There’s absolutely stuff-all to write about today from a purely Saab perspective. Maybe I’m getting bloggers-block?
These are the thoughts on my mind for this morning:
1. If this story is representative of all Delphi and GM employees that may be going out on strike in the coming months then I’m pretty well staggered. If you can’t be bothered clicking on the link, the story is about a Delphi employee, a high-school dropout that’s been working there for around 30 years and now earns about $90,000 US dollars a year.
Let me say that again – US$90,000 a year working in an assembly plant.
Sitting in a beige leather recliner in the family room of his modest home, Michael Balls knows he has had it pretty good since he dropped out of Saginaw High School in the mid-1970s. He now makes $31.35 an hour, plus overtime.
Without a diploma, he got a job at the plant when he was 19, then took two years of classes to become a skilled tradesman. He graduated from high school in 1988.
During good years, with 10 to 12 hours of overtime per week, Balls earns about $90,000 at the plant, which makes front-wheel-drive steering columns and other products.
“I thought I was set for life,” he says.
Now, at 48, he’s not quite old enough to retire and fearful that Delphi will cut his wages if he stays on. He’s especially worried that Delphi won’t be able to meet its pension obligations.
“There definitely ain’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Balls says.
Buddy, you’ve been raiding the pot of gold for 30 years.
I’m a professionally qualified worker in a public financial arena and I earn a decent five-figure sum in Aussie dollars. This guy’s earning six-figures in Aussie dollars for playing with a big Meccano set.
Forgive me if my sympathometer is sitting low on the register. The quicker these labour contracts get sorted out and ditched, the better. “Balls to the wall!” I say…….(couldn’t resist)
2. Out of the assembly plants and into the office…..
There’s been nothing but the sounds of crickets chirping, tumbleweeds rolling and dead air in my post box since sending away the “Tell GM About It” comments. They were sent to Jay Spenchian, Bob Lutz, Carl-Peter Forster and Jan-Ake Jonsson. So far – no response.
Hopefully that’s due to them all being heads down, bum up and working harder than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking competition. A little advice – Saab needs the following:
AWD in the 9-3 and/or 9-5 range
An entry model (9-2) that kicks everybody’s backside
A small SUV along the 9-3x lines
A dedicated, well-salaried blogger (Hey, I’ll do it for less than one of your Meccano-boys)
On a personal note, the Viggen finally got it’s local registration today. Due to the previous write-off status, it had to have a bunch of inspections for structural integrity, identity etc. All these have now been completed and I’ve finally got some local tags sitting on my desk, waiting to be attached to the car.
How dumb is this? I’d love to get personalised tags for the car, but the state charges you $100 PER ANNUM for the privelege!! No wonder you hardly ever see them around here.
As far as I know, Tasmania’s the only state in Australia that has this annual fee. I think there could be some activism coming in the near future….