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Just read this story.

https://www.9news.com/article/news/nation-now/general-motors-offers-buyouts-to-18000-workers-the-world-is-changing/465-3e44add5-0a70-412f-9f40-bd6a66b60a9b

Basically if you are 10 years out of school, you cost too much so they are kicking you out of the company. And hiring new grads to do the work.

I watched this happen in Lockheed Martin and it resulted in a bunch of issues because the new kids, while smart and well educated had not gotten the years of scar tissue that result from doing the work for a couple of decades. Lots of mistakes were made. Stuff started blowing up on the pad or failing to reach orbit. Then they decided, maybe we made a mistake.

The head of GM is from HR. Everyone knows that the only reason a company has HR is to protect the company from its own employees. And to get rid of them when they are used up.

No retirement
Crappy benefits
Regular raises and a pat on the back until you get to mid-career then its out the door you poor sap. You cost too much! Your skills are too old! You are too old!

The new American dream.

I have been in an industry where I have been able to make my experience a positive but I have watched the kids come in the door with a big smile on their faces, then seen their backs as they get booted out the door.

I actually watched on more than one occasion a mid-career engineer get called into the managers office, is handed his raise. They shake his hand. Tell him what a good job he is doing. Then "One more thing Bill . . " and since he now costs too much they give him his layoff notice and escort him out the door. They don't even get to go back to their desk. No farewell party. No time for good byes. He went from a trusted, valued employee to a liability and a part of a quota to cut costs.

I watched some of these guys get laid off in the 90s and they NEVER came back into an engineering job. They take their money and open a sandwich shop or a coffee shop.

One of my boss's got the call while I was in his office. They told him that they were laying off a bunch of mid level engineer individual contributors and for "balance" they decided to lay off ONE mid level manager. And HE was the lucky winner! Come on down! Here is your layoff package. No hard feelings. You are a great guy, did a great job for us for 18 years but we gotta demonstrate to the little people that we are "fair" and you are the token manager being cut! Enjoy the rest of your life. Just get out by the end of the day please. He found a job with the phone company working requirements and loading analysis at half his pay but he was happy to be out of the rat race and stayed there for the next 20 years.

Color me disgusted in Colorado
 

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Rob

I am living it, and your comments are very real. The world is changing, and maybe not so much for the good. Much experience is being lost for the sake of saving a dollar, and I know it does not send a good message to the young ones coming in to replace these people. Its a sad, but it is the truth.
 

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i'm a manufacturing engineer/ CNC programmer. I consider myself pretty lucky. i've worked in the same company for 30 years and as of tomorrow i can officially retire. I'm not planning to for 3 or 4 years though (or maybe more - the wife is 14 years younger and says she'll kill me in my sleep if she has to keep working and i don't :surprise:)
 

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And I got hamblasted here for suggesting that "new" GM is only different from "old" GM in that it got to offload debt at the expense of its employees, small shareholders, and taxpayers.

As far as their behavior goes, it's the same blindingly short-sighted, headed for Chapter 7 company that it was in 1977. That's it's been allowed to stumble-bum along like an excruciatingly slow sinking of the Titanic for 40 years while morons like Rick Wagoner were made crazy rich is a travesty.
 

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AT&T is doing the same thing got rid of 1200 managers in the last few weeks with many as Rob pointed out in that 10 year seniority window the techs are the next to go . I worked for them for 42 years and towards the end of my career they targeted the senior employees to the point that they made it hell to go to work . Since my retirement they have changed the pension plan ,diluted the union ,and have a throw away policy as far as employees go .We could care less about your job knowledge or dedication to the company because we will replace you with someone who we pay less and don't have to worry about pension costs because in 10 years we will lay them off . The union workers are now working without a contract for almost a year and the company has left the bargaining table . This is just the way of the world in large corporations I'm glad I left when I did .
 

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I'm living it, in the Medical industry. I've worked in hospitals for the last 14 years and it's been apparent to me that there's an obvious slow shift in the industry over the past few years. 3 months ago we laid off over 20% of the entire radiology staff. Nearly all middle management has been cut in the entire hospital. We continue to have waves of cuts, it's not over yet. All hospitals in the city are doing it. Friends hospitals in Tennessee and Florida are doing it.

Do more, with less.

I'm not here to defend the medical industry as I know first hand that it's broken, I'm just saying that the shift is happening here too.

My best friend was a programmer for Coors here in Denver and moved to Oregon to program for a Deschutes brewery a year ago. Just a couple months ago they laid off many people.

