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An Open Letter To The Big 3 Automotive CEOs

By       Message Michael Adkins     Permalink
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Dear Big 3 CEO's 

Its big news that you are asking Congress for bailout money or you will be forced to close up shop, thus causing thousands of families to lose their livelihood. I support helping to save American jobs but let's get a few facts straight.

You're asking for a friendly bailout paid by the taxpayer yet you have not been friends to the taxpayer for decades.

Instead, you've imported cars from other countries and put your U.S. name on them. At the same time, you cut the number of jobs in America. According to USA Today the approximate percentage of your model cars made in the United States is as follows ; GM 71%, Ford 68%, and Chrysler 68%. Heck, the percentage of Nissan models made and sold here is 73%. You called it going Global. Why don't you go to your Global friends and ask them for some bailout money?

You claim the Unions drove wages too high for it to be profitable to make a profit in America.

You offered them those wages in contract negotiations. No Union would willingly price themselves out of a job. You say you could do better if there wasn't a Union or a Union contact. Mr. CEO you got a contract. You got a contract that pays you tens of millions of dollars with a severance agreement that if you are fired, you still make out big time. Why don't you show the way by null and voiding you contract?

You say high gas prices have hurt your car sales.

How many times has there been a bill introduced in Congress to force you to improve gas mileage only to have you lobby to have it defeated?  You kept building gas-guzzlers, knowing if Congress passed such a bill you'd be hurting. In fact I could buy a car in 1980 that got better gas mileage then the conventional cars you build today. Why haven't you asked the oil companies or OPEC to bail you out? You've helped them make record profits while polluting the environment.

You don't know how to sell cars.

If I went to Wally World to buy tennis shoes and had to go though what it takes to buy a new car I'd keep my old shoes. That is, I pick out what I like, talk to a salesperson to come up with a price, and then have to hand him a deposit of good faith so he will go to the sales manager to see if the price is acceptable. You're trying to sell cars that all look alike. Make to make, model to model, and year to year. Do you think Playboy could sell many magazines if they had the same centerfold month to month? You give your employees incentives to buy your new cars, then lay them off so they can't buy any. I know that's a hard one to figure how that works out, but please think about it.

In closing, the bailout is a band-aid not a cure. You need to fix your problems or you'll be back asking for another bailout, which you might not get. Please remember what John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

 

 

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Michael Adkins is a former union local vice president currently a skilled trade maintenance technician in Ohio. In the past has been active in the movements against the Vietnam War, Nixon, both Bush's, Reagan,FTAA, among others.

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