Guilt gets things done.
I should know.
I was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic schools in Louisville for 12 years, so you can trust me when I say I know about guilt.
In an editorial published in Sunday’s Courier-Journal, Joe Reagan – President and CEO of Greater Louisville, Inc., the Metro Chamber of Commerce – invokes the Bible in an attempt to shame workers into accepting the absurd contract proposal offered by Ford Motor Company:
Ultimately, Ford, the UAW and Louisville will succeed through a continued commitment to a strong three-way partnership. As Ecclesiastes proclaims, a three-ply cord is not easily broken. It is profoundly important to all of us across the region that this agreement is ratified.
The fact that the local chamber of commerce is taking sides in a contract vote is not new or surprising, but the shameless use of religious scripture by the unscrupulous business whores at GLI takes us to a new low.
The tentative national agreement would possibly bring more jobs to Louisville’s two Ford plants. That fact seems to be the lynchpin of Reagan’s argument.
Forget the reality that any “new jobs” would pay half the traditional wage with no retirement or access to comprehensive health care. Also, any “new jobs” depend on the sales volume of the vehicle, not on how much workers give back to the company.
Anyone who has spent a few years on an assembly line knows how important affordable access to a doctor can be to one’s survival.
I spent nine years at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road, and my blood was on those walls.
The Louisville workers and retirees of Ford , along with auto company’s workforce nationwide, have given up as much as any other group of workers in the country during the last 10 years in an effort to become “competitive” and save the company from failure due to incompetent management.
Their efforts have paid off. Ford earned $6.6 billion in 2010 and is riding high in 2011, earning $5.7 billion in the first half of this year.
These profits come in the wake of a new CEO, a revamped vehicle lineup and lower labor costs, the latter courtesy of the UAW.
Still, Reagan and Ford executives say wages are too high and that labor costs must decline further in order for the automaker to remain “competitive.”
That responsibility is once again placed squarely on the shoulders of the hourly workers and retirees of Ford Motor Company as company executives cut themselves gigantic bonus checks for putting the squeeze on your friends and neighbors that build the cars and trucks. To this end, Reagan, Ford and even the UAW have urged the rank-and-file to pass the agreement.
The more we examine the particulars of the contract, the more we tend to look at exactly who is pressuring whom to pass this thing, and once again, it is the millionaires pressuring the $50,000 per year guy to accept less.
There’s nothing sanctimonious about climbing up your ivory tower, collecting your $370,000 per year salary as president and CEO of the local chamber of commerce, then telling the “little people” they must further sacrifice in the name of corporate profits.
Joe, you can repeat all the phony and inflated job numbers you want. It won’t make them true.
And as long as we are quoting scripture, here are a few Mr. Reagan can dwell on as he sits at his well-polished desk, doing his make-believe job:
One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
The three-ply cord is not easily broken. That is true. But the three-ply cord hasn’t a chance when it comes to bearing the weight of the pompous asses who demand passage of this agreement.
Let’s allow the workers to decide for themselves.