonetheless, she worked hard for decades. Perchance, Marion is a Mom. While she and Bethany sat, each expectant of their test results, they chatted.
Marion mentioned the change in her circumstance. With the new Medicaid “donut hole’ as she called it, she could barely keep up. Routine examinations were now a luxury. She feared a thirty-five dollar co-pay. The funds seemed excessive. Bethany shared her saga. Only twelve months earlier, she had no insurance. Three tests were required. The total cost was close to a thousand dollars. For her, thirty-five greenbacks would have been a welcome fare.
Shelia chimed in. This lovely lady, also adorned in a medical gown offered she and her husband own a same business. Medical costs and coverage for their few employees is a concern that escalates daily. Often, the couple thinks to move from one insurer to another. However, in the past when they had, they realized no rewards. Shelia shutters, sighs, and then inquires, “How long have each of you been here today.” She notes, my appointment was scheduled for two, Post Meridian. Now, near three hours later I sit.
The three women look at each other and exclaim. This is health care in America? The conversation continued. All were exasperated and excited to have an opportunity to speak. Marion mused as talk of health care turned to politics, and minutes were but a blur, “Now that we have solved all societal ills.” Of course, they had not. Union strikes were not discussed.
Jack, Richard, Bethany, Marion, Sheila, and her husband are not employees of General Motors, Chrysler, or Ford Motor Company, another corporation we will hear about in the near future. Yet, each is affected by the circumstances that concern the United Auto Workers. They are all Middle America.
We all have our tales, our sagas, and situations. However, sadly, we see our own lives as separate from the anxieties of others. They are not. We are united, whether we are member of a labor Union or not. We are citizens of the United States.
For many decades, in this country, the cry was heard, “As goes General Motors, so goes the nation.” While the prominent automaker is but half the company it was only years ago, it remains archetypal. What occurs within General Motors is emblematic and endemic.
Two weeks after GM laborers partook in a two-day walkout, and then agreed to terms of their new contract, a six-hour strike against automaker Chrysler began. It too was less than significant for most Americans. At least that is what journalists told us. The mantra on the morning of October 10, 2007 was Chrysler is now a privately owned company. Therefore, its woes will not affect the stock market, which, as we know, is the true economic driver.
As reports of a possible job-stoppage streamed across the screen, and announcers screamed of the possibility in the early morn, “average” Americans were reminded, they need not fear. Portfolios were safe. The implication was, and is, stockholders are important. Investors matter. Laborers do not; they are but a insignificant commodity.
In recent years, we have heard the hoopla; more Americans own stocks than had in the past. Everyone is invested in the market. The economy is strong and has been for decades. Currently, laws favor financial planning. Life for Americans is far better than it has ever been. Less than a decade ago, we read . . .
In 1998, 52 percent of Americans owned shares in public companies or equity mutual funds, either directly in their own accounts, or indirectly in retirement and trust accounts. This percentage was four times higher than in 1980, when only 13 percent of Americans owned stock. By the end of the century, more than half the population were capitalists in some sense.
Many factors contributed to the broadening of stock ownership. New pension laws shifted many employees’ pensions to the new 401(k) plans, most of which are invested in stocks. Mutual funds made it easier and cheaper to start investing. Federal law deregulated brokerage commissions. On-line investing facilitated stock purchases by reducing both paperwork and commissions. Finally, after almost twenty years of unprecedented prosperity, many Americans had significant wealth with which to invest in equities.
However, even then, working stiffs did not prosper as polished “professionals” might have. Richard may have increased his income. He might have invested in a healthy portfolio. The authentically affluent such as Jack, certainly reaped some capital gains. There is little doubt; this entrepreneur likely increased his worth greatly. Nonetheless, as in years past, prosperity was not equally shared.
Approximately half the population still pinched pennies and tied their purse strings tightly. Bethany, Marion, and Sheila were perhaps among those that struggled. Dispensable, discretionary income was but a dream, the American Dream not realized. Life may have looked good for those that control the message and wish to promote further speculation. , the silent near majority knew then as they do now . . .
