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

    banasy...have you tried hitting your back button a couple of times? It takes you back and your post is still there, then you can submit it again. (instead of writing it all again. I do this a lot when my long winded posts won't go thru. (and looking to see if you can help chrissy with her question)

    February 1, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    and ruffnutt ty u too. who knew u could be so human lmao thanks 4 making me laugh

    February 1, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    OMG!!!!! My daughter's name is Andrea, also!!!! (Goosebumps)

    Sure you can ask...I get really bad migraines, but I've always had them...they have been more frequent lately, though. Basically I've had one continuous headache since October, with different levels of intensity. They're not always migraines, though, but the headache never really goes away. And it's making me one cranky lady!

    No tumor, though, so that's good...and my Doctors says I DO have a brain, haha. (He's a close friend, also.) Next step, Nurologist. I also notice that my headache gets worse within 15 minutes of arriving at work, so I may be working in a sick building. Idk.

    I just know I will be praying for your daughter, and if anyone can find you the facts of what prolactin does, Phillip can and will. He's the go-to-guy, you know!

    February 1, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    ty phillip i thought maybe she missed my question or maybe it was to personal

    February 1, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    @Phillip: yes, then it tells me it's a duplicate, then I change it slightly, then it still won't post, then I back button and change it again, then it's another dup, then I stamp my feet, then my dogs cower because I'm cussing louder than a stevedore, (not that there's anything wrong with that!), then I go eat a bowl of ice cream, (cliché time) then I sit down, lather, rinse, repeat.

    So yes. 🙂

    February 1, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Hay! You sound better chrissy! I wish I knew more about Andrea's condition so I could help. (hoping banasy does) And if you ever get too down, you can call me anytime (except during business hours) he he, just kidding. Really, if it get's bad, I will give you my number. It sounds like you've got a good friend to take you....but if you ever need to talk, just let me know. My name is Philip Douglas on facebook. I'm the one diving into a river underneath the Colorado flag...not hard to find.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    And I'm on a blackberry, so it's S. L. O. W!!!

    February 1, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    ty banasy but ur the go to girl also lol hey have i introduced u to my friend phillip? u two should go out sometime lol i also like to play cupid. although for me if i get in a relationship ever again it will be 2 soon lol

    February 1, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy


    Oh, phillip and I are already buds! Thanks for the cupidity, but I'm married...and happily, even!!

    Never say never, darlin! When you least expect it, and all that...;)

    February 1, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Lmao @banasy. That is too funny. Not the migraines, the other. I can't recall my last headache. Most headaches come from not drinking enough water though. And yeah, I would check your office building. is it old? Is there dust build-up in the vents and ductwork. Do your migraines get worse when the A/C is on? Is your sleep interupted by this at home? (probably on your way to facebook...he he. There isn't much there to see w/o being a "friend", but can message and I think see a few pics without becoming one.)

    February 1, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    "cupidity"...gotta love it.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    yea ty i do feel better thanks guys i just been tryin to keep my faith with god but ya know every once in awhile i 4get. i gotta tell ya too earlier phillip when u and raven were talkin about ur grandmas and names made me think of my mother who is just a

    February 1, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    I'm on FB also, and I'm gonna friend you Colorado butt, Phillip. You're gonna see very soon why my s/n is banasy...

    And pretty much yes to all of your questions...and I KNOW I'm dehydrated on a regular basis...I'm working on it, I'm working on it!!!!

    Friending you on FB, then off to zzzzz-land. Gonna shovel some...snow tomorrow!

    February 1, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    a lil on the crazy side or @ least has no prob speakin her mind after all shes 83 whos gonna argue. anyway my new brother in law (not a smart guy) & my sister were playin cards so he tells my mom hes indian & polish. so she says gr8 ill call u runnindummy

    February 1, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    now u all know why i treasure ppl who are kind cuz obviously my mom is not even tho i still laugh when i think of that mostly cuz he luved it

    February 1, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
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