published Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The CrossBlue

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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alprova said...

I wonder...will the Volkswagen SUV sell or will it flop?

Seems a bit risky to start making one this late in the game.

It had better be cheap, that much I know, for it to have half a chance to pay off.

At the Press conference yesterday morning, the SUV was referred to as a "true American vehicle."

That's going to be a tough sell to Americans. It's a shame the UAW isn't on board to help sell it too.

July 15, 2014 at 12:30 a.m.
fairmon said...

alprova said...

That's going to be a tough sell to Americans. It's a shame the UAW isn't on board to help sell it too.

You mean the same way they did when GM was in the tank making the wrong cars due in part to the lack of money to retool and to spend on R&D because of agreeing to ridiculous UAW demands with strikes and threat of strikes?

Why is the UAW and the NLRB so opposed to an independent works council like those at European VW locations?

I still buy only automobiles made by American manufacturers even though many of the parts are imported. However, unlike VW and other foreign owned operations the profits remain in America when the albatross called UAW allows them to be profitable.

July 15, 2014 at 3:05 a.m.
fairmon said...

alprovva said...

You anti-union people simply cannot fathom a scenario where unions and management work well together for a common good.

That statement shows how little you know about the UAW and their unreasonable work practices. They had never done anything for the common good until bankruptcy was a threat to them then their contribution was minimal at best.

Building cars is not a craft like the trades where there is a common good. People are hired and trained by the automobile mfg. and paid well in order to attract those capable of learning the job and to retain them once that investment is made. The UAW and similar unions do nothing except impede growth and competiveness.

Do you ever wonder why the politicians allow the trades to be screwed by allowing illegals with or without work visas to do sloppy craft work but protect unions like the UAW?

July 15, 2014 at 3:27 a.m.
AlienObserver said...

So this is a "true American vehicle". Does true american mean gobble lots of gas and produce tons of C02? I guess true americans are not very bright people then.

July 15, 2014 at 3:49 a.m.
Reardon said...

Like many Americans, I'd buy "American" (someone define that for me please) if the quality of the car wasn't complete garbage.

Who in their right mind would buy a GM car nowadays?

July 15, 2014 at 7:11 a.m.
fairmon said...

Reardon said....

Who in their right mind would buy a GM car nowadays?

Ford quality is excellent, service is good and they did not need a government bail out. They are not indebted to or controlled by the government and car Czar.

July 15, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.
alprova said...

Fairmon wrote: "That statement shows how little you know about the UAW and their unreasonable work practices. They had never done anything for the common good until bankruptcy was a threat to them then their contribution was minimal at best."

I counter that very easily with the fact that this past week, no less than 400,000 paychecks went to UAW members, and you can correct me if I am wrong, but I didn't read anywhere of a problem between the UAW and any company.

"Building cars is not a craft like the trades where there is a common good. People are hired and trained by the automobile mfg. and paid well in order to attract those capable of learning the job and to retain them once that investment is made. The UAW and similar unions do nothing except impede growth and competiveness."

Really? You don't believe that the common good might represent the quality of the motor vehicle manufactured?

Your anti-union rhetoric is quite expected and easily refuted. How long has it been since their have been any labor disputes at any of the UAW represented plants in the United States?

"Do you ever wonder why the politicians allow the trades to be screwed by allowing illegals with or without work visas to do sloppy craft work but protect unions like the UAW?"

Sir, there are literally hundreds of other labor unions in this nation that work flawlessly to bring together the best workers who do the best jobs and they demand a decent wage for their workers.

You'd be singing a different tune if you had EVER worked in a union such as I describe.

July 15, 2014 at 8:24 a.m.

You libs can't face the fact that UAW is not needed here. Simple as that.

July 15, 2014 at 8:28 a.m.
alprova said...

I own a GM produced vehicle and I love it. Haven't had a minute's trouble with it.

Sure...it's on the recall list, and in time I will take it in and have it fixed, but I'm not experiencing any of the issues related to the recall. I like GM and would buy GM again.

Name me a car company that has a perfect track record and has not had to recall vehicles. Does such a thing exist? I have a relative with a ten year old Ford pickup with two separate recall notices recently being sent for two serious issues.