Dow’s all-time high inconsequential for most Americans
By Sylvia Allegretto.
Economic Policy Institute
December 11, 2006
Much attention was paid last week to the Dow Jones recovery to its prior peak level first reached in 2000. It is important to put this milestone into perspective for average working families. Fostered by the constant focus and widespread attention given to the performance of the stock market, conventional wisdom has it that everyone in the United States is heavily invested in the stock market. However, the data tell a different story.
The most recent triennial data from the Survey of Consumer Finances show that the historically increasing trend in the shares of all households owning any stock reversed course from just over half in 2001 (51.9%) to just under half in 2004 (48.6%)1-the first such decline on record (Figure A ). In 2004, only about a third of Americans had stock holdings, valued at more than $5,000.
The distribution of stocks, by value, is highly tilted to the wealthiest Americans as shown in Figure B. In 2004, the wealthiest 1% owned 36.9% of all stocks, while the next 9% owned 41.9%. Hence, the wealthiest 10% controlled about 80% of all stocks while the bottom 90% owned just over 20%. Given the starkness and persistence of inequality in stock holdings, there is no reason to think those in the bottom 90% are doing any better today.
Those that were at the bottom in the 1990s remain there. Some sunk further into oblivion. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, the poor fell further than they imagined possible. Their hopes and dreams dashed. Few manual laborers see a home in their future. They worry; they do not believe they can provide an adequate education for their offspring. Putting food on the table has become a priority. The impoverished were not in the physician’s office with the three women. They could not afford to be.
The Middle Class, or those that once were among the median population, also sink lower and lower. Caught in the vacuum of a downward spiral, formerly comfortable Americans fear falling down the dark hole. The darkness of the drain is in sight. In recent years, as the market races to all time highs, the decline downward accelerates for all but the corporate tycoon. Magnates prosper and plan to build their profits; Jack absolutely is.
Please consider the Chrysler Corporation and the company that purchased this organization months ago, Cerberus Capital. While circumstances differ essentially, the basic motivation is the same, big bucks. General Motors may be slightly more patient in their pursuit of ample profits and earnings; nonetheless, each company considers financial interest more than those of the workers.
“GM is a classic automotive firm,” McAlinden said. “They’re in it for the long haul, and they produced a long-haul UAW agreement, that says ‘We’re going to save money on this agreement, but it’s going to take four years to roll out and we’re going to do it with a lot of new product.'”
Chrysler, on the other hand, was recently bought by Cerberus Capital, a private investment company that buys other firms, restructures them and then tries to sell them or take them public for a healthy profit.
“Cerberus is a private equity firm, who in the past hasn’t really taken over a company to increase its product line,” McAlinden [Sean McAlinden, a Michigan auto analyst] said.
If perchance Cerberus Capital were interested in the car industry, the likelihood that they would cater to the needs and concerns of the workers is not high. Consider a morning with Jack or his accountant. Chief Executives, in America, do not wish to negotiate. Capitalist cohort Ronald Reagan ensured entrepreneurs would not have to do more than the minimum. During the Reagan reign, in the 1980s, labor laws were re-interpreted. Legislation favored business owners. Richard Hurd, professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University spoke of a lack of incentive for employers to talk to disgruntled workers in recent decades. Moguls are legally able to stonewall employees; only a semblance of good-faith is required. Employers merely need to come to the table and talk, nothing more.
Magnates are in truth, in the driver’s seat. Professor Hurd muses; today, we have one-tenth the strikes we had in the past. This Cornell experts expounds, globalization has lessened the power of employees. Americans can no longer afford to strike. Thus, today’s workers, at least in the manufacturing industry have become cautious. They do not wish to challenge the company. They fear a loss of personal savings. More importantly, laborers are anxious, they will not have a job, if they leave, even for a moment.
In the past ten years, strikes have become creative vehicles. Protests are announced far in advance. The strategy is tactical. There is no incentive for the employer to make a quick change, such as hiring a new staff. Intentionally picketers hit the pavement for a day or two. Grievances are expressed. The intent of a walkout is meant only to send a message, Few hear the more subtle communication, or appreciate the endeavor.
