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Workers at Chevy Volt battery plant built with federal money paid to do nothing...

Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,916
1,362
126
Now a new report says in one Michigan plant, built with $151 million in federal money to assemble battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt, workers have been paid for months to do nothing. According to WOOD-TV of Grand Rapids, Mich., the 300 workers at the LG Chem plant in nearby Holland have yet to ship a single battery pack since the plant opened late last year. While employees have built battery cells for testing, those were shipped back to LG Chem's home labs in South Korea months ago, leaving workers to do odd jobs around the factory, volunteer for community projects or just sit and play Monopoly. Several say training also stopped months ago, leading some employees to quit in frustration.



...But paying people to do nothing is the weakest form of economic stimulus, and the idle plant highlights how big government bets on where and when the future will arrive often go bad -- or leave a few lucky people plenty of time to practice pinochle.
http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/workers-chevy-volt-battery-plant-built-federal-money-182043143.html

Getting pay while playing games for MONTHS?

GM is alive indeed. :D
 
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bfdd

Lifer
Feb 3, 2007
13,312
1
0
Oh lord.... Seriously? Why the fuck do they get involved at all? To justify their jobs and pillage more from us? Everyone needs to stop supporting these assholes, if you pay taxes STOP, if you don't, well whatever keep up the "good" work then.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
0
No consumer for the products being manufactured.
What other company would manufacture additional extra sales inventory when the existing product is not moving.

But if there is a cost benefit to having trained workers on hand for when demand picks up, then the profit motive can justify. Cost to retrain a new work force could delay product output by 6_13 months.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
126
Just FYI I knew I would find another side to this story and the article is at th Chevy volt forum. It maybe isn't quite so bad as soon--let's be honest now!--want this to be.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17952-Sick-of-this-carp-Article-on-LG-Chem-battery-plant-workers-playing-cards-and-monopo
Are you sure you linked what you meant to link? Nothing there makes me think it's any better than how it appears on the surface. Our taxes (DOE grant) are being used to pay people union wages to not work. We have:

"They are running out of ideas against the Volt.... more creative stuff to come, but less and less effective..."
"At Tesla they were playing chess tournaments. Did this plant ever go into production?"
"The U.S. Department of Energy provided a $151 million grant, The company has spent $133 million so far, $7 million to train workers, $700,000 for workers' health and dental insurance, the rest for construction and equipment, including $500,00 for the initial groundbreaking construction.

So...
They spent some of the money they are entitled to, it was spent on what they said they would spend it on, they have not drawn against other sources. While waiting for battery demand to catch up, the company has been reluctant to fire its trained workers and has kept them employed instead doing menial jobs and community outreach projects.

How can we cast this in the worst possible light?"
If you see a bright side to this, best get scanned for a brain tumor, dude, 'cause that light is visible only in your mind.

Quick, someone tell the government I'm willing to not work for 3/4 of union scale. Or if they want to maximize the stimulus effect, I'm also willing to not work for twice union scale. I can not work with the best of them. Hell, I'm willing to not even show up!
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
No consumer for the products being manufactured.
What other company would manufacture additional extra sales inventory when the existing product is not moving.

But if there is a cost benefit to having trained workers on hand for when demand picks up, then the profit motive can justify. Cost to retrain a new work force could delay product output by 6_13 months.
That was sort of my thought as well. Even if a company received federal money, it's hard to imagine them doing something that doesn't actually make much business sense.

I also wonder how much of stories like this comes from selection bias. There is an obvious political motivation to paint "green" companies, particularly those that received federal funds, as inefficient or corrupt or incompetent. But when that's all you're looking for, that's obviously all you're going to find. Does this sort of thing only happen with federally funded green energy companies? Or is it a relatively common practice to have a plant ready to go in expectation of future production?
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
to me it sure looks like LG fucked the government. Got them to pay for research and materials then shipped the stuff back.
 

conehead433

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 2002
5,218
275
126
Well I guess someone thinks this is news. Probably over 50% of government workers do little to nothing.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
126
That was sort of my thought as well. Even if a company received federal money, it's hard to imagine them doing something that doesn't actually make much business sense.

I also wonder how much of stories like this comes from selection bias. There is an obvious political motivation to paint "green" companies, particularly those that received federal funds, as inefficient or corrupt or incompetent. But when that's all you're looking for, that's obviously all you're going to find. Does this sort of thing only happen with federally funded green energy companies? Or is it a relatively common practice to have a plant ready to go in expectation of future production?
To answer that we'd have to find a green energy manufacturing company the government missed. Not bloody likely.
 

wirednuts

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2007
7,121
1
0
to me it sure looks like LG fucked the government. Got them to pay for research and materials then shipped the stuff back.
gubberment fucked themselves. they have been pressing for a free international market for decades, and then when one of our companies loses to the new competition they decide to throw money into a pit.
 

DucatiMonster696

Diamond Member
Aug 13, 2009
4,269
1
71
No consumer for the products being manufactured.
What other company would manufacture additional extra sales inventory when the existing product is not moving.

