I worked for GM back quite a while ago as a contractor. Even during that time, when they had cut back considerably on their perks and the like, they were affectionately referred to as "Generous Mothers" because of their ability to give out some of the best employee benefits in the world. And when you worked for GM, you were taken care of, no matter whether you were the lowest man on the totem pole, or the CEO, you knew that saying you worked for GM would carry some weight when negotiating something.
During the time I worked for them, the economy slowed and they cut a large number of their contractors, but never any employees. I was lucky enough to be one of those contractors and it started a process in my life that led me to where I am now. I say lucky because I am in an industry where I will rarely have to worry about job security (IT Security...there will ALWAYS be bad guys to fight) largely thanks to the self-introspection caused by their cuts and my ensuing unemployment. Even when I was cut, I felt a certain loyalty to them as they were always good to me and treated me like an equal, despite being a contractor.
I don't know how many of my old friends still work there, but the latest developments around a formerly great US company really are depressing. To see them come to the government, hat-in-hand, is disgraceful. The mismanagement and the constant concessions to the unions drove this company into bankruptcy. Many of the more recent products were definitely competitive with Japanese and European options, but because of the history of poor quality, weren't considered by many consumers.
And now the company is paying. But more importantly, the American taxpayer is paying. Through the nose. For a company that will remain to be run by its union masters, by proxy through the government.
I've purchased my last GM product for my lifetime, until they decide to take back the company from the unions and the government. So more than likely, the "until" from that statement should just be removed and a period should be inserted.
I've always been kind of a Ford-guy, but apparently, my options have been narrowed to Ford by default, since the other two American car-makers are sucking off the government teat and I have a tough time buying foreign. Guess my next truck will be an F-150. Easy enough decision. Was probably going to be that anyway.