What do I care if a Republican cheerleader never buys a GM product ever again?

You people who attach politics to everything you say and do are ridiculous people.

July 15, 2014 at 8:29 a.m.
alprova said...

Z-man wrote: "You libs can't face the fact that UAW is not needed here. Simple as that."

You ridiculous people can't face the fact that most people in this nation do not need Volkswagens, so my question then becomes, "Does Chattanooga really need Volkswagen and is it going to pay off long term?

If that SUV does not sell, how long do any of you believe those jobs are going to last?

July 15, 2014 at 8:32 a.m.

VW wouldn't invest in something that wouldn't sell. They wouldn't spend billions on something that wouldn't sell. They're pretty efficient. It's safe to say that they did the marketing research.

You can say that most people in this nation don't need 3/4 of the things being sold out there.

There are no guarantees. No job is guaranteed for life. I know Union folks feel that companies exist to make sure everyone has a job for life, and their every needs are met for life, but companies exist to make a profit.

July 15, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.
alprova said...

I dunno Z-man if I agree with all that you wrote up there. After all, VW is already dealing with a 13% plunge in sales of the Passat.

All the research in the world cannot gauge what buyers will find appealing next month, much less next year.

Clearly, you're not qualified to weigh in on such matters.

Car buyers are very fickle. This month's hot seller will become next month's dud, and just about that fast too.

July 15, 2014 at 9:28 a.m.
tifosi said...

The UAW and the common good of drinking alcohol and smoking weed during a break at Chrysler - in the parking lot next to local UAW. Nice.

Hey VW workers have a place to go now!

July 15, 2014 at 9:34 a.m.
LibDem said...

I have a GM vehicle with years of excellent service.

July 15, 2014 at 9:46 a.m.
Ki said...

GM making garbage? or did their parts supplier sell them damaged, faulty parts. Remember, GM's auto parts supplier was taken over by a company controlled and owned by Bain Capitol. Maybe there's something there that needs closer scrutiny.

July 15, 2014 at 9:48 a.m.
alprova said...

tifosi, people are caught every single day of the week drinking and smoking pot on the job, all across the country.

There is no evidence that union workers are more likely to engage in such behavior than their non-union counterparts.

So what is the point of your, years old videos that have been posted time and again?

Don't you have any new material?

400,000 UAW members received great paychecks this past week for doing great jobs. No violence was reported across the country. No one was reported drinking and smoking pot on the job this past week.

Your anti-union rants are antiquated and quite rhetorical.

Given the way you dishonestly represented yourself in this forum for so long, and disguised your true intentions, I am one who cannot trust a thing you post to be real, honest, or even representative of your opinions.

I consider you to have defrauded everyone in this forum.

July 15, 2014 at 9:55 a.m.
alprova said...

Leave it to Ki to reveal the deep facts, as they are.

To think Mitt Romney came inches away from becoming President, sends shudders up my spine.

Bain Capital, Romney's baby, has a track record like you described, of mismanagement of many aspects of the companies it takes over.

How many people has Bain Capital been directly or indirectly responsible for killing?

Hey tifosi...if you really want to save America, there's a cause for you to take up that WILL be appreciated.

July 15, 2014 at 10:03 a.m.
TheJackDennis said...

Alpo says "I own a GM produced vehicle and I love it. Haven't had a minute's trouble with it." who drives it?

July 15, 2014 at 10:05 a.m.
TheJackDennis said...

Alpo, your 10:03 post proves your dementia. Sad for you, sir.

July 15, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.
alprova said...

I drive it all by myself. I've got it equipped with a left-foot gas pedal.

July 15, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.
TheJackDennis said...

Hard to see why toon-boy is taking shots at VW.

July 15, 2014 at 10:20 a.m.
TheJackDennis said...

A columnist for CNN says that when it comes to the influx of unaccompanied alien children at America’s southern border, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

“We should stop looking for an endpoint. This story has no end in sight,” writes Ruben Navarrette at CNN.com. “We will be dealing with this crisis not for weeks or months but probably for years.” Navarette explains that it’s foolish for U.S. officials to believe that any one plan of attack will solve the problem and this crisis has no simple solution or finish line.

For those sharing the open doors philosophy, this will be good news, yes?

July 15, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.
timbo said...

Welcome to the Nazi based economy. Just like good old Germany in the 30's. The government picking the winners and the losers.

$55 million of "up front" local money. Where is this money coming from? You guessed it....a big fat tax increase to give money to a foreign company. Shame on all of these idiots.

Why do I need to be taxed for bribes paid to VW when it does absolutely no good for 90% of the population.

This deal stinks worse than the first VW deal.

July 15, 2014 at 3:14 p.m.
tifosi said...

Ever take Economics 101 timbo? My guess is no.

July 15, 2014 at 4:58 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"The UAW and the common good of drinking alcohol and smoking weed during a break at Chrysler - in the parking lot next to local UAW. Nice."

I honestly don't care one way or the other if UAW ends up in the VW plant, but are you trying to say all UAW employees drink and smoke weed during breaks? There are plenty of sh!tty employees, union and non-union, at any large company. When I was in the Navy, some of my shipmates would have a "liquid lunch". It doesn't mean all of us drank during lunch.

July 15, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.

The black unemployment rate is around 10.9% or something, the unemployment rate among young blacks is something shocking like 38%. There are millions and millions..not sure the number, who have given up on looking for steady work, or who have given up.

So how does allowing 300,000 plus illegal alien invaders to come into this country who are poor, uneducated and have no marketable skills make sense now? It doesn't. So, the only conclusion is that BO wants them here to dramatically change the demographics asap.

He's a criminal.

July 15, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.
rengerry said...

I absolutely LOVE Tif's link of union facts. To think, only seventeen (17) reports to the NLRB of violence/assaults by the UAW, a group of 390,000 active members. Now do me a favor Tif: find those case numbers at the NLRB website. No matter how many ways I looked, they never showed up there. Google found 'em for me though - at that union "facts" website of yours.

July 15, 2014 at 5:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

alprova said...

You'd be singing a different tune if you had EVER worked in a union such as I describe.

You haven't described a union only that they are wonderful. I did work at two locations early in my working career that both had national unions. I learned pretty quick that unions due to their very nature and the way they failed to understand simple business facts would eventually destroy any company. The radicals always hold the steward and other union positions as the more responsible employees tire of representing the radical element. I was an hourly employee at the time. I joined the first one and was threatened at the second one when I refused to join but it was all talk. I told the person making the threat I was going to beat the hell out of him if I had any problem. His threat was that dues were not as much as a set of new tires I might soon need if I didn't join. He knew I had just bought 4 new tires. It is not unusual for unions to use intimidation and harassment. It seems your experience with unions has been nil.

I am not surprised as a taker with nothing at stake you think people with nothing invested should be able to make demands and approve management decisions. VW will have an additional 600 million invested which you acknowledge they may not recover with the planned product.

There are employers that deserve a union and to be forced out of business but VW obeys labor laws and people have as much recourse as needed should they not do so. What can the UAW offer VW folks that will make a significant difference in their work place? Who needs who? Do you think UAW is spending all the money they are spending and opening a local office out of their concern for the health and safety and other terms and conditions for VW employees.

Could it be they have less leverage with GM, Ford and Chrysler since a shout down would only drive buyers to other options while they were out on strike?

I wonder why the UAW is not contributing to and assisting with the rebuilding of Detroit? Why would they not perform community service for the pay they continue getting when laid off? GM deserved what happened to them for being idiot enough to agree to those terms and increasing the cost of their cars to do so. Don't be surprised if GM and Chrysler are back at the public trough when their tax breaks are exhausted.

July 15, 2014 at 5:57 p.m.
alprova said...

Fairmon, every anti-union person I have ever came across has their own personal story of intimidation and coercion. So forgive me if I file it in the "I've heard it all before" file.

"I wonder why the UAW is not contributing to and assisting with the rebuilding of Detroit?"

I would imagine it is for the same reason that YOU are not assisting with the rebuilding of Detroit. They didn't destroy it.

Detroit is where they are for a plethora of reasons, but anti-union people like yourself only want to blame unions for it.

