Union in Detroit


Union in Detroit

Wow! The Teamsters have organized the workers at Detroit Metro Parking and are threatening to strike. They are demanding that new workers be hired at the same rates as existing workers and some other issues…

Although I always have some sympathy for parking workers and their pay, the union might look around in Detroit and see what its aggressive activities have done to the local economy. Michigan is the only state that isn’t feeling the results of the economic engine we have seen in the US over the past few years. The US auto companies are in disarray. GM is surviving, but just barely, Chrysler is for sale and Ford is posting huge losses. The Japanese auto companies who are building cars right here in the good ole US of A but are non union are selling rings around their US competitors.There is some talk that they may be no US automakers in a few years.

Why, the legacy issues brought on by unions browbeating the auto companies into practices that simply can’t work. Huge retirement programs, extremely high wages, guaranteed employment, even if there’s no jobs, and unbelievable non participatory lifetime health care for workers and their families…Add em all up, and they mean that the money you pay for a Chevy today is paying for retirement and health care for a person who build a Chevy 20 years ago.  The result of sweetheart deals in the past have been short term gain, long term pain. 

The non union foreign automakers seem to be doing quite well. They pay their employees fairly, treat them with respect, and for some reason, the employees love it. Their benefits are great — and they build great cars.

The union working with the parking employees at Detroit Metro had better get on board. As one person commenting on the story said:

I would  find it hilarious if the striking cashiers were fired and replaced by change machines.

The change machines I dealt with never called in sick or griped
that they making too little to accept dollar bills and doing math.

OK, he got the nomenclature a bit wrong but you get the point. The my guess is that half the 125 employees at Detroit Metro could be replaced with P and D  or CCIO operations (Pay and Display or Credit Card In/out) and all would be right with the world, except of course, the world of the 60 people who were out of work.

I can’t read the minds of the airport officials but if they aren’t looking at automation, I’ll eat my hat.


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John Van Horn

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