Do the Auto Workers really make 72 dollars an hour?

One of the figures that I keep hearing is that the Auto Workers are making $72 an hour. That is 149760 a year.

With no slight intended to blue collar workers, traditionally this not the kind of money one can make working in a factory.

What are the real figures?

From here:

I suspected that non-cash benefits were being figured in.

You are correct Johnny. For some more nuanced/contrary view, try Dean Baker.

Johnny L. A. is correct. They factor in a lot of other stuff.

I make about $31.50/hr as an aircraft mech. But, according to the company I work for I make about $80/hr. $166k/year. Wow!

My company even factors in about 10k of free-flight benefits that they calculated the average employee uses.

The Fed says the same things about the guys that work with me. According to them, in 2005, we all made about 83K a year. Never mind that most of us that weren’t about to retire anyway were making more like 40-50K

The auto companies have traditionally claimed wildly exaggerated wage figures at contract time. The news media (which are paid to run ads for Dodges, Chevies, and Fords) seldom question the incorrect figures. A huge company can afford accountants with degrees from Hogwarts. Even so, those numbers simply are not true. :rolleyes:

Of course, 25$ an hour is pretty darn good. You can support a family on that if you live frugally. And that’s base pay. Around hre, 10$ an hour is good for a starting job.

Ms. Rowling has arrived–her stories are now a useful source of metaphor. I plan on pirating this little credential.

Is that 10k based on the published fare for a trip? If so, that’s bogus. Airline employees, from what I’ve heard, only get those free trips if the seat was going to be empty anyway. It’s not like the airline is passing up $300 from a paying passenger to let you take the trip for free.

If they’re trying to calculate the value of this perk, they should figure out how much it costs them to provide it (a little extra fuel, wear and tear on the equipment, soda and nuts), not how much a non-employee would have to pay to get the same thing.

It is based on the published fare, as you stated.

It is also true that “non-revs” are placed on stand-by, and only get to fly if the seat is unoccupied at departure time. (That’s why this benefit, while still a good thing can be difficult to actualize because the flights are so full lately. Hopefully, it will come of use when I retire, and have time to hang around terminals waiting for the next available seat).

Carting my carcass around does result in a miniscule fuel burn addition, but that is not how they calculate it. I think they threw in as much as they could on our “total compensation report” to make us feel better and not ask for pay increases so much.

I guess they can do whatever they want, it’s their books. I’m just glad they are not (or rather, the gov’t is not) taxing me on it as they wanted to do some years back.

For the first time I got a statement a couple months ago that listed what my total compensation was including 401K matches, healthcare costs, life insurance, disability, unemployment etc. The additional compensation above my base salary was just under 40% of my salary. My company is probably fairly typical for what benefits they provide. As noted it appears the auto manufacturers are really packing in a lot of benefits to inflate the compensation figure.

Don’t be harsh; they’re not grossly inflating the figures otherwise you’d see Ron Gettelfinger (UAW president) quoted all the time disputing these figures. The UAW is vocal about things it disputes, and I don’t imagine there’s a logical reason for not disputing wage figures.

Granted, it’s pay and benefits, and benefits include future liabilities. That’s why without a pay cut or meaningful current benefit custs, funding the VEBA for retiree health care drops this liability drastically, consequentially dropping the average wage+benefits figure.

FWIW, in a plant with a lot of overtime, it’s not uncommon for these guys to gross six figures in wages.

You’d be amazed at the present value of future health benefits for retirees. My stepfather worked for Budd from 1946 when he got out of the army until he retired at age 65 in 1970, earned a good salary while working and died a year ago at 91. So they had his services for 24 years and then paid his health insurance for 26 years. This in addition to a decent pension and health benefits while employed. While it would probably take a degree from Hogwarts to prove that all this added up to twice his direct salary, it is also clear that the indirect costs are enormous.

How did this happen? Well, this is only my opinion, but it seemed to me that the executives of the company wanted to settle strikes. They must have had actuaries who could tell them with reasonable accuracy what they were letting themselves in for, they also may have figured that it would be their successor’s problem. Had they been forced to put sufficient money aside to pay for all this they might have decided that a pay raise was prefereable. What about the union. They must also have realized that they were just setting up for future problems. Now the time has come to pay the piper and the results aren’t pretty.

I do think the $75/hour is exaggerated. But then what does the CEO earn per hour?

I dream of $10/hour :frowning:

I remember in the early 80s at the height of the Cold War when the Yugo was introduced, it was so cheap because the auto workers who built it were paid 35¢ an hour.

Steve Jobs: $0.000480 per hour
Alan Mullally: $961.54 per hour
Based on unpaid overtime (2080 hours per year), and not taking into account other benefits. Unlike so many people, though, I have no problem with executive salaries. It’s small potatoes compared to everything else. Ford has 300,000 employees in the world. If you cut all of their base wages by $1/hour, you’d save $624,000,000 per year! What’s a CEO’s pay compared to that?

Of course it also depends on the hours… I make a bit over $67 per hour as a part time college instructor, but that’s only for hours actually spent in the classroom. That’s why I sub as much as I can and also work on assessment test scoring ($40.28 per hour).

Minus all the taxes and such, naturally.

Well where exactly would you count that expense. I don’t know that they are earning it, but assuming the current workers will get health benefits when they retire, then the value of those health benefits should be counted as part of the compensation they are receiving just as their pension benefits count. One way to estimate that cost is the cost of what they are currently paying.

Yeah, “* not taking into account other benefits”* :rolleyes: :dubious:

Steve Jobs, the Apple chief executive, was the highest paid US chief executive last year, earning $646 million. Virtually all of Mr Jobs’s income came from stock-based compensation. His base salary at Apple is $1.

That’s $310,576.92 per hour. :eek: He earns many times more per hour than we make per year. :dubious:

I would like to see some executive salaries reigned in. Especially when the companies don’t perform. If an executive is let go, he should not be rewarded for poor performance by being given millions of dollars. Part of this reasoning is: it is bad for the moral of the rest of the workers. I think it is difficult for workers to suck it up and make sacrifices when the big execs are getting huge bonuses.