Those ‘overpaid’ autoworkers

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

 

As the debate goes on about bailing out the Big Three American automakers, you may have heard the figure manufactured by General Motors that UAW workers are paid $73 an hour.

There’s been several posts at the Unqualified Offerings blog which explains why this number is wrong, but I think the key post is this one, which explains that GM is including unrelated health care and pension costs for retirees. As blogger Jim Henley comments, “The only reason I can think of for propagating the ‘70/hour’ canard is political: to foster resentment of GM’s ‘lavishly paid’ workforce among people who make less than $70/hour, which is most of us.”

The actual figure for wages is about $28 an hour, according to blogger Felix Salmon.

Surely any debate about the UAW’s role in helping or hurting auto makers ought to be based on actual facts.

Comments

Anonymous

I think under the latest UAW contract new hires max out at about 18 dollars per hour. With fewer benefits, too.

I read in the Plain Dealer about PNC setting aside tens of millions of dollars from the money they received from the federal government in order to give severance pay to the top execs from National City. And they don't want to help the car companies because those guys on the line make too much?

All that fussing with the Big 3 CEO's about needing to see a plan......and they pumped another 200 million into Citigroup without even a committee meeting.

More than a little bit of class warfare and union busting going on here for sure.

Anonymous

as we have all learned over time is not to believe everything you read. reporters are just looking for something to report, not always is the truth reported which is sad. just remember, everyones job, no matter how unimportant it may seem would suffer should our auto industry would be allowed to go belly up. with all the workers not having benefits there would be a large decline in hospital and dr. visits so, hospitals would be forced to cut back because there would no longer a nice kick back from the insurance companies. no longer would these people be sending their kids to day cares because they would be home so, there would be cut backs in that service. all food businesses would suffer because eating out would no longer be a choice because these people will have to go into a survival mode. picture roughly 284,000 people from g.m. out of work, now add ford and chrysler and that come to about 852,000 people out of work and no benefits. now, anyone with an ounce of sense should be able to understand how the chain of effect will happen. grocery stores would cut back as well because who will have the money to buy the high priced meats that we are forced to buy now. dont let your anger at how much someone makes cloud your judgement. dont be so blind as to say that it wouldnt hurt your little job. in time, it would in some way. do i think ceo's should take cuts, you bet. until or if that should ever happen i will do what it takes to help keep the economy going. i dont want anyone to suffer any more than we already have. i have compassion for people who have lost and still are loosing their homes and jobs. wishing or letting the auto workers go under would be like shooting a person with cancer for a cure. only a part is sick but, you dont have to kill the part that isnt to get good results. please stop hating the auto workers long enough to care about the ones that are already suffering and if you are still blessed to have a job, do as i am doing. help the ones that cross your path. maybe you cant do much but, doing something is better than doing nothing and its has better results than people bitching, complaining, and talking foolishly when they have no idea of what they are talking about. yes, i am doing what i can, with what little i have. even if its only to buy a few gallons of gas for someone. it may keep them warm because, they have now only their car for shelter. if you havent fallen to such hard times, be thankful and think before you speak harshly about things. we are all connected by the strand of life. we need each other, its called life and living.
Merry Christmas

Anonymous

One of the biggest myths going around, and their flying around like dust in the Sahara Desert, is that union workers are responsible for our economic troubles. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Union workers did not tell Bush to rewrite laws governing the way securitizations are traded; the banksters did that.

Union workers did not subsequently export bundles of worthless securitizations around the globe in return for trillions of dollars; the banksters did that.

Union workers did not lie and give a triple A rating to those worthless securitizations; the banksters did that.

Union workers did not fleece the entire world; banksters did that.

Union workers did not cause the global economic collapse; the banksters did that.

Union workers did not put folks out of their jobs so they can no longer buy anything including cars; the banksters did that.

Bonnie and Clyde did not rob unions, they robbed banks. And people cheered them. Why? Because the banksters robbed us then just like they robbed us now.