Tuesday, July 13, 2010

 

Is GM Sending More Jobs Outside the U.S.?

GM, the company we paid billions to bail out, is selling its steering business, Nexteer, to a venture backed by Chinese companies. Recognizing that selling and buying subsidiaries a part of every day business, I still wonder about the wisdom of selling another part of America to the Chinese. Currently, Nexteer's headquarters are located in Michigan but most of its manufacturing is done outside the U.S.

Will the combination of union demands and Chinese ownership soon drive all Nexteer manufacturing out of the U.S.?
Members of UAW Local 699, the union representing hourly workers at Nexteer Automotive, on Thursday voted down a contract that could have cut wages across the board and created about 500 jobs, a union official said.

Had the contract been approved, workers would have sold back the 3.75 percent raises they received on Jan. 3, 2010, for a one time amount of $5,000. The average hourly cuts would have been about $2, while skilled trades employees would have seen cuts of $8 per hour.

New contract negotiations will take place in 2011 when the current contract expires.
No one likes to see a decrease in wages. But, I wonder how the Chinese will handle the contract. Could it be something like, "Sorry, your job has moved to one of the several manufacturing plants we already have in China."? I wonder if we'll be losing jobs instead of creating 500 more. We'll see next year.

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