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Friday, August 12, 2005

Worker's Paradise

Ford just set the record for highest monthly sales of a particular vehicle (the F-series trucks) in modern US automotive history. So, of course, they're firing a bunch of people:
Ford Motor Co., for the first time in generations, has resorted to firing employees and immediately escorting them from corporate buildings -- roiling the company and compelling Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford to send a message this week to reassure the so-called Ford Family.

Until now, Detroit automakers have cut thousands of white-collar jobs almost exclusively by getting employees to voluntarily quit through early retirement, buyouts or letting open positions go unfilled.

But not nearly enough people have come off Ford's payroll to meet its initial goal of cutting 2,750 of its 35,000 North American white-collar workers.

Even worse for workers, the company reported a $907-million loss in the April-June period this year for its North American division, and says now that cuts may have to go even deeper than 2,750 positions.
Sales records AND downsizing--they must be dancing on Wall Street.

Of course, Treasury Secretary John Snow suggests that what Americans need is more education:
"One of the things we know is that less educated people have seen their incomes and wages grow more slowly. That's what the numbers tell us.

"So that points you in the direction of greater emphasis on education," he told reporters, adding that savings rates among low-income Americans are also lagging.
Maybe those 2700 educated Ford white-collar workers can go back to school to learn to be toadying BS artists, in hopes that they too can one day be treasury secretary.

Elsewhere in the glorious People's Republic of America, Tom Tomorrow notes that the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employers can tell employees not to fraternize on or off duty with other employees. And by "fraternize" they don't mean dating, because that prohibition is spelled out separately. Basically, your employer can tell you that you can't have lunch or an after-work beer with a co-worker because, I guess, in this capitalist society, your employer owns you.