Jessica Kelly, a twenty-one year old thinks people on strike are “over zealous.” She believes walkouts are “not the proper way to handle a situation.” Miss Kelly considers a picket line, a stampede, not an appropriate means of expression. Jonathan Yates, states, “It is just posturing.” He concludes, “No one really cares about stopping work. They almost like they are just following up on their Union commitment.” Yates states, “I think the Union largely exists for its own sake.”
Apparently, in 2007, the Union, or the need to fight for fair wages and benefits is a dated concept. The populace is convinced; strikes serve no purpose. Unions are corrupt. They are but another Big Business and indeed, they are or will be if the recent trends are realized.
UAW dissidents argue against ratifying GM deal
By Nick Carey?
Friday, September 28, 2007; 10:48 AM
Grand Rapids, Michigan (Reuters) – Gregg Shotwell says that by agreeing to a new contract with General Motors Corp (GM.N) the United Auto Workers has ceased to be a union.
“The UAW is now a corporation,” he said, sitting on the back porch of his home in a leafy neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “It has become UAW Incorporated.”
Shotwell says he is one of a large number of UAW members, angry at the union for the groundbreaking contract it concluded with the top U.S. automaker this week. The pact would shift health-care costs away from the struggling company and create a lower tier of wages for new hires.
Those health-care costs — if the contract is ratified by GM’s 73,000 hourly workers — would be managed in a UAW-administered trust fund that would have more than $30 billion in cash and other assets.
“There are a lot of people who are disgusted with what they’ve done,” Shotwell said.
This is only one aspect that concerns workers. Those that care about more than their stock portfolios see it differently. Months ago, stock analyst speculated the adoption of a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association Trust [is] Unlikely To Cover All Future Health Care Obligations For Big Three Automakers.
Morgan Stanley analyst Jonathan Steinmetz on Tuesday told investors that negotiations next month between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three automakers could result in a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust that covers some, rather than all, of their future retiree health care obligations, the Detroit Free Press reports (Higgins, Detroit Free Press, 6/20).
At the time of this assessment, another labor expert voiced his opinion. Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said, “I think it is going to be a hard sell. It is not out of the question, but there will be a lot of resistance to it.” Perchance there was, then, or at least in the minds of many. However, desperation over time changes much. Perspectives are easily altered when job security is on the line, the assembly line. Shaiken explained, “The goal of the UAW leadership is clear. They want to provide as secure as possible a route for health care for the members. If they feel a VEBA will do that, they may be more open” (Detroit Free Press, 6/20).
Possibly, Union leaders presented a persuasive argument. Workers, financially strapped in an economic era that rewards only the top one percent, could not take the risk. The threat of temporary or permanent unemployment was one individuals, and families, felt they could not endure.
Many General Motors employees were aware of the Caterpillar situation. Caterpillar Corporation employees chose a similar option years ago. They too thought the funds would be managed well and last for decades. However, they soon found themselves in dire straights.
GM-UAW contract causes deja vu moment for Caterpillar retirees
September 27, 2007
Peoria, Ill. (AP) – Retired Caterpillar Inc. workers say they can’t help but view a tentative contract deal hammered out between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers with skepticism given their own bitter experience.
A key element of Wednesday’s tentative agreement, which led the union to call off a two-day strike by the 74,000 workers it represents, is the Volunteer Employee Beneficiary Association.
VEBA, as the program is called, is a trust established by a company and union to pay for or defray health insurance costs for retirees.
A hard-fought contract deal hammered out between Caterpillar and the UAW in 1998 also included a VEBA trust funded by $32.3 million the UAW had set aside into special training and overtime accounts.
That VEBA trust, however, was depleted in just six years.
“God, did we get stuck,” Caterpillar retiree Stan Valentine told the (Peoria) Journal. “Initially the VEBA worked OK, but it just got eaten up by the astronomical rise in medical insurance (costs).”
As a consequence, around 20,000 Caterpillar retirees now have no choice but foot the bill for much of their medical costs.
