Latest on the UAW Bailout

Status
Not open for further replies.
gary --you state that the wages are not TOO high. just to clarify -- i asked if someone could verify that the uaw line workers make nearly $100,000. a year, 15 to 20 years ago, and that it must be over that now. as well, one stated that the pension is 95% of their pay. that would make a uaw pension of at least $95,000 / year. the numbers just seem high. according to the noise on t.v. about this, the line workers make about $28/ hour. over a year, that's $58k.i'm not figuring overtime, as there can't have been much overtime in big 3 assembly plants for the last couple of years. even with some overtime, the numbers would be tens of thousands of dollars off. i'm going on the assumption that the $28./hr. figure is correct. could a uaw line worker clarify these numbers ? i'm assuming that this hasn't happened yet, because of all the uaw bashing going on. i guess it's how one looks at. if one makes 35, or 40k., then that would make it a lot of money. the last number of posts have been intelligent, and civil -- and that makes for good debate.
 
I don't know whats with animosity towards the UAW anyway. I'm a little bitter with them right now that they won't flex to get the loan (I think taking a temporary pay cut is better than being indefinitely unemployed), but if anything, we should be trying to protect these people and the businesses that employ them. Manufacturing and farming are two core businesses that are the backbone of this country. Unskilled labor my [censored], how many of you want to stand on your feet all day putting cars together in a hot factory? Why should the Americans working at Toyota factories make any less, for that matter? Their complacency is probably half the reason the US auto industry is in the mess its in. They should have walked out of the stupid Camry factory until they were making $70/hour. These people do jobs that are necessary and add *real* value to the economy. Half the reason I buy American cars is because I know I'm supporting hard working Americans, and I think they deserve every penny. It's amazing how we can spend so much money and effort sticking our nose where it doesn't belong overseas, but when it comes to taking care of our own, the attitude is to just let em rot.
 
Last edited:
As you said, UAW line workers do NOT make 100 grand in a 40hr work week year. They can make 100k however, as you said it is possible with overtime and they do at times. Pension is NOT 95% of their pay, it's closer to 25%. I'm not a UAW line worker. In my family I have both current and retired UAW workers, which is how I know these numbers. Some are line workers, some are skilled workers. The retired guy I know of is my father. A tool and die maker. We talk often about this topic. We are of similar mindset. That's not to say we agree on every detail. I know what his retirement check is and I know what his pay was.
 
While it's easy for one to think this way, perhaps you should also think of the people buying a car, most of whom don't earn anywhere near this kind of money. The average US family which includes 1.42 workers earns about 50k IIRC. And ultimately, it's the consumer with their money who decides what real value is. It is certainly not the CEO of GM, nor is it the line worker.
 
 Originally Posted By: digitalSniperX1
No doubt, the workers are all too often the low hanging fruit whereas upper management thinks they add value when they receive million dollar bonuses justifying it by having laid off 10% of their workforce. They suck. In all too many cases they suck. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Now, how are they to be held accountable? Not sure about that one but I won't give into a simple fire them approach since I'm not sure that solves anything. Perhaps an approach begins with demanding first they be ethical and forcing them to adhere to the same pay for performance standards that all employees should be subject to, especially them.
On this much ..we appear in violent agreement..
 
In the 2008 election cycle, the labor unions gave $1.9 million to democrats, versus $11,000 to republicans. The union leaders are doing nothing more than looking for the best return that they can get for their investment. And guess who will pay for that return? You, I, and all of us.
 
Without veering off into politics... There was a reasonable plan put forth last week that would have made everyone in the companies carry some of the burden. All involved parties from bondholders and executives, all the way down to the line workers. It would have also required results from the companies, not just some 1/2 made promise that they'd pay the money back if they got around to it. There was strong agreement on this. The UAW rejected it flat, refusing to even talk about wage and benefit reductions before 2011. That tells me plenty...
 
The union workers have been paid far above market wage for as long as I can remember. "Above market wage" means that there is someone who can and will perform your job adequately for less pay. This describes the auto workers accurately. I live in Michigan and am surrounded by UAW folks. The old Hydra-Matic plant is directly behind the home where I lived for 32 years. I graduated from college in 1997 and became a licensed professional in the health field. My neighbor attained one of the coveted jobs at Ford about 6 months prior to my graduation. He was making 50% more than me as an unskilled laborer, with only a high school diploma. This is a testament to his hyper-inflated wages, and does not even include the excellent benefits. He is easily replaced, as evidenced by the lines of qualified people angling for his job, while my skills are not easily replaced. His value (wage) was drastically over-valued. In case you are curious, I was making just a tick under $16/hr, and he was making almost $24/hr. The unions forced these high wages and passed them onto us in the form of higher car prices. I dislike subsidizing acutely elevated wages, and the fact that I am now being asked to further subsidize them.
 