July 15, 2014 at 6:32 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"So how does allowing 300,000 plus illegal alien invaders to come into this country who are poor, uneducated and have no marketable skills make sense now? It doesn't. So, the only conclusion is that BO wants them here to dramatically change the demographics asap.

He's a criminal."

This must have been on Rush's show today. The young immigrants coming to the US from Central America can't just be turned away thanks to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This Act was signed into law on December 23, 2008 by then President Bush and it prevents children from Central America to be returned without first appearing in front of an immigration judge which usually requires months. Obama wants to rewrite the law to shorten the period of time so they can be returned in a week. He is facing opposition from house democrats.

So Fister, please explain how is wanting "to change the demographics" if he is wanting to expedite the return of these immigrants? How is Obama the "criminal" when the Central American child immigrants are flooding the border thanks to a Republican Act?

July 15, 2014 at 6:55 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"What can the UAW offer VW folks that will make a significant difference in their work place? Who needs who?"

VW invited the UAW to the plant, so maybe VW does "need" the UAW???

July 15, 2014 at 6:59 p.m.
fairmon said...

VW did not invite the UAW. VW has never said they needed the UAW. They would like to have a works counsel but the NLRB and union lobbyist have rendered those illegal in the U.S.

alprova said...

Fairmon, every anti-union person I have ever came across has their own personal story of intimidation and coercion. So forgive me if I file it in the "I've heard it all before" file.

That statement further demonstrates your naivety and that you have never been an active dues paying union member. You have heard and read but nothing more.

July 15, 2014 at 7:41 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Fairmon, they allowed them to enter the plant and present information to employees. They most certainly were invited.

July 15, 2014 at 9:28 p.m.
GameOn said...

I was an anti-GM person after the bail out. However a friend, in the car business, reminded me of what GM did after 9/11. After 9/11 our country was afraid to breathe. No one was spending money. People were not even leaving the house until GM took the bull by the horns with their "Keep America Rolling" campaign. I think it was 0% for 60 months or 72 months. This was what America needed to get the wheels rolling again and it worked. However, GM put themselves in a bind with all of the rebates and various sales strategies that followed. Every time GM tried to stop the incentives, sales suffered and they were forced to come along with another program. GM started it and Ford and Chrysler followed their lead. In my opinion, Keep America Rolling was the slippery slope for GM that lead to the bankruptcy. I purchased a new GM product myself a couple of years ago and I have been very pleased. Yes, taxpayers bailed out GM but GM saved us as a country in 2001. It was great act of corporate patriotism in my opinion.

July 15, 2014 at 9:39 p.m.
gypsylady said...

Timbo you are actually spot on about the incentives.

Fairmon there are plenty of good union/management relationships. You don't have a clue. And yes we pay dues, worth every penny, and we also have a tremendous amount of respect for management

July 15, 2014 at 9:46 p.m.
fairmon said...

GaussianInteger said...

Fairmon, they allowed them to enter the plant and present information to employees. They most certainly were invited.

They were not given free movement about the plant. VW met their legal obligation to not interfere with a union campaign. It is an automatic unfair labor practice to appear to do so. Have you ever seen a public statement by VW management that they would like to have the UAW represent their employees? Have they ever encouraged employees in meetings or in writing to support the UAW? You have not and will not. VW could sign a contract with the UAW and tell people they have a union without a vote. If VW wanted or needed the UAW they could have the UAW as a union.

VW has said they could and would work with the UAW if a majority of employees wanted the UAW to represent them. That is right out of the book of what employers need to know, do and say when the union shows up. The UAW union hierarchy needs the dues to keep their cushy high dollar jobs. When they learned of the future increase in employment they opened a local office which means nothing unless a majority of VW employees become dues paying UAW members and petition the NLRB to name them as the union at VW.

July 15, 2014 at 10:01 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"We have a consensus agreement with Volkswagen management to form the local and be recognized when we get a majority of the workers to join," said UAW International Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel"

"I don't know of any case like this, but the whole situation in Chattanooga is bizarre and unique," Patterson said. "They wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have the tacit approval of Volkswagen management."

Patterson is Matt Patterson, president of the Center for Worker Freedom.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/07/10/uaw-vw-chattanooga-local/12471533/

July 15, 2014 at 10:06 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"VW said on Monday that Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the company’s worker council, would become a director of Volkswagen Group of America...Osterloh was quoted in a German newspaper saying that future VW investments in America may not be in the South, given the region’s hostility to labor unions."