What is a worker or a retired employee to do? Bethany spoke of her situation. She had nowhere to turn for financial assistance when in need of medical care. In retirement, Marion realizes a similar distress. In an Industrialist country, investors are more far important than workers. People are but a byproduct of production. They can be replaced. Employees are dispensable. Money moves the nation. Humans that toil to survive cannot be bought and sold; thus, they are presumed to be worthless. The creatures that build the cars are costly. It seems those in other professions are considered an unwanted expense as well. Ask the communication workers.
Embarq Locals Protest Termination of Retiree Health Care
August 23, 2007
Embarq members and retirees in six states will hold demonstrations this Saturday to protest the company’s announcement that it will terminate retiree health benefits for Medicare-eligible pensioners.
The cuts average more than $2,000 per year for every retiree and dependent affected, and, “They will have an even greater impact on families with acute medical problems who rely on expensive prescriptions,” said Telecommunications Vice President Jimmy Gurganus. “This will be devastating to many people, especially for longer term retirees who haven’t seen a pension increase in years and are struggling on meager fixed incomes.”
Embarq, Sprint’s former local phone operation, which was spun off last year, announced it would drop its $500 annual subsidy for Medicare premiums as well as supplemental coverage that pays partial medical costs when Medicare payments are below 80 percent of treatment expenses. Embarq also is capping life insurance for retirees at $10,000, a substantial cut for many.
At demonstrations in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey and Oregon on Aug. 25, Embarq retirees – joined by local politicians and labor leaders in many locations – are set to tell the news media how the cutbacks would cripple their incomes and keep them from being able to afford needed treatments and drugs.
Many echoed Sandra Muntis of Elida, Ohio, who wrote to her local describing the situation of her husband, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and her own struggle with diabetes and ulcers. Without supplemental health care from Embarq, “we could not afford procedures requested by physicians to keep us in good health,” such as colonoscopies, tests for prostate cancer and others, she said.
About 14,500 retirees and dependents, both management and union, would be affected. Embarq says it will save $30 million a year from the cuts.
Save the almighty buck. Sanction the free-enterprise system that, in all its compassion, leaves people behind. Human beings become ill. They are easily injured. Health Care is expensive and corporations say they do not wish to absorb the costs. Thirty million dollars a year saved. That is the priority.
Consumers, in this free market forget how they contribute to the cycle. They, the average buyer, craves low costs too, regardless of what this might mean. When the Big Three fret of medical expenses, we, the common folk forget, Big Businesses pass the cost onto the customer. “Woe is me” is quite a claim when we, those that purchase poorly made domestic or foreign products, those that pollute the environment, and encourage the notion of built-in obsolescence, propagate a profit driven margin.
Wal-Mart CEO defends low-cost imports
At conference, Lee Scott cites retailer’s business model, says some customers don’t have ‘the economic luxury of making a broader social statement.’
October 12 2007: 8:07 AM EDT
Rogers, Ark. (AP) — Chief Executive Lee Scott defended Wal-Mart’s reliance on low-cost imports Thursday against what he called emerging economic nationalism.
Scott told a retailing conference he would like to stock more American-made goods but that Wal-Mart’s business model is based on offering the lowest price for consumers who cannot afford to spend more.
Scott was answering a question from an audience member who wanted to know if Wal-Mart would buy more U.S.-made products to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of global transport and to bring manufacturing jobs back from places like China.
“Right now, the way it works, our model is ‘We sell for less.’ If we put products out there and we have to sell them for more because our competitors are sourcing more efficiently and more effectively for the same quality of product, our model doesn’t work. We cannot be at a price disadvantage,” Scott said.
“Lest anybody forget, 20 percent of Wal-Mart’s customers don’t have a checking account and they do not have the economic luxury of making a broader social statement,” he told a conference of the Center for Retailing Excellence, part of the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton Business College.
And so it goes. Medical bills are calculated into the price of a vehicle, clothing, communication services, college tuition, as are wages, and pensions. Carmakers remind us, these overheads must be reduced if sales are to increase.
Chrysler, just as General Motors, and Ford, needs to be competitive. So too does Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, your corner market, your neighborhood retailer, the drycleaner, the bicycle shop, the bakery, and even the local bank. All must appear attractive. They react to the market. The law that governs each in this Industrialist Mecca is “supply and demand.”