If they walked out of the factory I'm sure there were plenty who would walk into the factory immediately to take their place. The farmers have nothing to worry about--you can bet that the next farm bill will dwarf all of the previous ones....
 
 Quote:
In case you are curious, I was making just a tick under $16/hr, and he was making almost $24/hr.
You are part of the service sector ..not manufacturing. Find out the wages of those who make HP ER monitors ..xray machines ..MRI machines ...and probably anything else that you use on a daily basis. Look at the cost of those products.
 
[quote=Gary Allan]
 Quote:
No ..I don't think that it is. It's saying "where are the funds to afford the benefits that the company agreed to pay?". If they aren't there now ..and more than enough cash surely went through the enterprise, then that money must have been placed in other hands. It's was placed in the hands someone in either dividends or stock options or anywhere but where it needed to be to fund the TOTALLY KNOWN future legacy costs. There are high rises full of people that project just those types of cost analysis. How do you regard liars and thieves? Heroes? Are you someone who allows our finest educated and highest paid citizens to purposely welsh on agreements? Do you do it routinely, yourself, to your advantage and to deny another that which you promised them? Is that the standard of conduct that you were raised with and how you were taught to treat agreements? Something to be circumvented if you can get away with it???
Gary, you don't know squat about me, so don't accuse me of laying down with the same executives you seem to loathe so much. I'll address part of your rant in the above quote. Liars and thieves = politicians. In terms of "where are the funds to afford the benefits the company agreed to pay for," those funds:
  • were likely never promised to be placed in an account in one lump sum by the Big Three........
  • were intended to be obtained from the sale of FUTURE automobiles. Sales declined, thus the amount available to contribute to that "fund" declined.........
  • those funds and whatever promise they were intended for would and could not keep up with the rising cost of health care over the life of the retirees it allegedly was designed to support.
If you care to actually do some research, you'd find that the big three are only one of hundreds of corporations with underfunded health and pension funds. The government only requires a certain level of contributions by the companies into their pension and health funds each year. Any excess above that amount, (with permission of the fed, I believe), can be used by that corporation for other operating costs. And I do not know of ANY corporation that can claim, with a straight face, that they have a handle on TOTALLY KNOWN future legacy costs. What, you sold them an Amsoil "crystal ball" so they could easily project earnings and, more importantly, future costs? So there likely never was any big pile of gold sitting there, patiently awaiting the retiree's claims on the bounty. Thus, your insinuation that the "suits" stole that pile of gold to make golden parachutes is offbase. And if your beloved UAW is so powerful, why were they not closely monitoring big three contributions to this fund?
 
I believe the crux here is demand. For decades we have bought, traded, and sold new cars. We do not need near as many new cars AND someone WILL be producing the next wave of transportation. We did not fund the horse and buggy manufacturers at the begginning of the 20th century, nor vhs machine manufacturers at the beginnig of this century. Do we need manufacturing. Yes. But not here. The USA cannot continue to subsidize industries that are on the wrong side of the macro-economic street.
 
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
 Quote:
In case you are curious, I was making just a tick under $16/hr, and he was making almost $24/hr.
You are part of the service sector ..not manufacturing. Find out the wages of those who make HP ER monitors ..xray machines ..MRI machines ...and probably anything else that you use on a daily basis. Look at the cost of those products.
We simply disagree on the relevance of this fact. In my opinion, the relevant issue is that an unskilled and easily replaced worker is valued more than a skilled and difficult-to-replace worker. This points to artificial inflation or deflation of one of the values. I do agree that, based upon sector, there will be some variation of compensation. Some sectors simply have more cash. I see your point that direct comparisons of compensation aren't easy, because of the number of variables involved. However, regardless of sector, compensation is a simple function of supply and demand. The market is flooded with unskilled labor, yet somehow UAW employees are immune to normal market forces. This (combined with other data) implies that compensation was artificially inflated. This info is interesting, as it compares earnings by sector: http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20030623ar01p1.htm This shows that union workers earn more doing the same work, so the term "overpaid" just might apply, as the comparison is apples-to-apples. One of the figures, "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation" indicates that the non-union employee makes $14.81/hr, and the union employee makes $18.36/hr. The difference is $3.55/hr, so the union employee is making nearly 24% more. I am curious as to what makes the union employee 24% more valuable...? The free market proves that there are people perfectly willing to work for 24% less, so what makes union employees so special? In another comparison, we see this, from the above link: "Blue-collar occupations Earnings distribution. Average hourly earnings for the 142 union blue-collar occupations in the 1997 NCS sample were $15.07 and ranged from $7.34 to $26.81. For the 175 nonunion blue-collar occupations in the sample, average hourly earnings were $10.95, with a range of $6.47 to $21.41.10" $15.07 vs $10.95. The union worker is paid 37% more than non-union. This trend is consistent throughout the article. (I am aware that there are a lot of variables, and that some data may be incompatible, but the numbers are pretty striking.) That said, I have no problem at all with unions. I believe that they had noble beginnings, but later twisted into shakedown operations--and the end result may contribute to the death of our auto industry.
 
