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Dr. Z. and the St. Vaentines Day Massacre

February 14th, 2007

What do these two men have in common?:

Both Al Capone and Dieter ‘Dr. ‘ Zetsche both have participated in a St. Valentines Day Massacre. Capone’s was a killing of seven members of Bugs Moran’s rival criminal organization 78 years ago, in 1929. Capones men arrived in a police car, three of them dressed as Chicago police, lined the seven men inside a Clark St. Warehouse, and machine gunned them. It was the begging of the end for Capone, as the public and authorities had grown tired of his murdering ways, and the Valentines Day Massacre crossed the line that the public could not accept.

Dr. Z’s massacre happens sometime today, as 10,000 unionized workers and another 1-2,000 white collar guys will lose their jobs today – 2,000+ of those jobs in Canada. The problems at Chrysler have virtually nothing to do with the work force (conflict of interest admission: I work for Chrysler, but will not lose my job). They have over-built their product to the point of having a glut of unsalable product.

The Brampton plant has experienced 5 weeks of lay-off in the past 4 months, and worked 9 production Saturdays in that time period (including the upcoming one). To cite an example, we were off Jan 15 – Feb 4, returning to work Feb 5th. We worked Saturday Feb 10th, and are working this Saturday the 17th. That costs a fortune. When on lay-off, they top up our unemplyment to 85% of our wage, about 35-40% of what they normally pay us. Then, EI has a 15% pay back, because we make too much through the year, the company pays that to us too. So they pay about 50% of our wages to keep us at home. Then we work Saturdays, at time and a half, to build cars we didn’t make that week. That’s paying double per car.

Why do they do this. Because some guy has some number on a spread sheet. If we fall below that number in our weekly build, we work Saturday, even if they have too many cars built. Even if we were laid off for “inventory adjustment” the week before.

Today Dr. Z will announce they need to save $1,000 car, that they have too much inventory, that 10,000 people who showed up every day and did what they were told, should make alternate plans. What he won’t tell you is they should do so because of extreme mis-management.

So for the people losing their job today, a little gift:


  1. Ron
    February 14th, 2007 at 10:11 | #1

    Let’s not forget about Buzz Lightyear. After all, I should think he had a hand in the makeup of those numbers.

  2. Rob R
    February 14th, 2007 at 12:47 | #2

    Perhaps it will soon be time to stop looking at the management and start looking at the cost of all those wonderful benefits afforded you by your union.

    It’s the unions that are killing off the N. American automotive market. Invest well, that money you receive for sitting at home. It won’t last forever.

  3. Brian
    February 14th, 2007 at 13:14 | #3


    I don’t disagree with your statement re: It’s the unions that are killing off the N. American automotive market.

    And believe me, I’m looking at my options, have been for about five years.

    But, the suggestion in your post that I may be apologizing for the union is grossly unfair based on my historical record of taking the CAW to task. It’s easy to blame the union, and I often do. But this time (and it’s the third DC bloodletting in the last 6 years), this company has become so badly managed.

    See my other post for more:


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