One Thing I Did Not Know about the Car Industry

So I was talking to a source in the car industry.  He’s pissed and laughing at the Republican efforts to union bust on the back of the auto crisis.  He says that the unions are a problem for keeping GM viable, but not in the way everyone thinks.  He said it doesn’t matter if every union worker were making $90 an hour and got free pet-sitting.  What the union does that hampers a place like GM is that the union dictates what suppliers GM can us.

So, if you’re building a vehicle that needs x part, depending on the deal GM has with the union, sometimes you can get a bunch of bids on x part from different suppliers and go with the least expensive, but other times you have to just go with the supplier the union dictates, regardless of whether you could get a better deal someplace else.

Obviously, I don’t know how true this is, but, if I were on Mythbusters, I’d call it ‘Plausible.’

3 thoughts on “One Thing I Did Not Know about the Car Industry

  1. That’s interesting, B. Maybe it has to do with the union not wanting GM to purchase from suppliers who run non-union shops when there are union shop suppliers available. If that’s the case, they’re just looking out for their own in a sense. Just a thought.

  2. I’m sure that’s the reason. I just think it’s interesting that folks who work at a car company like GM see that as a bigger problem by far than what individual union workers make–though we’re all hearing that it’s those wages that are somehow the ruin of the American car company.

  3. I’m surprised that the union-busters in government and the corporate punditry haven’t seized on this, too. Maybe they think it too esoteric for the people they’re trying to hoodwink.

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