And, well, I don’t begrudge the higher ups having their mansion and yacht and summer and winter homes, etc, etc, etc. But how often do we see companies pulling up stakes, while the CEOs have $15M+ golden parachutes and bonuses and millions in stocks while shipping thousands of jobs overseas?
And now I have to ask... why is that a bad thing? It's one of those things I don't buy into with Trump. I get the "Make America Great Again", but that - to me - doesn't mean having skilled, hard-working, innovative people making televisions. I really don't get it; at the turn of the century, we had people fleeing Eastern Europe with the clothes on their back to make a better life, and most of them did. At the end of the century, we had people, if not "fleeing", then "migrating" from India and China to bring their own level of skill, hard work, and innovation to America to make a better life, and many of them did.
But this auto worker is hell-bent on being a riveter, because "that's what I do", and won't move from Dearborn, Michigan to Knoxville, Tennessee, because that's where the work is? The leadership reaps the benefits of the company performance. That is a sum total of ALL the operations, not just the manufacturing operations in one location. When I worked for that company, I had my career invested in there, and I had stock and retirements tied to that company's performance. Why should my well-being be limited by the forced economy of still trying to build engines in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when there are skilled, willing people to make them cheaper? And that's sort of the false argument here: that it's a dollar wage that is nominally "less" than that which you'd pay the guy - or girl - from Fort Wayne doesn't mean that it's apples and apples. Their cost of living is less, their wage scales are less, etc., but more importantly, their capacity and capability is different. You don't pay Derek Jeter $8 million a year to hit fungoes to the outfielders. You don't pay Mike Portnoy $5 million plus points to hit a four count on the cowbell to kick off your latest single.
I can't speak for every company, or every employee, but for us, the plants were fairly interchangeable. It wasn't always the "same" product, but certainly the same technologies. For example, we built locomotive engines and units in one shop - union - and the same product but different product line in another non-union. The health and safety programs were the same, because they were corporate run. The differences were stark. We got pushback from the unions - "we're not changing that process. That's different. We need to renegotiate our contract." How do you do business when every change turns into a six-month negotiation, where introduction of new technology now means revisiting the entire benefits package again? I get leveraged negotiation, but that's ridiculous.
I suppose there is something to the "newness" - most new plants are purposefully built to be "non-union", where possible - but it's not that cut and dry. I was personally in a location that was 150 years old, manufacturing, and it was non-union.