Front page in today’s Wall Street Journal is the following headline:
Government Forces Out Wagoner at GM
Shouldn’t they also force out the union?
The union must except part of the blame too. Afterall, they were the ones building crappy products over the years while Toyota and Honda were building quality cars and taking away business from GM. And, while they were building these crappy products, they were striking at every opportunity to demand higher pay and better benefits. You can’t ignore the fact that GM’s retiree benefits costs are way out of line compared to the Toyota and Honda. Those imbedded costs make it very difficult for a company to make money over the long-run.
In my opinion, in order to fix GM, this is what needs to be done:
1. Get rid of the union.
2. Reduce retiree benefits. How? I don’t know. I just know that they need to be reduced.
3. Give employees ownership in the company. When the company does well, they do well. I’m not sure how it could be done but maybe even allow employees to elect their leaders or give employees board seats. Make employees owners.
4. Build cars that PEOPLE WANT to buy! The ONLY GM products that I would consider buying right now are the Buick Enclave, the new Buick LaCrosse, the Chevy Malibu and possibly the Cadillac brand.
5. Get management to think LONG-TERM instead of quarterly.
6. Pay management REASONABLE salaries and make pay transparent so that the owner-employees can see how much management is making and know WHY management is making what it is making. I think one of the biggest problems with corporate America is that the employees feel that they are simply being used in order to pay the managment big salaries.
Okay, keep in mind that the list you just read is MY OPINION. I’m sure your opinion will differ. I would like to know your opinion but please be respectful of mine. I promise to be respectful of your’s.