It's happening to all industries I'm afraid. No one's safe.

It's sad.
 

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Back in the early 80's, I worked for a national retail chain, Allied Stores. It was a period where corporate raiders were causing havoc by buying large businesses and selling off parts of the company for huge profit, then either shuttering the business or sell off the remainder.

Allied Stores owned Ann Frank, Brooks Brothers, Jordan Marsh, Maas Bros., Bonwit Teller and the stores I worked for, The Bon Marche and many others. Allied Stores also owned over 20 Large Shopping Malls.

Allied attempted to fight the takeovers by increasing their cash position. They layed off thousands of employees and sold a few properties.

As a final takeover fight, they offered management personnel with 10 or more years of service, stock options, profit sharing and defined retirement an early retirement. I was one of the first ones to raise my hand. I received lump sum cash for my stock options, severance, profit sharing and retirement.

Several years later, to fight off another raiding attempt, Allied again laid off employees. That time it was management and hourly employees. For this layoff, no severance and no cash out of retirement and profit sharing. Thousands were let go. The retail workers union was weak and allowed the company to lay off the higher paid seasoned employees first. Management was non union so Allied laid of the higher earning management.

Allied lost the takeover fight, new owners laid off more employees, sold all the shopping malls for cash and filed chapter 11. The remaining undercapitalized, understaffed stores were acquired by Macys. Any remaining management was laid off or had their compensation reduced. All profit sharing and stock options disappeared during Chapter 11.

Many other retail chains suffered from a similar fate. With so much unemployed retail executives flooding the market, salaries dropped.

Most former Allied employees sought work outside the retail sector.
 

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AT&T is doing the same thing got rid of 1200 managers in the last few weeks with many as Rob pointed out in that 10 year seniority window the techs are the next to go . I worked for them for 42 years and towards the end of my career they targeted the senior employees to the point that they made it hell to go to work . Since my retirement they have changed the pension plan ,diluted the union ,and have a throw away policy as far as employees go .We could care less about your job knowledge or dedication to the company because we will replace you with someone who we pay less and don't have to worry about pension costs because in 10 years we will lay them off . The union workers are now working without a contract for almost a year and the company has left the bargaining table . This is just the way of the world in large corporations I'm glad I left when I did .
Yup, been there, seen that. Had 33 years as a manager with Michigan Bell/Ameritech/SBC/AT&T. At that time, they had a "5 and 5" retirement offer (for you non AT&T folks, this is a plan where they add 5 years to your age and 5 years to your seniority thus boosting your pension - remember those?). After 33 years, I took the plan in a New York minute, fully realizing that the next retirement plan could be "don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out".

Short term: maybe the company "saves" money.
Long term: It's going to hurt the company AND the nation.
 

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I am living it as well in Canada. I have been with my company for over 20 years as an Engineer. Our business is automotive powertrain and transmission components (clutch plates, oil pumps, differentials, etc.). From a quoting point of view, it is obvious the change in the automotive landscape. Much less business being quoted for conventional transmissions and now we are moving towards small, micro electric pumps. The problem is that our equipment is designed to make large parts (12" diameter clutch plates). Now we are trying to retrofit to make 1.5" diameter gears.

From a new hire point of view, I find the vast majority of new Engineers have a certain level of 'entitlement'. They have no interest in 'cutting their teeth' doing grunt work to understand the process and make it better. They just want to work 8-4pm and sit at their desk on their computers/phones. They expect that whatever they design/develop on a computer will work in the field. As soon as it gets a little rough (something doesn't go right), they clam up and go on stress leave or quit. They cannot take constructive criticism or react positively to any level of failure.

In my experience, a good Engineer is one who learns the manufacturing process from start to finish and becomes a SME (Subject Matter Expert). Then uses their Engineering skills to make the process safer, more efficient and cost effective. 90% of new Engineers I have worked with in the automotive industry (50 plus Engineers) lack this skill/interest. It's sad.

Sadly, I am at the point where if new Engineers don't ask for my input, I don't offer it. I let them fail (and the company) because as soon as I share my knowledge, I become obsolete. Now if they ask, then I will get them out on the plant floor doing grunt work along side me. That's is how they will learn.
 

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Wow. It looks to me like you all missed the point of the article.

It's not about cutting jobs, or unfairness to loyal workers. It's about the paradigm shift that is coming to the auto industry--whether those of us with with oil in our veins, axle grease under our fingernails, and gas fumes in our nostrils like it or not.

