I don’t understand why the car makers are in trouble…

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  • I don’t understand why the car makers are in trouble…
  • Oh and to directly comment on your poorly chosen quote.
    They didn’t refuse to join a union, they formed their own one operated on democratic principles, they crossed no picket line as their union wasn’t on strike (though neither was the NUM officially) and they weren’t hired to replace striking workers as they only worked mines covered by the Union of Democratic Miners (that ‘democratic’ word again).
    As for gloating over how many mines were left in Nottinghamshire, is that the common behaviour of the bitter and undemocratic left? How very sad.


    I heard on the news that SAAB haven’t made a profit since 2001!

    SAAB have been making a loss for over 20 years! Its the reason it was sold to GM in the 1st place!


    I don’t want get drawn into what I can see would possibly be a very long argument about the 1984/1985 miner strike Sooty – start another thread about it if you feel that strongly, and I might comment on that. But may I quickly comment on some of your claims which are simply not true. The TUC gave full support to NUM for whole duration of the strike. Indeed my local Trades Union Council’s huge support for the miners, in real tangible ways, was very much based on the TUC’s position. The strike was only declared illegal because it broke new legislation introduced by the then employment sec Norman Tebbit. In exactly the same way which the very recent strike calling for ‘British jobs for British people’ was completely and indisputably illegal – hardly a reason for not supporting it. Nor is it an argument for claiming that those who might have broken that strike weren’t scabs. And btw, in 1981 Notts miners fully supported the strike against pit closures called by the then leader of the NUM, right-winger Joe Gormley, even though there was no strike ballot. The position the Notts NUM leadership took in 1984 was for political reasons, and had nothing at all to do with ‘strike ballots’.

    1981: Thatcher gives in to miners


    I aggree the unions needed bringing down a peg or two but the state is now burdened with millions of people who are not working/on “the sick” which has got to be worse for all of us in the end.

    Its a sign of desperation from those who supported and continue to support the policies of the Thatcher Government in the 80’s that the only thing they can bang on about is bringing the unions down a “peg or two”.


    A slight correction to my previous post. Joe Gormley didn’t call for a strike in 1981, he didn’t need to – in feb that year thousands of miners across the country walked out in unofficial action after disclosures that the government was set to close 23 pits. The dispute was very quickly settled and the closures withdrawn, as the government hadn’t yet fully prepared all it’s plans for a national strike – they were prepared for it 3 years later. Notts miners walked out on unofficial action along with all the other miners in the country – there was no strike ballot.

    Gg – If you rather not be drawn into a lenghty debate on the miners illegal withdrawl of labour then we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this. So much has been written on this subject (including a lot of revisionist re-writing by the TUC to show there was solidarity with the NUM) that for every piece of ‘evidence’ you pluck from that indisputable source known as the internet I can no doubt pluck a counter piece which you will no doubt wish to rubbish if it doesn’t suit your view. Of course my views of the events are ultimately concreted by the experiences of someone who actually lived and worked through the harassment rather than those gathered on some South London council estate from the local Socialist Workers seller.
    Enjoy the last word.


    Certainly in the UK, the unions are pretty weak.
    They have little/nothing to do with the current situation.
    (In Germany and the US, for example, they are infinitely more powerful)

    Back to the OP, and with no axe to grind (despite, personally, being wholly dependent on the industry surviving):
    There is a worldwide credit crisis.
    People simply aren’t buying ‘luxuries’.
    Motor cars can be considered a luxury – as long as one’s current vehicle hasn’t died.
    Motor vehicles, by their nature, have a large amount of capital tied into them (both as material and intellectual property).
    Therefore, even after 15+ years of ‘lean’, ‘just in time’ processes the investment for any given, singular, vehicle commences years before it reaches a dealer – when the return on that initial investment starts to come back.
    Cashflow, I believe it is called.
    Regardless of legacy reasons for this, this is why.

    Hey. It is far from a perfect industry in the UK, but this is worldwide.
    In fact – the UK is a bit better off than some other auto-making countries.
    At least we still make something… as opposed to shifting funds around, or selling foreign phones etc etc.


    sootyandjim – Member

    ” Would be good to see Victualic back on form as well.”

    The angry young man version of me is being slowly but surely erased.

    Posted 2 days ago # Report-Post


    It’s a slow process, is it not Vic ? …………………………..you sound angry and rattled.

    Sorry, I can’t leave you with that as the last word. .”Angry and rattled” how exactly?
    In the respect that I must be because I don’t share your opinion on something that happened over two decades ago, was not a black and white situation then and on which a lot of ‘facts’ and ‘counter facts’ has been written by both sides of the debate as well as those Nottinghamshire miners in the middle?
    I must apologise, I’ll brush up on my newspeak as soon as I can.


    “Angry and rattled” how exactly?

    As in “angry and rattled”.

    Would you like me to elaborate ?

    I could start with the wild allegation that I am “gloating” about something, move on to your comment that I am “bitter” (strangely enough in the same sentence) and so on……..

    But it would all be rather boring would it not ?

    Trade unions strikes were not the reason for the destruction of car manufacturing and the coal industry in the UK, rather for the reasons I’ve outlined, it was management decisions and government policies which were responsible.

