GM - a win-win deal?

2007

It's good to see that what I like to fondly refer to as the "Spirit of 1776" isn't completely dead yet. If you haven't heard, GM autoworkers invoked their rarely-used right to strike during contract negotiations in Detroit.

As the Los Angeles Times, amongst many others, reported, the strike was a success in that both parties walked away feeling that they won something - and that's the way it should be.

Specifically, management succeeded in closing the pay gap between GM and Toyota workers, while the autoworkers managed to win insurance/healthcare concessions.

For reasons I don't fully understands, strikes are generally viewed in America as a negative thing. However, let's not forget that this is exactly how progress was won over the years. Perhaps it hasn't helped you directly, but strikes have likely helped someone in your family throughout the generations.

While it's not quite a social art the way it is in, for example, France, it's an important tool that we should keep on the table. We should also give a resounding vote of thanks to the men and women in Detroit and across the country who put their employment at risk to make sure that everyone got the deal they deserved.

All too often in corporate America, everyone is too busy fighting for their own needs. It's good to see office mates willing to walk the line in order to make sure that everyone gets a piece of the pie.

Most of us in the suit and tie world are willing to do a lot less for a hell of a lot more money – are we ready to take the lead and fight for less well-paid colleagues?