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View Poll Results: Does the New Labor Contract Change Your Opinion of Saturn?
Yes 52 55.91%
No 41 44.09%
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Old 06-26-2004, 11:18 PM   #1
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Question Does the New Labor Contract Change Your Opinion of Saturn?

Does the new labor contract change your opinion of Saturn? Post your thoughts.

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Old 06-26-2004, 11:41 PM   #2
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Not really, if it keeps all the factory workers in a job, its fine with me. As long as the quality doesn't drop off from the Springhill factory.

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Old 06-26-2004, 11:46 PM   #3
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It doesn't change my opinion, in fact it reinforces my opinion that Saturn is now just another General Motors division. It seems like GM coerced the employees into signing it.

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Old 06-27-2004, 12:43 AM   #4
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It shows that Saturn is becoming more GM with each change. I want to think quality will not suffer, but it probably will.

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Old 06-27-2004, 07:04 AM   #5
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Thats my concern as well. Will quality suffer because of it. Saturn has been one of the few GM makes in the past few years to have well-made cars. Compare an ION or S-Series to a Cavalier, you'll see and feel the difference. Staying within GM, while Chevy is improving, the only one who comes close quality-wise is Buick, and I don't see myself driving one of those anytime soon.
But the other thing in that article that concerned me was, how theres going to be a new body shop for Spring Hill. So, does this mean, they finally put the nail in the coffin for polymer panels? I personally blame the media for that one. I'd rather have bigger gaps than have big patches of rust. Not all of us live in California! Having a tough car that is practical and economical and can survive winters and the abuse that I dole on it, is very important to me, as well as others.

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Old 06-27-2004, 07:08 AM   #6
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I dont think quality can suffer any more than it has in the past. GM's quality is getting better with its new vehicles and thats not in one divison its in them all pontiac,chevy, GMC. Still up to par with honda and toyota as far as interior quality no....but an improvment over the last generation vehicles yes.

As written in the article saturns contract had a no layoff policy with the new policy layoffs are inveitable it says. I dont see how this is positive......

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Old 06-27-2004, 07:19 AM   #7
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Looks as if GM made some vague "promises". I hope Saturn got them in writing, because they sound as if there is plenty of room to get out of anything they pledged to do. I wouldn't trust them for 5 minutes much less the length of a UAW contract.
Sounds like Saturn is trying to put the best face on it. But I am very suspicious.

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Old 06-27-2004, 07:55 AM   #8
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Yes it does change my opinion of Saturn. It does not necessarily mean I will be any more or less likely to buy Saturn cars but it certainly signals the end of what I considered to be an innovative and positive chapter in labor management relations. I believe that if corporations and unions cooperated more in the way envisioned in the original Saturn arrangement, American manufacturing would have been better for it and in turn our entire nation would be stronger. All I can say from a consumer's perspective to both GM and the UAW is that this better result in a higher quality Saturn vehicle, because you've just forfeited any moral or entreprenureal edge Saturn might have had.

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Old 06-27-2004, 10:44 AM   #9
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Looks like Michael Moore has fodder for a new documentary.

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Old 06-27-2004, 12:13 PM   #10
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I will offer my .02 cents; as a non Saturn, GM worker.

I submit to you that it isn't the death of Saturn, but the welcome into the fold of GM. In other words, so many of Saturns ideas are used at my plant that GM has become Saturn. The tail has wagged the dog here. GM has also learned from the NUMMI plant too. It is about time that GM gives Saturn it's day, let them have the money needed to improve itself.

That being said let me back up my positon by saying I own 2 Saturns a 2001 SC2 and a 2003 VUE. The SC2 was a great car for it's time. BUT the VUE is just a warmed over second thought on how to build a SUV in a car factory. The VUE need about twice the amount of development money spent on it. The gauge cluster in a 2001-03 VUE is the same as the SC2. Time for GM to give Saturn some $$$$ and platforms to work on. Remember that GM had no problem taking the VUE platforn for a Chevy.

Most of the quality issues today are not the results of the labor used to build a car. Quality is a result of design, engineering and perception of the car. Most of you were not around in the 60's and 70's when cars were at the mercy of the labor used to build the car. Just remember that NO CAR, SUV, or TRUCK leaves the factory without GM's approval. Defects in assembly are tracked down to the tool and operator that caused the problem.