I think the article makes it clear that GM (and apparently the other automakers as well) has a better idea than many of us do of how the industry is going to change; and that the General is eager (if not desperate) to tailor his workforce to meet the challenges of those coming changes.

We gear heads need to wake up and realize (as the auto industry apparently already has) that EV's are going to be--indeed, must be (and probably sooner than we expect)--the personal transportation norm--no matter how hard the fossil-fuel industry and it's minions in Congress (and the moron in the White House) try to stop it.

An infrastructure built around automobiles powered by internal combustion is, in the long run, simply not sustainable. Global warming is real, climate change is real, finite petroleum supplies are real, and (sadly) engineers who design dino-fueled vehicles are soon to be dinosaurs themselves.

So, harsh though it may be for the professionals who cut their teeth on reciprocating engines, you really can't blame GM for trying
to keep from becoming irrelevant in a rapidly changing world.

Hey, I'm a car guy! At 69 years of age, I flat out love my four-stroke, gas-powered vehicles: my old Solstice, my even older Moto Guzzis, my even older Spitfire, and my (essentially ancient) Meriden-built Triumph motorcycles. I can't imagine life without them, without clutches and manual transmissions, without a timing light in one hand and a Whitworth spanner in the other.

But I suppose my great grandfathers loved their horses and shoeing hammers the same way. So it won't be long before we Solstice enthusiasts are yelling at Chevy Bolt owners: "Get an oil change!" And with just as much relevance.

(Nomex underwear on. Flame away.)
 

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not Trump's fault, it started happening long before he was even on the Apprentice. With the state of politics now we have bigger problems to fear....
Bill
Everything is Trump's fault.

Well, not EVERYTHING, but a lot of things are, and he's a convenient target.

(ducks)
 

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Rob's analysis and commentary are, as usual, well-informed, succinct and oddly restrained.

Age-ism is a real thing, and total BS. If you're talking about people assembling baseballs for Nike, then, yeah, fire the 11 year olds and hire some 7's.

If you're talking about putting something on top of a [email protected]#!!! ROCKET that goes INTO THE AIR (much less space), I'd rather have the guy that invented this crap 200000 years ago than some new kids with Ph.D's with wet ink. I think all the people living within +0-30° of the launch site would, as well.

You can't buy experience or wisdom.

That doesn't mean that the younger guys coming up aren't necessarily capable, but firing your brain trust to save a few bucks is insane. (Captain Tangent says: "Remember that startup that fired its engineers in order to invest more in sales?")

Even in my mid 40s, I'm seeing this already. I'm very aware that, in my industry, I've got a very limited number of job changes in front of me before my age becomes a real, obvious factor. (Really, it already is, but I have awesome hair.)
 

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On the topic of the changing landscape in the automotive industry, I watched a very interesting show on TV (its called Motoring 2019 up here in Canada).
The topic of electrification of vehicles came up. The show noted that only 11% of the total emissions (CO, NOx and VOC's) come from passenger cars in Canada. Meaning, even if every car in Canada converted to electric, we would still have 89% of the problem out there. Also, this 11% is dropping every year as more an more older cars, that have poor emission control, are coming off the road. They predict that if all ICE vehicles were newer, the emission contribution would be under 7%.

The electrification of vehicles is just a crash grab using the idea that we are saving the environment as the back drop. As electric car production grows, the ICE vehicles production will drop. The ICE cars will become more expensive (no more getting an ICE car for $25k new) because the volume discounts on parts aren't there. The electric vehicles will eventually drop in price, but it will take a while.

To be honest, I think the manufacturer that 'bucks' the electrification trend may be the most successful in the end.
In my opinion, with 400 mile range, 30 minute/80% charge and limited infrastructure, the electric car would only be a second vehicle for my family. I would need an ICE vehicle for family vacations down to NC or FL (or anywhere further than 1000kms).
 

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the electric car would only be a second vehicle for my family. I would need an ICE vehicle for family vacations down to NC or FL (or anywhere further than 1000kms).
Not disagreeing with your point, but I would have said it a little differently: .... the "ICE" (not electric) car would only be a "second vehicle" for my family. I would need an ICE vehicle for family vacations down to NC or FL (or anywhere further than 1000kms).

And it is possible that the economics of THE FUTURE could retire that ICE vehicle in favor of other future options available too. Just saying ......
 
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