Debunking the myth that union auto workers make $73/hr
Debunking the myth that Big Three auto workers make $73/hr: Even if you count the value of wages plus fringe benefits, union autoworkers only make about $55/hr, compared to $45/hr total compensation for workers in non-union Japanese plants in the US.
The $73/hr figure was made up by the auto
companies to win public support during pay negotiations with the
unions. Obviously, it was to the companies' advantage in the PR war to
make the union out to be much better compensated than it actually was.
The sneaky part is that the $73/hr number reflects the cost of paying benefits for all the Big Three retirees. The Big Three have been very big for a very long time, so obviously, they have a lot of retirees collecting benefits. If you divide through the costs for the retirees by the number of union workers today, you add another $15/hr per employee that the companies have to pay, but which today's employees never see.