Most of you are not aware that GM no longer makes it's own seats and interior plastic. It is outsourced to places like Leer Seating and Johnson Controls. That being said, it is possible to get a GM/Saturn seat made by Lear in the same plant making seats for Toyota. Most of Johnson Controls is used by Ford. So much for better quality, the difference is in the specs of the seat.

As far as the no layoffs deal, hard to comment on it without reading the contract. They may get the same deal of using State of TN un employment compensation and GM SUB make up pay. So I really can't comment on it.

Roger D

I could go on for days on Quality issues and my plant's experience.

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Old 06-27-2004, 04:04 PM   #11
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now they are just another gm mess.they should have developed the company better.i have a 2003 l300 and it is a great car as far as i'm concerned.they knocked 1 mile per gallon off on 2004,so this tells you where ther going.too bad looks like the death of another brand in the long run

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Old 06-27-2004, 07:15 PM   #12
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Roll Eyes Saturn Sell Out!

It is really unfortunate that the "Heavy Hand of GM" has finally fallen on Saturn. No more will we see innovative and fresh ideas from this company. Now, all we will see are the Chevy ION.......or maybe a Saturn Cobalt, it really won't matter anymore! It's Cavalier/Sunbird/Sunfire all over again!

My Wife and I really enjoy our '03 ION 3. It doesn't look like anything else on the road, I'm glad we didn't wait until '05 when all we would have to look at is the new CobION!!

1st they sold out to GM, then they finalized it by eliminating the best working contract ever made in the auto industry...


Time for a new ad campaign:

At Saturn, we put GM 1st!!

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Old 06-27-2004, 09:20 PM   #13
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Nope, but it does reinforce my opinion of GM. They cry wolf (Wahh wahhh, boo-hoo, we're losing tons of money, so you either agree to what we want or we're gonna shut the place down) so much it's not funny. Being a IUE, GM, employee, it doesn't surprise me and I will forever support my union brothers and sisters, but I loathe GM management with a passion. I wish they'd get their heads outta their behinds, wake up and smell the coffee, and quit being worried over whether or not they can afford that summer home in Barcelona... Whatever. THEY should take a darned paycut once in a while. While they are getting HUGE bonuses, pay raises, and plenty of stock options, we're still getting stepped on AND people who do not work in this situation bark at us and say WE are overpaid. Balogna. No one is more overpaid than a member of GM's "upper crust"...
Ohhhh, don't get me started on GM and contracts.. Oops. Already did, so I will quit that... hehehe
Anyway, my opinion of Saturn will remain the same. They'll still manufacture great cars. A contract changes nothing more than the way they got paid, benefits, and so on. As long as the employees are happy or at least OK with their new contract, and Saturns keep getting built by AMERICAN citizens, as a quality product, I AM VERY HAPPY..

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Old 06-27-2004, 11:12 PM   #14
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GM's subtle threat of closing Spring Hill is a perfect example of crying wolf. It would make no sense to close like their 2nd or 3rd newest facility, designed around modern, clean, efficient lean production, over others that are decades older in locales with higher operating and living costs. It might have become yet another truck plant or somthing, but I am sure it's future was somewhere in GM's planning.

Also, call me naive, but I still feel that employees who truly see thenselves as true stakeholders in the organization, i.e. Saturn before '98 or so, will work harder to produce better products.

At least its good that the labor issues of today do not involve screwdrivers or coke bottles "accidently" left in brand new doors if anything else

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Old 06-28-2004, 06:59 AM   #15
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While the original Saturn "experiment" is a big part of the reason I first purchased a Saturn, I've been very happy as an owner of the vehicle itself. I wouldn't be on my third Saturn if the vehicle didn't satisfy my needs... no matter how much I believed in the company. It is disappointing that the much lauded labor agreement has been dismantled but I think GM has taken notice to what did work at Spring Hill and has made efforts to implement those successes throughout other GM factories. Yes, it seems that Saturn is falling further into the GM fold but the General is well into it's rebirth as a serious competitor in today's automotive market driven by product. Saturn has most definitely made an impression on not only GM but also the automobile industry as a whole... the UAW is simply trying to insure that Saturn will remain in GM's stable of offerings as they have been over the last 14 years.