    Can’t believe I actually agree with GG on something. Yes union power needed to be reduced to allow management to manage. However Margaret Thatcher having achieved that and given management the power to manage British management mainly cocked it up. Where companies, like BA, were competently managed they became world leaders. Where they were managed by generations of incompetents like Leyland/Rover they went to the wall. Not helped by the short-termism of the banks and successive Tory and Nu Labour governments acting like industry didn’t matter.


    GG – As a Notts lad with a father who worked in the pits, has it ever occoured to you that they just didn’t agree with the others, with striking in general or for some other reason, and preferred to earn money for their families?
    What’s wrong with that?
    They were bullied and harassesd. I remember going fishing early in the mornings and seeing the police checking vehicles for flying pickets. It wasn’t nice, but the Notts miners had just as strong principals as the strikers, if not more so if you take the bullying into account….

    Food for thought….

    Personally, I wouldn’t strike for anyone, for any reason, not ever.
    Maybe it’s in my blood, my experiences, but I can’t see for the life of me what it achieves. I regard it as the dumbest thing one could possibly do. “Yeah X has happened, let’s cut our own throats and not get paid for a few months. Great!”
    Yes……If you say so…..

    Premier Icon nickc

    Your brown allegro estate might well have been an “awful” car, but what has that got to do with Derek Robinson and the trade unions ?

    Mostly because the workers were crap at making cars. ’70’s BL cars had to be more or less re-built by the garages before being sold on to the public.


    GG – As a Notts lad with a father who worked in the pits, has it ever occoured to you that they just didn’t agree with the others, with striking in general or for some other reason, and preferred to earn money for their families?

    Erm……. yes, it had occurred to me that they ‘didn’t agree with the others’ 😕

    Although remember 5,000 Notts miners did very bravely support the strike. Unlike miners in other coal fields they didn’t have the support and local community backup which was so vital and important. That was one of the reason’s why my local trades council provided food, money, and accommodation to some Notts striking miners during the year long dispute – don’t forget that in the end, all their benefit payments were stopped in an attempt to starve them back to work. Something which must have been particularly difficult for them, as their scab colleagues were raking in the money.

    My reason for mentioning the Notts working miners was that doctornickriviera appeared to be under the impression that the strike’s failure was a forgone conclusion. Far from it imo. In fact I believe that it’s highly like that the strike would have succeeded had all of Notts miners come out in support – I doubt very much that the government had planned for the strike to last a whole year.

    And as for your comment of ‘cutting their own throats’ PP. It was the Notts working miners who indeed cut their own throat. “Trust us and the Union of Democratic Mineworkers” they were told by the government, “Turn your backs on the NUM, and the Notts collieries will have a bright future”. They did exactly that – and slit their own throats.

    For over 20 years now, Britain has had weak trade unions. Far from bringing the prosperity which the British people were promised it would bring, it has resulted in, completely predictably, Britain having the worst employment conditions of any comparable country. And Britain today, because of the post-trade union destruction of it’s industrial base, is worst placed of any of the other advanced industrial countries to deal with the present global economic crises.


    Lovely car the Allegro, eh nickc ?

    If only it hadn’t been so badly put together.




    The rational of “trade unionists” is incredible. Even recently Scargill (and co/NUM) where shown to be corrupt through the vibration/white hand court case. Yet still they hold him up as some sort of Icon.

    How far do you think we would have to dig down if the coal plants weren’t shut?


    And yet. The only person who has mentioned Scargill on this thread, has said, quote : “I’d dance on Scargill now whilst the nasty little twerp is still breathing.”


    As for the original question, historically the car trade and the coal miners are a similar model – Jobs for the boys (through union “power”) outputting something no one wants. Scargill knew this but wanted to keep his lifestyle


    Scargill ………….still they hold him up as some sort of Icon.

    And yet. The only person who has mentioned Scargill on this thread, has said, quote : “I’d dance on Scargill now whilst the nasty little twerp is still breathing.”


    Sounds to me as if he’s still a big bad bogey man for Daily Mail readers.

    Premier Icon aracer

    Like Thatcher is still a big bad bogey (wo)man for Socialist Worker readers?


    Yeah aracer, something like that.


    …… I think you’re getting the gist.


    Why are the governments bailing out motor manufacturers?

    Cars pollute and we kept getting told to go green – get on our bikes (which WE do). So why don’t governments chant on about how this down turn in car output will be good for the environment? Because they don’t give a sxxt about the environment! All they care about is tax receipts! The environment agenda is a political deception to relieve us of more cash – another tax!

    Did you hear any government rejoicing about the drop in oil consumption when the price shot up last year? No, because they faced loosing tax receipts when consumption fell and businesses began to struggle.

    58% drop in output they claim. Good! Roads all over the world will eventually become less conjested if this continues! For years the automotive business model was dependent on high levels of credit. Credit brought in to prop up the business because the product was costing too much to make and because they saw an opportunity to make more money.

    Less cars made will be good for us. It’s the same as money – if you print more money you devalue the currency. Less cars = better residuals.

    A vibrant successful economy produces CO2 and other waste. It is almost unavoidable. We each can do a little bit for the environment, but frankly it won’t make any difference to the big picture. We need an alternative to burning fossil fuels, but the oil companys won’t let new technologies flourish. They have a great deal of control to keep us buying their product and at the highest price.

    We have too much production in the world. This came about from too much profligate borrowing. A situation brought about by reckless bank lending, big manufacturing corporations and governments.

    What a mess we are in, now the flow of money has dried up and the silly lending has ceased!

    The situation is quite frightening.

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