Thursday, June 23, 2011

Get ready for your blood to boil.

Here is what a Chicago labor lawyer had to say about companies moving to the South in the Wall Street Journal:

"when major firms move South, it is usually a harbinger of quality decline. Over and over as a labor lawyer in the 1980s and '90s, I saw companies move away from Chicago, where the pay was $28 an hour, to some place in South Carolina or Louisiana where the pay was about half that....

Here is yet another American firm seeking to ruin its reputation for quality. Why? To save $14 an hour! Seriously: Is that going to help sell the Dreamliner? In terms of the finished product, the labor cost is minuscule: $14 in hourly wage, at most. It's incredible that conservatives claim such small differences in labor cost would be life or death to Boeing. It's not labor cost but labor skill that is life or death to the survival of Boeing, never mind pilots and passengers.

If the history of runaway shops proves anything, it's that many go "South" in more than one sense of the word. If that sounds unfair to the South, it is union busting that has inflicted the real unfairness in the region: income inequality and inferior schools.

At this moment especially, deep in debt, we cannot afford to let another company like Boeing self-destruct. Boeing is not a product of the free market—it's an extension of the U.S. government. Over the years, our taxpayers have paid to create a Boeing work force with exceptionally high skills. That work force is not just an asset for Boeing—it's an asset for the country. Why should the country let Boeing take it apart?
" Column

or in other words, you're all hicks:



















12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Read that a few days ago. As a Southerner, the entire column made me want to puke. What stopped me was the satisfaction of knowing that his days as a union attorney are numbered because his client base is quickly dwindling down to nothing. The piece was more an exercise of self-preservation than an honest assessment of Boeing's motives.

Ironghost said...

Of course he's going to write that! Most of his clients are getting out of the union business because it's unsustainable. All he's left with is stirring up FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

He's probably a democrat as well. :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I've noticed all the non-functioning Mercedes abandoned by the roadside since they started building them in Alabama ;-)

Anonymous said...

That is some quality horse puckey there. Hard to believe it was in the WSJ.

Andrew M. Newcomb

Anonymous said...

He has a good point. I recall Piper Aircraft abandoning a proposal to build a large manufacturing plant west of Key Field in Meridian. I had a chance to ask one of the prospectors why they were leaving. He simply asked if I would fly in a plane manufactured by minimum wage labor. His point was well taken. You get what you pay for. Mississippi and many other "conservative" places don't value the rights of the worker. Therefore you have lower wages, more poverty, and more people on the public trough. Funny thing is, many of those forced into the new slavery welcome it and defend it.

Anonymous said...

He has a good point. I recall Piper Aircraft abandoning a proposal to build a large manufacturing plant west of Key Field in Meridian. I had a chance to ask one of the prospectors why they were leaving. He simply asked if I would fly in a plane manufactured by minimum wage labor. His point was well taken. You get what you pay for. Mississippi and many other "conservative" places don't value the rights of the worker. Therefore you have lower wages, more poverty, and more people on the public trough. Funny thing is, many of those forced into the new slavery welcome it and defend it.

I was unaware of a MS state law requiring manufacturers to pay employees a maximum of minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

Funny the topic of the minimum wage. Boeing and the cheaper wages in the South should bring us to question the minimum wage concept, not that Boeing would be paying that. Far from it.

The minimum wage was enacted by the Wagner Act around the mid-30's as part of FDR's New Deal. What was happening was textile mills were relocating in the South away from New England as mill owners were seeking lower costs. With the enactment of the Wagner Act, mills in the South were no longer cheaper as to labor. The result.....mills in the South closed and unemployment (particularly in the black community) skyrocketed, which is why there was a great migration north to find work in the factories. It was politics, pure and simple.

Rebekah said...

Why would this make you want to puke? Isn't it pretty much expected? Those who have zero clue about the South assume we are all just hicks running around barefoot. And yes, they think that. People are really surprised when they come to Jackson...What people don't realize about 'us hicks' is the amount of money floating around...we have some of the wealthiest real estate gurus and business men who are multi-milionaires in cash money - not tied up in transactions.
Our price of living is much lower (probably one of the lowest) as well. The enitre nation getting raped by the market right now so that isn't just a Southern 'thang. Let the northern pricks assume us all to be an episode of Swamp People. We will keep our good qualities a secret.
Git er done

Anonymous said...

Without entering into a debate on the cost of living in MS as compared to the rest of the country and minimum wage as well, I will go out on a limb here and say that maybe, just maybe people in the south don't make as much as other parts of the country for doing the same job because the cost of living isn't as high therefore we don't "need" to make as much to maintain a reasonable lifestyle.

The other part of that is that is the fact that we are a state full of poverty...according to the numbers. However, looking at the geography of the state in relation to the poverty, you see that there are a handful of counties that bring the state numbers (average) down. If you take those (5) counties out, then we become a very prosperous state.

In my opinion our state is one if the best kept secrets in this country. And by the way, the real estate market around Jakson is one of the few improving across the country. So Mr WSJ contributor union atty can keep his a$$ out of our state.

Anonymous said...

Well actually, the titans and M class Mercedes built in MS And La have shitty initial quality ratings.

Anonymous said...

The history of the textile industry and furniture manufacturing should be instructive to everyone.

Both industries fled to the South to find cheap labor. One industry is all but disappeared and the other is leaving for China.

Product quality suffers then improves over time as the new labor becomes more skilled and earns higher wages.

The big problem is that when the industry leaves the South, it leaves the US. And, eventually, the host country realizes it doesn't need the " management/owner" expertise once their labor force becomes skilled.

Some industries skip the South altogether and some industries, like planes and arms, don't quite apply but equally life risking industries like software and pharmaceuticals do.

Go further back to the industrial history of Britain.

Really people, we must stop looking at business in terms of the stock market and quarters and think occasionally about business' relationship with the fate of a nation.

Anonymous said...

Their idea of us being ignorant and inferior is to our advantage.

The term, "Going South," was first used/coined because of the direction of the compass--south is down, north is up. It really had nothing to do with the Civil War issues.

The writer of the column is welcome to Go South and kiss my ass, and then take his stupid, yankee ass back home. I don't mean to sound racist, but if the yanks cared so much about blacks, they would have taken them back to their territory and provided decent education. They didn't give one shit about blacks, and they still don't. They just wanted money and power.

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