Friday, January 02, 2009

Organized Labor is Not the Auto Industry's Big Problem

In recent holiday dinner table debate the subject of the effect of organized labor on the automotive industry in the United States arose. Lots of folks, particularly conservative anti-organized labor folks, argue that the auto industry needs to void its union contracts and basically disorganize its labor force in order to become competitive and therefor worthy of a bailout. The soundbite they like to throw around to support their argument and pit the average working person against the average UAW laborer is that unionized auto workers make on average $70 per hour. This is false and intentionally misleading and I'd hate for all you smart folks to either (a) fall for that nonsense or (b) not have the facts to back up your retort to the misinformed people who parrot this non-truth. So go read's thorough review of the actual wages and benefits of unionized auto workers in the U.S.

To summarize: automakers themselves say that the average wage earned by its unionized workers is about $29 per hour.

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