I have a beef to pick with the auto industry workers that are in a union. A lot could be said about what this union has done and how it actually destroyed jobs, rather than secure them. If you bleed a business too much it won't be able to survive. But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk directly to the United Auto Workers or anyone that is in a similar situation.

The way that auto workers worked was really quite simple. You worked on an assembly line, you had your particular job on the assembly line and that yielded very good pay/benefits. Your job wasn't exactly challenging, but the union was there to protect you and insure your wages. During the years you worked there you spent most of your inflated wages on "life". Instead of saving, growing, learning and a lot of other important things, you just lived beyond your means. And then when the plant closing came you complained.

I have some advice for you and for anyone that is in a similar position.

  1. If your job can be learned in as little as a week or two, you do not have job security. Union or not. It becomes less secure the more money you make. 
  2. Your job isn't the most valuable money maker in your life. It is you. If you're not growing each year and building your "human capital" during your life, than you're worth nothing as are the skills people are willing to pay you. If you don't carve a niche in the market, build up your skills with experience and courses, you're just wasting your time. You're going to get blind sided one day.
  3. The money you do earn on your paycheck doesn't have to be spent all up before the next check. There is this thing called savings and investing. If you don't have any emergency savings than you're an idiot. If you're not putting away dollars for retirement thinking you'll have a big fat pension, you're an idiot. If you buy a house with a little or no downpayment, you're an idiot. At least live within your means. Live below your means, so you can leverage cash.
  4. Don't be some self entitled little prick because you are the worst people to hire. No one wants that type of worker. They want skilled people that get the job done. End of story. You're not special.
Out of all these points, the second one is the most important. If you're not building your skill set and becoming a more valuable person you're just playing with fire. There's a lot of ways to get human capital which include work experience, courses, specific jobs, independent research, etc. Screwing doors on an automation line is not building your human capital, especially if you've been doing it for a few decades.


Posted by Christopher | 6:17 PM | , | 0 comments »