Left Lane News reporting on the UAW and Ron Gettlefinger:
By Andrew Ganz
United Auto Workers union chief Ron Gettelfinger indicated yesterday that the $14 per hour base wage earned by an entry-level worker building Chrysler, Ford and General Motors products isn’t enough to buy a new car.
The argument comes nearly 90 years after Henry Ford began paying workers $5 per day in hopes that the workers would be able to afford one of their own products, a Ford Model T.
Gettelfinger said that it’s a “fair question” whether or not auto workers can afford the products they’re assembling. An economist for Comerica, Dana Johnson, confirmed Gettelfinger’s comments by saying that a single income UAW worker making $14 per hour probably can’t afford a new car.
But a dual income family? “Then they could clearly afford a new car,” Johnson told the Detroit News.
The UAW negotiated the $14 hourly rate in 2007 and, despite his concern that workers can’t live up to the standard promised by Henry Ford, Gettelfinger nonetheless defended the concessions. More tenured workers earn more than double the $14 hourly rate.
We did what we had to do to get to tomorrow,” Gettelfinger said.
Awwww…..I feel so sorry for them. Well, guess what? The REST of us can’t afford your products either and it isn’t OUR fault they’re so expensive. Ironically, it is the UAW’s fault. The $14.00/hour for an ENTRY-level position on the line is the SAME wage that my husband, a carpenter with 25-years of experience makes when working for one of the big national builders. It is just slightly lower than the $17.00/hour he can make with some smaller companies or on his own right now. Also, it is MORE than my husband is currently making employed in the IT department for Hewlett-Packard.
That being said, it is the UAW themselves that have played no small part in the precipitous increase in the cost of automobiles that has far surpassed any increase in wages. However, none of us non-union workers in the private sector can just hog-tie entire industries and force them to cave into our demands, nor can we go cry to Congress and mandate a bailout of our respective industries.
So, to Mr. Gettelfinger I say, it’s just too ironic that the UAW has priced themselves right out of being able to purchase the cars they manufacture. Welcome to our world. Those of us out here trying to earn a living without government subsidies and favors and without holding our employers hostage to our demands can’t afford your cars either. Wonder what happens when the price of cars gets to be so out of whack with incomes that no one can afford them? The UAW will probably demand more money. That’s what.