GE and its corporate brethren used to talk a lot about their desire for ever higher profits which, they claimed, would "trickle down" to us. But the richer corporations became, the leaner and meaner they got. Thus it became necessary to find new ways and new words to justify their greed. These days everything is explained not by the need to be more profitable, but to be more"COMPETITIVE"!
Name your poison: insurance cost shifting, subcontracting, stagnant wages, job combinations, lower corporate taxes, etc. All is justified by what Jack Welch calls "brutal" competition.
But in GEs case we have to ask just what competition are they talking about? Take profits per employee for example, one of the best indicators of employee productivity.
GE is making over two and one half times as much as its closest domestic competitor in the amount of profits per worker. In 1998, GEs net profits were nearly 60% greater than those of the seven companies listed in the accompanying chart COMBINED!
But what about those
It turns out that GE clobbers the global competition in profits per worker, and in every other significant measure of economic performance. In fact the gap between GE and its major foreign competitors has been widening in recent years. While GE has rapidly expanded into Europe and Asia, foreign competitors have been unable to dent GEs supremacy in North America.
GE doesnt seem to
worry too much about the competition when it enters into joint ventures with the
likes of Pratt and Whitney, Hitachi, Toshiba, ABB, Rolls-Royce, and scores of
others. But with the expiration of our National Contract upon us, we can expect to hear even more than usual from GE about their need to
GE WORKERS SHOULD INDEED BE REWARDED ON THE BASIS OF "COMPETITIVENESS". WHEN THAT HAPPENS, WE WILL HAVE BY FAR THE BEST WAGES AND BENEFITS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
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