July 15, 2014 at 10:10 p.m.
fairmon said...

gypsylady said...

Fairmon there are plenty of good union/management relationships. You don't have a clue.

Lady, I have more than a clue. Most are adversarial and not good for a business.

lady said...And yes we pay dues, worth every penny.

What do the dues get you that is not otherwise available?

lady said...and we also have a tremendous amount of respect for management.

That is almost an oxymoron since if you trusted and respected management no union would be needed. I have heard people say they respect but don't like someone. How many people do you truly respect that you don't also like. Behaving respectfully does not mean respect. Unions are just as political and corrupt as any of those elite in D.C.

July 15, 2014 at 10:12 p.m.
GameOn said...

VW gets the best of both worlds. About the time production starts the UAW will be in and they will have all of the tax incentives.

July 15, 2014 at 10:12 p.m.
fairmon said...

GaussianInteger said...

"We have a consensus agreement with Volkswagen management to form the local and be recognized when we get a majority of the workers to join," said UAW International Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel"

"I don't know of any case like this, but the whole situation in Chattanooga is bizarre and unique," Patterson said. "They wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have the tacit approval of Volkswagen management."

The UAW doesn't need VW's approval and VW can't interfere with their doing so. VW approval tacit or otherwise to set up a local UAW office is not necessary or needed.

July 15, 2014 at 10:17 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

So you feel the timing between the UAW opening a local chapter and Osterloh's appointment is coincidental?

July 15, 2014 at 10:45 p.m.
gypsylady said...

One thing the dues get ya is this. Say you're 50 and at the height of your profession and skill sets. The bean counters can't decide to replace you without cause just to get someone younger and cheaper in. You do your job, do it well, and you get to keep doing it. They also negotiate work rules which in our family's situation is good for the employee and real good for the customer. Again, the bean counters have a harder time cutting corners on safety. There are professions out there where there is mutual respect between management and professionals. Ask the Germans, they operate that way which is what this is all about isn't it?

July 15, 2014 at 10:53 p.m.
adolphochs said...

As we used to exclaim, "OMG". I thought Bennett was incapable of creating a cartoon not critical of Republicans and incredibly he's even created a positive cartoon.

July 15, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.
alprova said...

Fairmon wrote: "That statement further demonstrates your naivety and that you have never been an active dues paying union member. You have heard and read but nothing more."

As usual, you are incorrect. I've worked a total of six years as a union member, albeit many years ago.

You're all about winning a pissing contest, so forgive me if I bow out of this one.

I will repeat forever and a day, that 400,000 UAW workers received superior wages last week and there were no reports of intimidation, violence, drinking or smoking pot on the job, nor was there any labor dispute recorded anywhere in the nation.

Can anyone dispute what I have written?

Your anti-union testimony lacks realism and it smells to high heaven, but that's your story and you be sure and stick to it.

July 15, 2014 at 11:27 p.m.
alprova said...

Fairmon wrote: "They were not given free movement about the plant. VW met their legal obligation to not interfere with a union campaign. It is an automatic unfair labor practice to appear to do so. Have you ever seen a public statement by VW management that they would like to have the UAW represent their employees?"

As a matter of fact, YES. The Times Free Press printed several stories where management was quoted wanting the UAW to work with their Works Council system that they have at every single one of their other plants.

Further, where do you get any idea that the German Works Council paired with an American based union is illegal?

It is not illegal at all. It may well be unprecedented, but it is not illegal.

July 15, 2014 at 11:33 p.m.
alprova said...

adolphochs wrote: "As we used to exclaim, "OMG". I thought Bennett was incapable of creating a cartoon not critical of Republicans and incredibly he's even created a positive cartoon."

I wish I had a dollar for every Republican Cheerleader that totally misinterpreted today's cartoon and bashed Mr. Bennett because although they couldn't figure out what the carton meant, they were sure it was an attack on Volkswagen or Republicans.

I've laughed and laughed today over some of the comments I've read and heard.

July 15, 2014 at 11:38 p.m.
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