New hires not yet buoying the spirits of autoworkers
Despite new hires in the automotive industry, autoworkers are not quite ready to celebrate.
January 31st, 2011
04:24 PM ET

New hires not yet buoying the spirits of autoworkers

American automakers are modestly adding new jobs that some say signal a strengthening American manufacturing sector.

Autoworkers are not celebrating yet.

Second-generation GM autoworker Leonard Smith says the last time he checked, there were still some 6,000 workers laid off.

“The plant I’m working at now at Marion, Indiana, has 70 original hires out of 1,400 employees,” Smith said.

He said those who were not laid off have been transferred to other plants. He and many others have been transferred several times. They’re called “GM gypsies.” Smith said no one feels secure because there are still “flex employees” which are temporary workers being hired and/or rehired with thousands of union workers running out of unemployment benefits.

He says, too, that with the government bailout of GM, the union now owns 17 percent of the corporation.

“That seems like a conflict of interest to me,” he said.

Bob King, the new president of United Auto Workers, said it’s not the union that owns the shares of GM but rather the Volunteer Employee Benefit Association, a group that pays health care benefits to retired GM, Ford and Chrysler employees.

“The VEBA owns only about 10 or 13 percent now,” said King. “We sold shares during the IPO, but we still hold a significant portion.”

He also said it’s not a conflict of interest.

“We’re all in this together,” King said. “The more profitable and successful the companies are, the more secure our membership is."

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Economy • General Motors • Indiana
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Philip

    Justa what? My theory is that all families are dysfunctional, and we all suffer from chemical imbalances. I was bummed out once and went to see a phsychiatrist. He talked to me for 15 min. and prescribed Prozac ! I think if Albert Einstein wore a disguise and went to one, they would prescribe him some sorta anti-psychotic. I actually took one pill and had a horrible reaction. (ended up crashing my brand-new car into a pile of dirt off the road) I was a very young man then. My parents and siblings are all jacked up and refuse to even discuss family problems. I still see a mental health therapist every month, even just to have an understanding ear. His name is Gregory, and he refuses to use drug therapy. Gee, I've never told anyone outside my familt about this, nor given out my name. (except one time. i was trying to get through Mehdi General Dr. bad's caste-iron didn't work, but I tried.

    February 1, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    ok my phone is about to die so im gonna take a stress pill and go to sleep nite all and ty

    February 1, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Omg, runnindummy...she sounds priceless!!!

    As it happens, MY mom is 83 also, and I also have a daughter named Andrea, and...(Twilight Zone music starts)...but it's absolutely true! I do!

    And Phillip, do you know how many men there are with your name? Well, I don't either, but when I get to the library tomorrow I'll get on the real computers so the pictures are a little bigger...

    Prayers to you and yours, chrissy. Keep the faith...your daughter will be in my thoughts!

    February 1, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Oh, your mom and mine are alike chrissy. And now you know why I treasure nice people too! (and I post what I know about what's going on in the world because I care about people, and want them to know how evil the worlds governments all are, in hopes they will see putting faith in them leads to death...whereas faith in God leads to life!

    February 1, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Ok main pic is taller than the others, and it has a Colorado flag. And I'm honored to be your friend on facebook too! ttl and sleep well. (also, I have some dietary advice that might help you) goodnight and agape'

    February 1, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Goodnight chrissy...Andrea is on my mind. And I can hardly wait to see you tomorrow. Sweet dreams and hugs and kisses. Love, Philip. (agape' love)

    February 1, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    Hey everyone , posting is gettin ta be a crapshoot for me. Im sorry to hear of chrissy and banasys trouble,i know its cliche but i really will keep you in my thoughts . just went thru some trouble of the same vein so i know how scary it can be and i know its easier said than done but try not to borrow trouble from tomorrowand people are thinkina you .

    February 1, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. @ all of you

    'OMG I just had my nails's snowing here is it snowing there? blah blah blah... tomorrow I'm taking fluffy & spot to the vet...blah blah blah...OMG get the f- outta town me too! You don't say?'

    People STFU!

    This is a NEWS BLOG – NOT a 'chat room' please stick to the topic and material at hand or take your flakey nauseating 'chat' somewhere else. Now could we get back on topic? COULD WE?

    February 1, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. raven

    Wow ,for that huge post you just vomited up ,i dint see one word about the auto workers . maybe you should take your own advice ya big grouch .

    February 1, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    @raven: lmao!! Right on!

    February 1, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Good morning everyone! What a wonderful day! I slept like my old hound dog used to do on my porch, you? Looks like we upset someone with our niceties. (again) It must seem strange to some, that even the news can help bring people closer together. It has the opposite effect on most. The angry blogger will just have to excuse our unruly behavior I reckon. And I'm sure my serious posts at the start of this chart didn't exactly say what they wanted to read. (shrug) and raven, good point and well said!

    February 1, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    I see you there banasy. Always sneaking around, popping in when ya least expect. he he he...really enjoyed chatting with you and the others last night. And i trust you slept well 'cuz yer up and at 'em!

    February 1, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    @@all of you....who got their nails done? banasy? I musta missed that one, or I'd of asked her what color, and said something like I wish I were there to blow on 'em. he he. Lighten up fellers.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar

    @Chrissy, I hope Andrea gets well soon.The World needs good people around. @banasy, stay well, nice person.

    February 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
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