My Dad used to tell this ‘joke’ that went something like this: Henry Ford is showing Walter Reuther around his new, all robotic factory. Robots do everything. No people working on the line. Ford is glowing with pride. And then Reuther asks him ‘Who is going to buy your cars?’. Ironic, sarcastic, pro-labor humor. Yet partly true.
The new Ford move to take all car production to Mexico brought that story to mind. The reasons are obvious, this is what the Detroit News said in their Sept. 15 article:
“Ford and other automakers save a significant amount of money in labor costs by building in Mexico. Autoworkers there make the U.S. equivalent of $8 to $10 an hour, according to the Center for Automotive Research. Top-tier workers in the U.S. make about $29 an hour. Plants in Mexico also don’t have to pay as much for the lucrative health care and pension plans U.S. workers receive.”
Note the unequal comparison here: top tier US worker compared to average Mexican worker. Even the Detroit papers feel a need to defend this move.
Ford is claiming that this move will not result in any job losses. How can you create 2800 jobs in Mexico without losing jobs in the US? My guess is by not creating 2800 jobs here. 2800 decent paying jobs here will made a big difference in the economy, not to mention the impact on the families who would have been employed. I hope Mexico enjoys those jobs.
I sell new Toyotas, as well as all brands used. People tell me all the time that they are loyal to Ford, GM, or other brands. I respect that. Loyalty is a value that I embrace and I admire in others. I don’t believe that in this case the loyalty is mutually shared.
Come-on! Peoples jobs, livelihoods, futures are being shipped to Mexico! This is why Ypsilanti no longer has a thriving plant at the Visteon location, why we have lost the tax revenue that helped keep our city solvent, why our population has dropped as people had to move elsewhere to get a good job.
I work in the business world and feel that there is nothing wrong with company wanting to make a profit for themselves and their stockholders. That is how our particular economy is set up. That said, a little balance would be nice. What do we have to do to keep enough people employed in this country so that they can buy the products that keep companies healthy and strong?
2800 fewer families can afford to buy a Ford product, or any other product thanks to this move. Loyalty is a value that has to go both ways, otherwise the relationship is harmful at best.