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Old 06-28-2004, 07:50 AM   #16
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oh well. saturn isn't "saturn" anymore.

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Old 06-28-2004, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
"Some workers are concerned that Saturn will lose its identity if the original labor contract is abandoned," said the Detroit News in a story earlier this week. But without workers' approval to dismantle the original contract, GM said it could not guarantee the plant would remain in operation after the current generation ION and VUE complete their production cycles in 2008-09. "With an approved contract, the membership has done everything in its power that it's been required to do to ensure the [GM] board of director's approval of future product and capital for this site," Mike Herron, UAW Local 1853 Chairman told the Tennessean.
THIS STATEMENT IS WHY I HATE UNIONS! Saturn has been leading changes for GM. Why would GM kill it? It's the typical scare tacit. Arrrg... Maybe, I just hate the unions leaders, thugs.

I bought from Saturn in Oct. '91, and I still have that car, and the "simple" union contract was a factor. I vote with my dollars. I took I huge risk, if you really think about it. And still, thirteen years later we have a Chevy clone for a product. I lost have my respect for Saturn.

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Old 06-28-2004, 10:15 AM   #18
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GM management...

The suggestion that the workers at Spring Hill were somehow jeopardizing the plant's future is absurd. The workers are not responsible for Saturn's problems. But I guess it's easier to blame them than to admit that GM execs squandered Saturn's momentum. They simply starved it of new cars and updates for too long. It seems to me that the S-series - before it grew downright arthritic compared to the competition - was more than capable of keeping Spring Hill running at capacity. When did the workers suddenly become the liability at Saturn? When they couldn't cover the mistakes that GM execs made?

It's going to take more time, more new products to get Saturn back to where it was, but that's too much work and the will isn't there. Let's just put the screws to the workers like we always do, squeeze concessions from the unions. A different kind of company, indeed. Yes, this definitely makes me think less of Saturn. Somehow I find it difficult to get excited about just another GM brand.

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Old 06-28-2004, 02:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by rossao1
THIS STATEMENT IS WHY I HATE UNIONS! Saturn has been leading changes for GM. Why would GM kill it? It's the typical scare tacit. Arrrg... Maybe, I just hate the unions leaders, thugs.

I bought from Saturn in Oct. '91, and I still have that car, and the "simple" union contract was a factor. I vote with my dollars. I took I huge risk, if you really think about it. And still, thirteen years later we have a Chevy clone for a product. I lost have my respect for Saturn.
GM killed the contract for 3 reasons. First and foremost is that they could not layoff the employees. We were the ONLY auto plant in North America that the manufacture had a contract where they could not layoff employees. In the 14yrs I have worked in Spring Hill, we should have had no less than 15 layoffs. Some being short 2-4 week layoffs and 2 long term layoffs putting aprox. 1000 employees out of work for up to 2yrs. None of that happened. We kept showing up to work, trained and did minor cleanup and repair work. We kept getting our paychecks. GM does not like that, it does not help their bottom line.

The second was that our contract only allowed us to build Saturn products. Without a major change there we would be taking ourselves out of the bidding process for future products. It is impossible to bid on work for Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, or Cadilac if your contract says you can not build them.

Third, GM has a template for the leadership structure and support structure in all assembly plants. Our unique contract with UAW Partnership roles did not come near matching the template. We had too many UAW roles that do not exist in the template. They wanted us to end the partnership as it stood and get rid of the jobs that did not match the template.

And last....we were told without going to the standard GM/UAW Local Agreement there would be no new products coming to Spring Hill. Voting No would have ment that in 2007, the last person out the door turns out the lights. Without converting the plant to steel panels there will be no more work for us after the ION and VUE. And yes, GM has closed plants as young as this. Before it was the NUMNI plant in California, this plant was closed 10yrs after being built. GM kept the plant closed for 5yrs before it reopened as NUMNI, in its joint venture with Toyota.

I have ten years left before I can retire. I do not care what car or truck I build to keep my job until then. All I can do is build the car or truck the best I can and hope they sell, so I may reach my goal. The rest is up to the Engineers to design a product that will sell and for GM to price the product in a competetive range.

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Old 06-28-2004, 02:42 PM   #20
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My heart is with the workers and those who still believe in the original ideals of Saturn, regardless of their current management situation.

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