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Ford and Unions negotiate a pay cut…to $55/ hour

The criticism from the right blaming autoworkers for the demise of the American auto industry hasn’t always been fair. It isn’t the fault of workers that the big three have produced products people don’t want; management fairly takes a big share of the blame. But then you read these stories you can see partially where the right was coming from.

Reuters reports:

Ford Motor Co expects operating savings of $500 million per year from an agreement with the United Auto Workers that will push hourly wage rates into the “ballpark” of foreign-based rivals, the company said on Wednesday.

The agreement trims average wages and benefits for UAW hourly workers to about $55 per hour this year, while the U.S. operations of foreign-based automakers — or what executives call “transplants” — pay workers on average $48 to $49 per hour, Ford said.

That’s right, $55 per hour. If they work a 36 hour week or longer, that’s $100,000 USD a year, and that’s the reduced pay.

Now I’m all for people getting paid what they deserve, and many of these assembly line jobs could involve a fair bit of technical knowledge. But in a market that in part has been killed by cheap Asian imports, and where many Americans struggle to find jobs, let alone get $10/ hour, workers at Ford have their pay cut to $55/ hour. And a non-American owned company pays workers in the United States $48-$49 per year.

Ford didn’t take a handout from the US Government, but presuming their pay rates are similar to workers at GM and Chrysler, you can safely say that this is part what the auto industry bailout is paying for. Your taxpayer money at work indeed 🙂