December 4, 2008
The debate about whether the Congress should make available a bridge loan for the U.S. auto industry has been muddled by misinformation about the impact of the UAW’s contracts on the viability of Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
We are here to set the record straight.
The UAW has released The Truth about UAW Members and the U.S. Auto Industry, a detailed, point-by-point answer to several questions being asked in the media and in the Congress, including:
- Are UAW members really paid $73 an hour?
No. This inaccurate and outdated figure includes the costs of pensions and health care benefits of retired employees spread out over the active workers; active workers never receive any of this compensation in any form. UAW wages start at $14 for new hires and go up to $33 for skilled trade workers.
- Do labor costs make up the majority of the cost of producing a vehicle?
No. Only 10% is labor; the remaining 90% includes research and development, parts, advertising, marketing and management overhead.
- Do union work rules make domestic companies less efficient than their non-union competitors?
No. In fact, nine of the ten most efficient auto assembly plants in North America are union plants.
Got the Facts? Make the Call to Congress!
Wall Street’s failures now threaten to bring down an entire industry – domestic automakers – that are suffering the consequences of the credit crisis. Three million jobs – many of them belonging to our brothers and sisters in the United Autoworkers – hang in the balance. In North Carolina alone, the collapse of the auto industry could cost 84,890 jobs.
Now is not the time to deny a bridge loan to the domestic automakers in order to push an anti-union agenda, which would punish generations of hard workers. Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler certainly shouldn’t get a free ride on the tax payer’s dollar. That is why Democratic Congressional leaders are demanding automakers demonstrate their viability and accountability before taking action. But doing nothing is not an option.
Please call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (877) 331-1223 and ask to speak with your member of Congress and both our U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr.
Congress must act in December to avoid the terrible consequences that would result from a collapse of the domestic automakers. It must pass legislation providing an emergency bridge loan to enable the domestic auto companies to continue their operations. At the same time, it should include requirements that will protect the taxpayers, and ensure the accountability and long term viability of the domestic auto companies.
Our brothers and sisters in the United Auto Workers would greatly appreciate your making this call today!