Ford Compares Wages with Competitors
Ford is once again concentrating on the wage gap that currently exists between its United Auto Workers
employees and non-union workers employed at competing manufacturers. The topic will definitely be a
point of contention as the two sides discuss contracts that are set to expire this September.
The wage gap is one of the most recent topics posted on www.fordahead.com, a website detailing the automaker’s plans and current progress on its road to recovery and profitability. According to the site, most of Ford’s 40,600 hourly workers in the United States earn $58 an hour. On the other hand, Ford’s international competitors that manufacture cars in the U.S. (i.e. Toyota and Hyundai) hire non-union employees who make an average of $50 an hour; a gap of $8 an hour. While this is a huge improvement over the $27 gap in 2007, Ford states that the gap must be reduced further in order to improve profits, to remain competitive and to add more employees to its workforce.
Both sides claim the current relationship is good and that talks should go smoothly, though UAW president Bob King recently took issue with news of Alan Mulally’s $26.5 million compensation and $56.5 million stock reward from last year.
GM Workers File Suit Against Company and Union
Meanwhile, General Motors is being sued by 28 employees from its Lordstown, Ohio factory for $3- 4 million in back pay. According to a report by Michigan Live, the employees claim they have “been improperly classified as temporary employees since being hired in October 2006. They were terminated in April 2007 and then brought back six months later. The workers were briefly paid the same wage as permanent employees, but the lawsuit argues they were reclassified as temporary workers in June 2008, a move that cut their pay by more than 40 percent.” They also are suing and accusing the UAW of refusing to file a complaint on their behalf. Should the suit succeed, the UAW may have to pay some or all of the money owed if GM can prove they weren’t properly notified of the worker’s claims.