David Kirkpatrick

August 2, 2009

Television scourge part one — reality tv

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:26 pm

This topic isn’t even worth blogging about, but here I am doing it. I’ll just add two words to the argument — Running Man.

And this bit from a NYT article:

But with no union representation, participants on reality series are not covered by Hollywood workplace rules governing meal breaks, minimum time off between shoots or even minimum wages. Most of them, in fact, receive little to no pay for their work.

I’m no fan of unions, but the allure of fame and “gettin’ on the teevee” leads to abject stupidity and the willingness to amazing levels of abasement.

February 25, 2009

Ford stares, UAW blinks

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:51 am

Maybe sensing the hand tugging the rope around its neck was its own, the United Auto Workers has made concessions to help keep Ford Motor afloat.

From the link:

Signaling that it is willing to do whatever it can to save Detroit automakers, the United Automobile Workers union has agreed to concessions with the Ford Motor Company on its retiree health care fund.

The agreement, announced Monday, would allow Ford to substitute its stock for as much as half of the $13.6 billion it owes the fund.


It could also form the basis for similar deals with General Motors and Chrysler, which need to cut costs and demonstrate that they can survive under the terms of their loans from the federal government.

”What they negotiated today at Ford is really something that unions aren’t made to talk about,” said Gary N. Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. ”This is the union trying to hold onto a benefit that few retired workers enjoy and doing it at a cost that may be prohibitively high.”

But U.A.W. leaders clearly see the alternative to making such concessions as far worse for their membership.

”The modifications will protect jobs for U.A.W. members by ensuring the long-term viability of the company,” the union’s president, Ron Gettelfinger, said Monday in a statement.

February 16, 2009

GM and the UAW

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:26 pm

I’ve been hard on General Motor’s hands-out, crocodile tears method of hoping to stay afloat, but now the ball is firmly in the court of the auto unions. If the UAW balks and refuses to play ball in these negotiations GM has the absolute right to blame the last straw on the unions.

From the link:

With its access to a government lifeline in the balance, General Motors was locked in intense negotiations on Monday with the United Automobile Workers over ways to cut its bills for retiree health care.

Both G.M. and its rival, Chrysler, are racing to file restructuring plans with the Treasury Department by Tuesday’s deadline. The companies must show progress in cutting long-term costs as a condition for keeping loans they have received from the federal government.

For G.M., the restructuring will be the largest in its 100-year history, the next step in justifying its $13.4-billion loan package from the federal government.

The plan will outline in great detail, as much as 900 pages, how G.M. will cut its work force, downsize its North American factories and reduce its brand lineup to four from eight.

But G.M.’s plan to shrink will not mean much without an agreement with the U.A.W.

On Monday, G.M. pressed union leaders in a meeting in Detroit for a deal on financing what was the centerpiece of the 2007 U.A.W. contract — a perpetual, G.M.-financed trust to cover health care for hundreds of thousands of retired hourly workers and their spouses.