Customers and investors alike concur; they will only buy when a company shows itself to be strong. While the definitions may be nuanced, essentially, they are the same. Give me the best bang for my buck, even if it means that Mom and Pop will be out on the street without a penny to their name.
Why might we ask are workers willing to settle so quickly. How can we explain a reduction in labor strikes, or a reluctance to ask for fair and decent wages? Why are we willing to let retirees wallow in despair and ignore the reality that soon, we will be among them.
American workers are desperate; more than money, they crave stability. The little things, food, shelter, clothing to protect the body from the elements, and good health, are all most people long for. Equal opportunities are welcome, or at least an equitable education might be nice. However, at this juncture, residents of this great nation are happy to settle for the smallest slice of the pie. We heard the tearful cry during the General Motors industrial action.
UAW officials said the 73,000 UAW members who work at about 80 U.S. facilities for the nation’s largest automaker didn’t strike Monday over what many thought would trip up the talks: A plan to shift the retiree health care burden from the company to the union. They said they also didn’t strike over wages.
They said union members walked out because they want GM to promise that future cars and trucks such as the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt small car or the still-on-the-drawing board Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.
United Auto Workers, please understand the American Dream is not found in an assembly line mentality. Such a dream is wrought with strife. General Motors alone illustrates this truth. The once powerful workforce is half of what it once was. A new snazzy steel or aluminum design will not create other than it has. As long as we continue down this path and do not dare to take a detour, nothing will change. Economist and former blue-collar stiff Barry Bluestone understands this.
“By and large, they are looking for answers to the wrong question,” said Barry Bluestone, an economist and labor expert at Northeastern University in Boston. “They are fighting over the same things they were fighting over 50 years ago.”
Bluestone is no stranger to the auto industry. His father, Irving Bluestone, 91, was the lead negotiator for the UAW with General Motors during the 1960s and ’70s. As a college student, Barry Bluestone worked summers on an auto assembly line. And as an economist, he has documented the importance of unions in creating the American middle class.
Back in the early 1990s, father and son wrote a book, “Negotiating the Future,” in which they argued that both unions and companies had to move their focus from dividing the pie to expanding it. That meant putting aside the rigid notion that the role of unions was to fight for better wages and benefits, and the role of management was to run the company, they wrote. To remain competitive, companies had to engage the energies, creativity, and commitment of their workers. And that process required a different approach to collective bargaining.
Perchance such a notion might be embraced in the work environment as well. Bluestone addresses such a need. He understands what some Japanese corporations do. The principles of Kaizen, consideration for the people, the process, and consistent improvement, can be fruitful and bring personal and professional fulfillment.
When people passionately pursue their endeavors health and welfare is improved. Possibly, the American Dream is achieved for one and for all. When a proud populace lives as the Constitution elucidates, we establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. When we honor society as a whole, when individuals are revered and valued happiness is more than a pursuit.
Imagine the reduction in stress related illness and injury if we all loved our work. If our careers enabled us to have a creative outlet that served the community, ah, how lovely life might be.
I suspect a street-paver, proud of his work stops to show his son or daughter what he has done to contribute to society. An electrician pleased with what she did speaks volume. She shares her successes. She installed the best sound system the Performing Arts Center has ever heard. People tell their friends and family of their triumphs, what they created that felt good and meaningful to them.
A teacher talks of the lives he changed. A retailer recalls the customer that came to the store everyday, only for the quality of the companionship. A restaurateur reiterates, his clientele came for the ambiance. The way the chef could put together a meal . . . hum waaah! The stories of success and satisfaction are innumerable when workers are allowed to be creative and feel committed.
As Bluestone acknowledges, this wasn’t a wholly original idea, but one that had been a favorite of the left wing of the labor movement in the 1940s and championed by the UAW’s own Walter Reuther until 1950, when he surrendered the dream of industrial democracy for the more fetching and immediate dream of a middle-class life for blue-collar workers.
