Sunday, February 22, 2009

Evolution of a Kausfiles Item

Here are Mickey's two rules for negotiating with unions:

1) Break the union.

2) There is no "2)".

Which is why it's not at all strange that he continues to believe that unions not only wish ruin upon the corporations they negotiate with, but also despise their members, hate America, kick babies, etc.:

Could it have been that Saturn's success--in a plant where workers traded inflexible work rules for responsibility and job satisfaction--threatened the hide-bound Wagner Act rulebooks of all of the UAW's other locals? So that the UAW pressured Saturn to build cars outside of its Spring Hill, Tennessee home--while it supported GM in systematically starving Saturn of new products? Just asking!

In case you're wondering what's missing there, it's called "a link to anything at all to support his theory". Curious, I went online to find what Mickey could be relying on here …

There is also the sneaking suspicion that UAW workers at plants covered by the old-style UAW work rules aren't exactly happy to be shown up by their brethren in Tennessee.

Oh, wait, that’s Mickey in 1998 (!). I wonder how many times he’s advanced this theory …

2001 -- [T]his heavily-advertised new vehicle was really part of a GM plot to kill off Saturn, which was guilty of producing reliable cars that put the rest of GM's offerings in an embarrassing light. To carry out their fiendish plan, GM executives decreed that the L-series would be built at a tired old plant in Delaware that isn't covered by the innovative labor agreement prevailing at Saturn's Spring Hill, Tenn. factory.

GM executives killed Saturn! Because of reliability!

2005 -- But GM's traditional divisions and its national union had good reason to want to extinguish Saturn, which after all was building reliable, well-made cars without complicated work rules! Saturn embarrassed the UAW.

The UAW killed Saturn! Because of embarrassment! (Note, too, how 1998’s “sneaking suspicion” of UAW jealousy has magically transformed into 2005’s acknowledged fact.)

2005 -- But the result wasn't that the Saturn model spread to other GM (or Ford) plants. The result was that the rest of GM--union and management--mobilized to make sure that Saturn got killed off as quickly as possible, a project they've almost completed.

They both killed Saturn, while working together! (BONUS: a welfare reform comparison, inapt even by Mickey’s low standards)

2005 -- The rest of GM--management and UAW--bitterly resents Saturn's success (which makes the non-Saturn divisions look bad). GM headquarters starves Saturn of new products. When Saturn finally gets a new midsized car, the UAW and GM insist it be built at a tired old-style factory in Wilmington, Del.

GM, the UAW, the CIA, the Mafia, Castro, LBJ, the Teamsters and the Freemasons killed Saturn!

2005 -- Why didn't GM build on [Saturn’s] success? Because the Saturn workers' very competence threatened the continued existence of other, less competent parts of General Motors--and there were more people working there than at Spring Hill.

The best part of this post is Mickey obliviously linking back to the 1998 piece as though it was a prescient omen of things to come, instead of evidence of how he recycles the same stupid thought over and over and over again.

[Will Mickey engage in fact-free speculation about the motives of labor unions seven years from now? – ed. FMK’s bold prediction: “yes”!]

2008 -- If the automakers react the way GM reacted when its Saturn subsidiary actually started making good cars, their legislative strategy is clear: Figure out a way to punish Ford!

GM killed Saturn (again)!

And, of course, now we have the UAW pulling the trigger, with GM complicit in the murder.

It's like the worst version of Rashomon you could ever imagine.

So, all told Mickey’s been “just asking!” about the role that UAW resentment – resentment of productivity, of reliability, of the apparent ability of management to unilaterally destroy an entire division on a whim – played in the demise of Saturn for over a goddamn decade now. Has anyone actually answered?


Put your hand down, Mickey.