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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Sunday, January 01, 2006 ::

    How Bedrock Promises Of Security Have Fractured Across America - By Peter G. Gosselin, Los Angeles Times
    Despite the dimensions of GM's problems, GM executives have thus far taken comparatively incremental steps, winning some healthcare concessions from its unions, closing a few plants and reducing white-collar staff. By contrast, Miller has launched what appeared — at least until recently — to be a full frontal attack.

    Since arriving at Delphi in July, the former Chrysler executive, who has led other troubled companies such as Federal-Mogul and Bethlehem Steel into bankruptcy, has made a series of incendiary remarks seemingly calculated to push the company's unions to within a hair's breadth of a strike.

    "Paying $65 an hour for someone mowing the lawn at one of our plants is just not going to cut it in industrial America," he said at one news conference, a reference to the average combined wages, benefits and pensions of an hourly Delphi worker. Miller refused through a company spokesman to be interviewed for this article.

    For the Packard Electric workers, what's at stake is a 20-year-old deal that they say guaranteed them lifetime employment in return for concessions that enabled the company to take on low-wage foreign competitors.
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