The leaders of General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union told Congress this week that a new union contract will virtually erase the labour cost gap between GM and foreign competitors with U.S. factories. That's not quite true, according to GM's own figures. Although the contract signed last year eliminates about two-thirds of the cost gap when its provisions take full effect in 2010, GM's labour costs will remain about $9 per hour, or 17 per cent, higher than Toyota's, according to GM estimates.
That $9 per hour difference is enough for Republicans to risk bankruptcy, massive job losses or a dramatic decrease in market share for U.S. auto makers. But that $9 difference is what workers earned as part of their pay package, not a handout or charity promised from GM, Ford or Chrysler. To hire someone at an agreed to wage, and then years later, pay them less is exactly what Republicans are proposing. AP continues:
The remaining difference largely is due to "legacy" costs, the cost of a 100-year-old company paying its retiree pensions … The labour costs were singled out by opponents as a reason why the Detroit Three can't be competitive with their Japanese rivals …GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said, "While legacy seems to be a dirty word of late, it also means we support hundreds of thousands of people via pensions, health care and good jobs."
While Republicans whine incessantly about being able to keep more of their hard earned money, they’re more than willing to take away that same hard earned cash from workers for the corporate good and race to the bottom.
As the AP article states:
“…that's still $9 more than the $53 per hour that GM estimated Toyota now pays in the United States.”Could it be the Republican Party’s ultimate goal is to break up the unions?
Here's a compilation of arguments from both sides. Can you point out the vacuous, morally bankrupt Party hell bend on fulfilling one of their ideological goals?