But if there is a cost benefit to having trained workers on hand for when demand picks up, then the profit motive can justify. Cost to retrain a new work force could delay product output by 6_13 months.
The cost benefit is only there because it is being funded by taxpayer dollars. The cost benefit without any government money would of seen these people laid off, the project scrapped or quickly revamped because it could not compete against established players like Toyota in a competitive market. This is a classic example of how government sustains inefficiency and thus so called "cost benefit" you are talking about only exists so long as government keeps footing the bill at taxpayer expense for the company involved and does not exist because this endeavor can sustain itself.

In addition the article tries to paint the Volt's slowed growth in a similar light to Toyota's Prius first year model but this is not an equivalent scenario. When Toyota moved into the market with the Prius it was at the time the only car manufacturer producing a hybrid car product that fit in with the price range and value average consumers were willing to pay, This enabled them to gain a huge foothold in the market for such vehicles based on striving to improve their product and pushing for efficiency in cost controls. In other words the bounce for the volt will be minimal (if at all there) compared to the Prius because the Volt is going up against an established product which is incentivised to become more efficient due to market pressure and a need to stay efficient in every area because it is not being propped up by US tax dollars.
 
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Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
13,306
2
0
uh what? that link you linked doesn't say shit except people upset that the Volt is underattack.
So...
They spent some of the money they are entitled to, it was spent on what they said they would spend it on, they have not drawn against other sources. While waiting for battery demand to catch up, the company has been reluctant to fire its trained workers and has kept them employed instead doing menial jobs and community outreach projects.


Basically it reads like they are on the bench, which is common for workers but if the company expects demand to rise they don't lay people off. I've been on the bench before and basically you're just dicking around until the company finds you something to do. And if they don't, well eventually you do get canned.
 

bfdd

Lifer
Feb 3, 2007
13,312
1
0
So...
They spent some of the money they are entitled to, it was spent on what they said they would spend it on, they have not drawn against other sources. While waiting for battery demand to catch up, the company has been reluctant to fire its trained workers and has kept them employed instead doing menial jobs and community outreach projects.


Basically it reads like they are on the bench, which is common for workers but if the company expects demand to rise they don't lay people off. I've been on the bench before and basically you're just dicking around until the company finds you something to do. And if they don't, well eventually you do get canned.
My issue is with the fact tax backed dollars went towards a private venture, less so with the venture doing what it feels like with its money.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
126
So...
They spent some of the money they are entitled to, it was spent on what they said they would spend it on, they have not drawn against other sources. While waiting for battery demand to catch up, the company has been reluctant to fire its trained workers and has kept them employed instead doing menial jobs and community outreach projects.


Basically it reads like they are on the bench, which is common for workers but if the company expects demand to rise they don't lay people off. I've been on the bench before and basically you're just dicking around until the company finds you something to do. And if they don't, well eventually you do get canned.
Seriously? Money they are entitled to?

Hope that's just poor phrasing, dude.
 

Paratus

Lifer
Jun 4, 2004
14,722
8,025
146
I'm sorry, politics aside, the Volt power train is beautiful engineering. The ability to drive meaningful distances without using gas but being able to fill up and continue is great. The next step is to replace the engine with something more efficient. Ethanol, natural gas, fuel cell, diesel, even compressed air generators would all work with the power train.
 

sportage

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2008
9,573
1,533
126
The government does not employ people to build cars.
There are no government owned auto plants.
Except in the delusional mind of faux news and Rush Fatballs.
But nice try....
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
78,804
11,774
126
The government does not employ people to build cars.
There are no government owned auto plants.
Except in the delusional mind of faux news and Rush Fatballs.
But nice try....
Right, but of course when democrats print bullshit political cartoons that suddenly becomes the new gospel.


Nice try.....
 

DucatiMonster696

Diamond Member
Aug 13, 2009
4,269
1
71
So...
They spent some of the money they are entitled to, it was spent on what they said they would spend it on, they have not drawn against other sources. While waiting for battery demand to catch up, the company has been reluctant to fire its trained workers and has kept them employed instead doing menial jobs and community outreach projects.


Basically it reads like they are on the bench, which is common for workers but if the company expects demand to rise they don't lay people off. I've been on the bench before and basically you're just dicking around until the company finds you something to do. And if they don't, well eventually you do get canned.
The issue is that your example provides a scenario where an independent private firm, free of government intrusion can layoff workers without politicians jumping in to save their own faces when this business acts in its own interest. The potential issue that GM faces if the Volt does indeed continue to flop will undoubtedly cause political ramifications which are external to the business reasons of deciding whether to layoff workers or discontinue the Chevy Volt.

Of which this will not jive politically even if it is indeed the best course of action business wise. Thus if GM does indeed need to layoff these workers for sound business reasons then this can/will potentially create a conflict of interest with those politicians/political parties who have vested political capital at stake with GM's appearance of success or failure. Thus this conflict of interest could potentially cause them to prop up a failed debacle further than it should be economically and at taxpayer expense.
 
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1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,283
502
126
I'm sorry, politics aside, the Volt power train is beautiful engineering. The ability to drive meaningful distances without using gas but being able to fill up and continue is great. The next step is to replace the engine with something more efficient. Ethanol, natural gas, fuel cell, diesel, even compressed air generators would all work with the power train.

And almost impossible for even some of the most highly trained GM mechanics to fix without GM sending engineers out to them to assist them,

I pity the people that end up buying one of these second or third hand on the used car market and expect their local mechanic to repair it cheaply if they even could at all.
 

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