That grand bargain, known as the Treaty of Detroit, served both sides well until the early 1980s, when foreign competition began to render it unsustainable. And yet, in the 25 years since, very little has changed in the collective bargaining process.
During the late 1980s, there were some successful experiments with Total Quality programs borrowed from Japan. And General Motors had some early success with its new-age Saturn division. But according to Ruth Milkman, a labor expert at UCLA, worker involvement was never really embraced by either the unions or management and never allowed to rise beyond production issues on the factory floor. As long as oil prices remained low and SUV profits high, neither union nor management seemed to care.
The environment has changed, but the labor relations remain much as they were in 1950 . . .
Faced with the folly of many decisions, people are hesitant to move down the road less traveled. Americans would rather drive their gas-guzzlers and gather no moss than contemplate change. They fear that if they stop and examine their lives they may have to accept that what we do and have done for decades is not viable.
The battle over job security is also emblematic.
With more than a quarter of GM’s 73,000 unionized workers set to retire in the next few years, any job reductions that result from falling sales or increased productivity should be able to be handled through attrition. But the union is also worried that this might not be the case if the company decides to outsource entire functions.
By now, it should be apparent that the wrong way to handle this legitimate concern is to prohibit all layoffs, plant closures, or outsourcing. The right way would be to leave those out of the labor contract but give workers a real voice in those decisions and a financial stake in making the right ones.
Getting there would be hard. It would require not only new mechanisms and procedures, but a much higher degree of trust and respect.
But it would be a more hopeful sign if this strike were about hammering out a new model for labor-management relations rather than merely preserving job guarantees that no company can — or should — provide.
Might we dare imagine, that if we were truly happy in our endeavors, we might be healthier. Over time, many of us would want to pursue a dream that now, we do not have the courage to consciously desire. Change sends chills up and down the spines of most. The idea of an unexpected, unwanted, an unwarranted job loss makes us shiver. The prospect of happiness, doing what we love, creatively, with commitment, we cannot phantom what that possibility might bring.
Jack may seem to have success; yet, he as many Chief Executives understand he cannot continue as he has. Perhaps he will walk hand-in-hand with Steve Burd, Chairman and C.E.O. of Safeway supermarkets, who now advocates for Universal Health Care, or he might join a broader coalition.
Richard remembers what once was his truth. He sought employment with an organization that provided generous benefits. Now, will he have the courage to truly propose what even Presidential candidates only indicate is a necessary possibility, a Single Payer Universal Health Care plan. Will his upper management position yield the power to persuade.
Bethany understands what is like to be without. Will her time with an indemnity be short-lived as corporations crumble under the weight of health care cost, wages, and the misery a business experiences when they must be accountable to the market.
Marion put in her time. Currently, she resides in a nation that does not have time for her. How might she fare. In the future. Sheila, her husband, you, and I might be better served if we dreamt of what we never did before. Perhaps a paradigm shift, while a popular idiom was never tried. Until it is, we cannot know what is true. Might we embrace the worker more than the market. Perchance we could care for people, cover families, and create a culture where people are valued and valuable.
I leave the decision to you dear reader. Do we take the road less traveled or continue to see the USA in a Chevrolet, one whose cost continues to be too dear.
Health Care, Pensions, Stocks, What Bonds Us . . .
73,000 workers walk in nationwide GM strike, By Chris Isidore. Cable News Network. September 24, 2007
Stockholders. The First Measured Century. Public Broadcasting Services. 1998
New Chrysler Contract Hinges on Jobs, Health Care, By Frank Langfitt. Morning Edition. October 11, 2007
Chrysler sold in unprecedented auto deal. By James R. Healey, Sharon Silke Carty, Chris Woodyard and Matt Krantz. USA Today. May 14, 2007
UAW Wins Job Security Guarantees in Deal, By Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin. The Associated Press. Sun Herald. Friday, September 28, 2007; 3:25 PM
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UAW dissidents argue against ratifying GM deal, By Nick Carey. Reuters. Washington Post. Friday, September 28, 2007; 10:48 AM
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Embarq Locals Protest Termination of Retiree Health Care, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC. August 23, 2007
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