Archive for automobile industry

Labor union gets help from pastors, students... in Mississippi! "God supports the working man."

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labor union brought us

When we think of labor union support, Mississippi doesn't usually come to mind. But it may be time to think again, because a union effort is gaining momentum there.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, labor union workers are finding an ally in the South. The United Automobile Workers are getting help from unusual sources in organizing a Mississippi Nissan plant. The plant employs 5,000.

Nissan management has been pushing their employees harder and harder by speeding up the assembly line, leaving them exhausted and feeling mistreated with no way to stand up for themselves. People are noticing, supporting a "more pleasant place to work" so that workers will feel less pressured, demeaned, and become more productive.

In the words of one longtime employee, now "other people are willing to stand up for you. It takes the fear out of you."

This time, union organizers have help from an unexpected source. Pastors and students across this part of central Mississippi have joined the campaign, championing the workers' cause. From pulpits, at leafleting campaigns outside Nissan dealerships and at auto industry events in Brazil, Geneva and Detroit, these new organizers have a message: God supports the working man. [...]

The UAW is very clearly involved with the pastors' efforts, helping them form the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan...

But for the pastors as well as the workers the organizing drive is not just about union membership. For many, it has become a way to shore up a shrinking middle class. Their campaign, they say, is a modern-day civil rights struggle whose antecedents go back more than 50 years to the days when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, the day after he spoke to striking sanitation workers.

Mississippi's conservative Legislature also has waded into the fray. The House of Representatives earlier this month passed a package of bills that would restrict union organizing, one of which labor leaders say is meant to prohibit pastors and outside groups from protesting with the Nissan workers.

Gee, what a surprise: Conservatives trying to bust labor union efforts. And we know how union members tend to vote come election day, right? (Hint: Democratic.)

African Americans have a history of being more open to unionizing than white workers are, so that may be making the difference here, since most of the plant's work force is African American. It will be an uphill battle, but this is good news. One day, pairing the words "labor union" and Mississippi may not seem so extraordinary.

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"What is #Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?" He's protecting monopolies.

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chris christie tesla free marketImage via.

Oh that scamp New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he says he is all about the free market. He's so supportive of a free market that he's doing whatever he can to stomp all over it in the name of "protecting consumers." Isn't that just like Governor "Heartbroken"? Always so concerned about his people; why, he's so concerned that they're still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy due to his broken promises and (alleged) nefarious deeds.

Gee, when you think about it, his position is about as hypocritical as that of pro-forced birthers who demand that Big Government stay out of our lives as they force trans-vaginal ultrasounds up women without their permission while denying them the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. To protect "children." But they're not "children," they're zygotes and fetuses. But I digress.

Both are the kind of "protection" we can do without.

And with that, here is today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The car dealers' racket," Opinion, March 17

So New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed a decision last week by the Motor Vehicle Commission to "protect consumers" and effectively kick Tesla out of the state by prohibiting it from selling its electric vehicles directly to consumers.

It appears, however, that the Christie administration is actually protecting long-established dealership monopolies.

Christie recently huffed, "We have an opportunity problem in this country because government is trying to control the free market." What is Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?

Another Christie talking point: "We need to talk about the fact that we're for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success; not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers."

I challenge Christie to come up with a better example of the free market at work than Tesla Motors, the first successful new American car company in more than half a century.

Linda Nicholes

Huntington Beach

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Climate change? Pfft! say deniers. But money talks, and right now it's screaming.

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climate change Jack and Jill

Climate change, schlimate change, what a bunch of hooey, because, brrr, it's cold! Clearly, that means there's no global warming, right? Wrong.

Psst! Weather is not the same as climate, denier geniuses:

weath·er
noun \ˈwe-thər\

: the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place : the temperature and other outside conditions (such as rain, cloudiness, etc.) at a particular time and place

: bad or stormy weather

vs...

cli·mate
noun \ˈklī-mət\

:  a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions

a: the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation

Now that that's settled, let's take a little peek at how increasingly extreme weather conditions, likely caused by overall climate change, are affecting more than what we wear. As we speak, we are seeing an alarming economic impact. As I read my morning Los Angeles Times, several articles scattered throughout the Business section caught my eye, and not in a good way:

1. Stocks dive on fresh growth worries:

Stocks were pounded by discouraging data released Monday on manufacturing, auto sales and construction spending.

You're probably asking, "Yeah? So? What does that have to do with climate change?" Plenty:

2. GM, Ford, Toyota auto sales plunge with January's cold weather:

Arctic-like weather across much of the nation put a freeze on January auto sales. [...] General Motors said Monday that its U.S. sales fell 12% in January to 171,486 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. [...] The automaker said its sales were the worst in the South, Midwest and Northeast, all areas that suffered from the extreme cold. [...]

Ford Motor Co. said its January fell 7% to 154,644.

Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. [...]

