September 03, 2007

Mexican Trucks On a Highway Near You

The Teamsters Union's request to halt a Bush Administration plan to allow trucks from Mexico on U.S. highways has been rejected by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This move will affect both union and non-union truckers further shaking up the labor market and U.S. trucking firms. The Bush Administration's plan will also compromise border control and highway safety. I am a bit surprised there isn't more of an uproar over this.

The plan will only be in effect for a year as a test or experiment. I guess next year at some point they will tally up how many fatalities were caused by unsafe trucks from Mexico and then decide on whether or not to expand the program?

I don't know the full extent of the program i.e. how will they ensure these vehicles meet U.S. standards, what labor laws will govern these drivers etc but I will look into it.

September 3, 2007 in Current Affairs, Globalization, Immigration, Labor Markets, Outsourcing, Politics and Unions, Unionization/Deunionization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2005

Possible First for US Auto

Today's Financial TImes reports that Chrysler is looking to open an auto plant in China for the U.S. market. Currently, no US auto plants in China export to the US market.

This move could signal the beginning of another major shift in the US auto industry.

Here are some excerpts from the FT article:

DaimlerChrysler is to consider setting up a production base in China to make cars for export to the US market, one of the first stages in what could be an important but politically sensitive shift in the car industry.

The talks were at a preliminary stage and no decision had been taken, he said.

However, the news comes at a time of mounting concern in the US about the competitiveness of Chinese exports, amid allegations that China's currency is undervalued.

If Chrysler were to open a plant for export, it would intensify fears that the developed world will soon be flooded by vehicles manufactured in low-cost China, just as the Chinese factories have come to dominate consumer goods such as DVDs and fridges.

April 22, 2005 in Corporate Restructuring, Globalization, Outsourcing, Unionization/Deunionization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

Outsourcing Everything

Just when you've thought you heard it all. McDonalds has decided to try outsourcing order takers at its drive-thru windows

This does raise some interesting questions. It was believed that  low wage service jobs were safe. What is to stop McDonalds from outsourcing these minimum wage jobs to India or anywhere else?


OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) -- McDonald's is testing the use of remote call centers to handle drive-thru orders. The company's CEO says, "If you're in L.A. and you hear a person with a North Dakota accent taking your order, you'll know what we're up to."

The world's largest restaurant chain wants to cut down on the number of mistakes at the drive-thru window. The chain's chief financial officer says a "heavy percentage" of complaints come from drive-thru customers who got the wrong order. Call centers would help process orders faster.

Company officials say the idea is being tested at a small number of McDonald's in the Pacific Northwest. A spokeswoman says it's too early to say whether the outsourcing strategy will be used systemwide.

March 12, 2005 in Outsourcing, Working Today | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack