It doesn’t seem like it’s been four years since the last time Detroit automakers and the United Autoworkers Union negotiated a new contract. You may remember the discussions and agreements that, from the date of that contract, gave the automakers the right to hire many categories of workers and pay them $14 an hour, plus lesser benefits. Of course, the auto companies were facing the same issues as any other major industry in America; the issue squeezing their corporate bottom lines most painfully was the incredible rise in the cost of workers’ health care.
Then many national media outlets were reporting that Detroit was paying their workers more than $73 an hour for their labor. Yet not only did an influx of autoworkers not buy new homes in Westover Hills or Monticello, but that simplistic look at the net cost of factory work ignored more pertinent realities of car production and corporate accounting.
Well worth reading.