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The Latest on Toyota/Honda Layoffs

These are bleak days for employees throughout most of the auto industry, as layoffs and terminations are announced almost daily  at the Big Three and in the related auto parts sector. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda are purging the army of “temporary workers”, while so far avoiding layoffs of their “permanent employees”.  The temporary workers at these companies have little job security and fewer benefits than the permanent employees and, in essence, are funding the job security of the permanent employees.  

What do you think of that employment model from the perspective of society and the economy?  Its a question of how best to share wealth in a society in difficult times.  Is it better to have 500 people working full-time, or 1000 people working part-time, or some combination of both?  The same basic policy issues arise in the debates about whether the state should ban or limit overtime, since employers who use a lot of overtime are also less likely to hire new workers.  Overtime is good for the existing employees, but might not help people looking for work.   Same issue with respect to the reduced work week.  Is it better to have more people working 4 days per week, or less people working 5 days per week?  This is a debate France has been battling with in recent years.

So, is Toyota helping the economy by using a large contingent workforce as a buffer for the permanent employees, or harming it?


10 Responses to The Latest on Toyota/Honda Layoffs

  1. Honda Employee

    February 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    If you think about it ..working for the foreign companies is a temporary job..
    these companies send their corporate dollars overseas.. there is little protection for the worker with foreign management using US employees against US employees…
    The company can leave anytime…to return to their country..
    Without choice ..many of our employees work 60hrs+…with little benefits… and NO CHOICE..
    The claim that Honda does not layoff employees is disguised with the word Temporary”… some of these temporary employees have worked for Honda 5-10 years…

    I have worked for Honda 7 years and feel we had a more secure work environment when we worked for the US companies.. the foreign companies have removed the stability.. in our country…

  2. john

    February 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

    The contract workers are the ones who are not treated fairly they volunteer for all the extra overtime (when it was available in the summer)they are by far the hardest workers compared to fulltimers and when bad times come they are first ones to get booted out. Why do the contracts do all this? well they hope one day a fulltime position will come along and offer some sort of stability but for Honda and Toyota workers this day likely never comes. I will tell you this if I had known it was like this I would haver never left my secure job I had prior going to Toyota. I think Toyota is harming the economy because my old job was never replaced and here I am now on EI not good for the economy. Toyota should be honest upfront and tell the contracts before they leave a secure job to come for an insecure job just for money they should warn the contracts there is a very slim chance you will be hired fulltime even if your the best worker in the world.

  3. Bill

    February 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I work for Honda and no temp has worked in my plant for 10 years………..and yes they do have a choice don’t work there as a temp. I’ll tell you why they do. Their little benifits and
    less pay are still better than anything they can get or wan’t to get. I did work with a guy who was at Honda 7 years as a Monday Friday temp. Seven years as a temp working 2 days a week doesn’t quite add up to 7 years. This also was only offered to family members of fulltimers. Also he made the same amount as I did. I have been at Honda 20 years and never been laid off. Ask some of the US auto workers if they can say that. To me it looks like they are the real temps.When it comes down to it the customer chooses who lives or dies in the Auto world.

  4. Another Honda Employee

    February 20, 2009 at 8:05 am

    “Temporary” workers IS NOT providing work stability..

    Honda came in during the 80′s and took advantage of our depressed they provided jobs ..but took advantage of reduced corporate dollars..and export-trade dollars..
    ..this slowly hurt the stability of the US worker…
    … The lack of Unions.. like a pendulum…created no voice for the worker…

    Honda already has pulled ..their Motorcycle plant..due to world economies… the auto plants will slowly follow..

    Support of American the best route… the vested interest is much stronger…and loyal..!
    When a foreign company leaves….they …simply ..close their doors.

  5. Garry

    February 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    to Another Honda employee,
    Very well said, Its about time that north americans stand up against these foreign companies and make them submit to our needs as Canadian and american people. There is more of us than them, for God sake people its about time to grow some nuts. I left Toyota because I am not a second class employee to no one I have put my time in the work force and have paid my dues luckily for me my former company did not see me as second class as they took me back in a heart beat. The trouble is about 90% of the full timers are so bloody brainwashed by the japanese they cant see what needs to be seen. Like the japanese famous robots they have become, they say jump full timers say how high. And a note to anyone on contract your not beneath anyone tell them that let them know you will not be controlled by fear and intimidation, they cant do anything to you. I am not a union supporter however places like toyota and honda were the very reason unions existed in the first place. The difference now is the companies tell their fulltime employees what they want to hear to avoid union affiliation, do they care? wake up! I have never worked for a larg company that cared for its employees remember we are the first ones to take it where the sun dont shine. Again brainwashed. But what do I know you have a job for life.

  6. john

    February 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Garry where in Toyota did you work was it body repair?

  7. contractor

    February 26, 2009 at 2:39 am

    If you go to Torrance, CA most your hard working people there are contractors that have been there for years. Think the person referring to temps that have been there 10 years, was meaning the corporate offices.

  8. Mags

    March 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I just heard the motorcycle division is asking for voluntary seperation !!!

  9. Steve Neff

    April 19, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I worked as a temporary at honda in anna during the early 1990′s. Thanks to George Bush and his persian gulf war all temps got laid off no advanced warning like now. Honda said no workers would loose jobs except for temps.

  10. Ex contractor

    July 5, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I worked as a contractor at Honda R&D for many
    years. Now all the contract designers are being replaced with unskilled lower cost contract staff from overseas.
    Where there were 40 design engineers there are now 120+. They may be cheaper but the quality of data suffers and it takes much longer to produce.

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