I can't believe my ears when I hear intelligent people in Congress and in the news media discuss the UAW and its members with such ignorance. They throw numbers and wages and benefit misstatements around as if they worked for the Big 3 themselves. First of all, let me say this... I have not only worked for a small business for many years, I owned one as well and know too well the struggles and demands that are placed on a business. So I am not coming from an ignorant employee attitude. I am not a socialist. I am a straight up Capitalistic American. With that said, I have also worked several years in the auto industry with two large firms (Chrysler and Delphi). And it just infuriates me when I see people pointing fingers at the workers as the problem and the reason for the Big 3 woes. Lets set some facts straight.
*Labor is only 4-5% of the overall cost of your vehicle. Labor is not the reason for the high cost of your vehicle.
* We do not "Get paid" $60 an hour. That includes all wages and benifits. But everyone who gets a paycheck is getting payed more than their actual hourly amount. Come on! If you make $15-20 an hour you are getting paid $40-50 an hour in overall benifits. If you are not than you will have serious problems raising a family in this day in age and you are probably either a two income family or seeking a career that does pay an equivalent living wage.
*How much are our Reps and Senators making an hour with their 400% matching 401K's that you pay for with your tax dollars? Has anyone asked them that question? Now that is an exorbitant benefit!
*Yes some UAW members get paid while they are laid off. Thats called a severance package people and they are not the only ones who get it. Many employers retain their employees in a down time by limiting hours or just finding busy work for them to do so they don't lose their staff. That is the cost of employee retention. We don't just throw our employees away the first chance we get..it cost too much to rehire and retrain. That is why UAW members get "Sub" pay (part unemployment & part company/UAW sponsored.) during a layoff.
*Some people seem to think that these jobs are only worth $10 an hour. If you think that, than you tell me your plan for raising a family on that wage. You tell me what the value of the middle class will become if that happens. And what employer would actually attempt to retain life long employees, who accumulate and build experience into there business by paying them entry level wages? No one thats who!. And who would come back to a $10 an hour job after a layoff with no benefits that actually entice them to return when things pick up. Answer: No one. They would simply find another job. Who wouldn't? You can't just sit around with no income waiting for a call back if you can't pay the bills.
I could go on and on. In fact I think I will continue this entry as a series to bring truth into the stupidity and blatant attempt to abolish unions by the Feaderal Businessocracy and the media that is giving the average American a biased view of Unions!
One last thought. Ever wonder where the minimum wage, 40 hour work week, vacation, personal days, sick days, workers compensation, health benefits, OSHA and retirement packages and pensions came from? Take a good guess. The Union!!! And guess where your wages and benefits are going to go when the UAW is dismantled by Big Corporations and your elected officials? \l/ \l/ \l/ \/ \/ \/ Get the point?