moe in wichita ks those people that bad mouth the unions must not have ever worked for a co that treats you very badly. i have been on both sides. and there are a LOT of co that are so bad you wish for a union. but i would rather work for a co that treats you fairly, and not need a union. just my idea after working for 36 years. iam so glad iam retired
 
 Originally Posted By: parimento1
[censored] it the rest of my rant got deleted! As I was saying if they are gonna cut the union workers pay and benefits let the management get their pay cut as well! It's only fair. I know the union milked the automakers dry and they should be forced renegotiate or be left of in the cold holding their dicks. But management should also be forced to compromise, this will help as well, since some higher ups make the salary of like 20 workers. bot line is that the dems get kick backs from the union I am sure, this is why they want a blind bailout with no concessions from the union. I am sick and tired of these crooked politicians and well all know that [censored] from illinois is just the tip of the iceberg. they should sell him a seat in the local penitentiary.
Management has been cut to the bone. Trust me, I'm, a GM manager (but not part of the top brass who caused the mess!) and I've watched my retirement get frozen, no more matching 401k, health benefits get worse each year and payraises have be frozen for about 5 years amongst other things now so I've taken my punches! Now it's time for the real high up mgt to take theirs!
 
 Originally Posted By: yeti
gary --you state that the wages are not TOO high. just to clarify -- i asked if someone could verify that the uaw line workers make nearly $100,000. a year, 15 to 20 years ago, and that it must be over that now. as well, one stated that the pension is 95% of their pay. that would make a uaw pension of at least $95,000 / year. the numbers just seem high. according to the noise on t.v. about this, the line workers make about $28/ hour. over a year, that's $58k.i'm not figuring overtime, as there can't have been much overtime in big 3 assembly plants for the last couple of years. even with some overtime, the numbers would be tens of thousands of dollars off. i'm going on the assumption that the $28./hr. figure is correct. could a uaw line worker clarify these numbers ? i'm assuming that this hasn't happened yet, because of all the uaw bashing going on. i guess it's how one looks at. if one makes 35, or 40k., then that would make it a lot of money. the last number of posts have been intelligent, and civil -- and that makes for good debate.
You are correct - the senior employees make $28/hour and the recent new hires are $14/hr.
 
 Quote:
According to the Indianapolis Star: Base wages average about $28 an hour. GM officials say the average reaches $39.68 an hour, including base pay, cost-of-living adjustments, night-shift premiums, overtime, holiday and vacation pay. Health-care, pension and other benefits average another $33.58 an hour, GM says
So basically, with overtime and nightshift differential, the average unskilled UAW worker makes $83,200.00 a year. That's not counting health care and pensions. That's real money. I stand by my factual statement that fifteen years ago everyone I personally knew that worked at GM made close to 100 grand a year. Most were what GM defines as semi-skilled, so I'm guessing that minus benefits they have to be making around a hundred and fifty thousand a year.
 
 Originally Posted By: kingrob
 Quote:
According to the Indianapolis Star: Base wages average about $28 an hour. GM officials say the average reaches $39.68 an hour, including base pay, cost-of-living adjustments, night-shift premiums, overtime, holiday and vacation pay. Health-care, pension and other benefits average another $33.58 an hour, GM says
So basically, with overtime and nightshift differential, the average unskilled UAW worker makes $83,200.00 a year. That's not counting health care and pensions. That's real money. I stand by my factual statement that fifteen years ago everyone I personally knew that worked at GM made close to 100 grand a year. Most were what GM defines as semi-skilled, so I'm guessing that minus benefits they have to be making around a hundred and fifty thousand a year.
Your sourcs is wrong. The top tier pay is $28/hr for an assembler on the line cash money. The higher figure is with all benefits included. The only way an hourly person makes close to 100k is when they work overtime - a lot of it. This comes from me, a GM salary employee who pays hourly employees, not some biased media.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top