Toyota reported January sales results of 146,365 vehicles, a 7.2% decrease from what it sold in the U.S. in the same month a year earlier.

“January was off to a solid start, but the weather conditions slowed industry sales in key markets late in the month,” said Bill Fay, Toyota’s division group vice president and general manager.

but wait there's more smaller

3. Manufacturing activity slows in January; stocks slump:

"A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January," said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

4. California citrus season shortened by December freeze:

Consumers will have less time to get their hands on California citrus this year because of a cold snap in early December that damaged $441-million worth of fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, an industry study released Monday said. [...]

An estimated 40% of the [mandarin orange] crop that remained on trees were lost. That amounts to 4.7-million 40-pound cartons and $150 million in lost revenue. [...]

About 30% of the navel crop was lost in the valley, the heart of the state’s agriculture industry. That amounted to 22 million 40-pound cartons or $260 million worth of navels.

Valley lemon producers lost 20% of their crop, equal to $24 million in lost revenue.

And finally...
tadaa35. 'Polar vortex' wallops fliers' wallets:

Flights canceled in January's "polar vortex" inflicted $2.5 billion in costs on stranded travelers, according to a new analysis. The $2.5-billion figure represents lost productivity, hotel expenses and meals, MasFlight reported. The airline industry lost $75 million to $150 million. [...]

To avoid the hefty fines, airlines are now more likely to cancel flights during bad weather. [...] [T]he weather woes could take a bite out of the bottom line for some of the nation's biggest airlines.

"They'll definitely take a financial hit," Counter said.

All of those stories appeared in just one day, in one section of my paper.

And while all this is taking a financial and emotional toll, we have the filthy, "game over," disaster-in-waiting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline looming.

Hope the weather's good wherever you are, because the overall climate-- whether economic, psychological, political, or meteorological-- is chilling.

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Chevy Camaro production to move to US

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bigthree

Scares me to think that this is a result of right to work bullshit, but at least it's jobs and American cars.

You might think the Chevy Camaro is one of the ultimate expressions of American motoring muscle--and you'd be correct, except for the fact that it has been built in Canada since its 2009 return to production.

Ten great car-related giftsTop 10 cars with the best resale value
That won't be the case with the sixth-generation Camaro, however, as production is moving out of the Oshawa Car Assembly plant in Canada and into the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan.

Reasons for the move, according to Chevrolet, are improved production efficiencies and lower capital investment, as the Camaro is the only rear-wheel drivevehicle currently built at Oshawa. The Lansing plant also builds the ATS and CTS, so adding the Camaro to it "consolidates the RWD assembly with the Cadillac CTS and ATS."

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VIDEO: "Without Pres. Obama's rescue of the auto industry, Ohio would have collapsed." Ohio unemployment drops to 7%.

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:

Brian:
"They came up and said you are definitely laid off—everybody as of right now."

Karen:
"What was I going to do for my children? Are they going to have a home?"

Miles:
"Without President Obama's rescue of the auto industry, Ohio would have collapsed."

George:
"Mitt Romney would have just let us go under- just let them go...bankrupt."

Romney:
"Yeah, that's...that's exactly what I said, the headline that you read which is, said: "let Detroit go bankrupt."  

Karen:
"And for him to just say— let them fail."

George:
"How can you say something like that? It's just beyond me."

 Via ProgressOhio.org:

The state's unemployment rate for September was 7%, down from the 7. 2% rate recorded in August, the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services announced Friday.

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VIDEO- GW Bush chief political strategist: What Paul Ryan said in his convention speech "isn't true."

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I saw this ABC "This Week" segment today, and Matthew Dowd was a welcome relief from all the GOP lies. He was a chief political strategist for GW Bush’s 2004 campaign, so his calling out Lyin' Ryan was that much more meaningful:

"Paul Ryan, what he did in his speech, I think so stretched the truth. And I like Paul Ryan, have a lot of great respect for Paul Ryan, but the elements that he said about closing the GM plant which closed before Barack Obama took President, about the Simpson-Bowles bill which he opposed and then all of a sudden he faults Barack Obama for. At some point, the truth should matter."

"Anybody watching that speech.... believes one thing... He was trying to convey that Barack Obama was responsible for the closing of that GM plant and that isn’t true."

Enough already. The Janesville falsehood: “The plant was closing regardless of what Obama did.”

H/t: Think Progress.

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Enough already. The Janesville falsehood: "The plant was closing regardless of what Obama did."

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Link.

June 3, 2008

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement by General Motors that it planned to close its Janesville plant by 2010, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl and Representative Paul Ryan sent a letter to General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner asking him to reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and requesting a meeting to discuss the possible retooling of the plant for different production lines.  Click here to view the letter.

Here's the tick tock, month by month. President Obama could not have saved Janesville GM plant. It closed before he took office.

Here is The Maddow Blog's reporting.

H/t: @kcinci

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