The $70/Hour Lie!
Right-to-work proponents play to the desperation of non-union workers laboring for low pay and few, if any, benefits by deliberately fabricating bullshit data like the wildly false claim that the average auto worker earns $70.00/hour in wages and benefits. To paraphrase Twain, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and wage statistics generated by the Right-to-work proponents. So what’s the truth behind the $70/hour urban legend?
"Analysts came up with it by including the cost of all employer-provided benefits--namely, health insurance and pensions--and then dividing by the number of workers. The result, they found, was that benefits for Big Three cost about $42 per hour, per employee. Add that to the wages--again, $28 per hour--and you get the $70 figure." Assembly Line by Jonathan Cohn. The New Republic, Nov. 21, 2008
As the political theater plays out in Washington, we need to remind ourselves that the conservative forces blocking the aid package to our automotive industry are jeopardizing the American economy with their ruthless efforts to mortally wound the UAW and further weaken the union movement during this difficult period in our history.
Economic Contribution of the Automotive Industry to the American Economy (PDF) from the Center for Automotive Research.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm employed by one of the Big 3 but not a member of any union.