Sunday, November 23, 2008

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.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Must Read

Dutch at Sweet Juniper posts a moving essay on Detroit's financial troubles -

Don't let them die

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“I can not imagine a real justification for a worker in Alabama who does not have any health insurance at his company to be taxed to maintain a Cadillac health care plan for somebody in Detroit.” Sen. Jeff "Right-to-Work (for Less)" Sessions, R- Ala.

Sen, Sessions’ comment speaks volumes about right-to-work states like Alabama and their dismal ranking on quality of life issues like infant mortality, average life span, income, access to health care, and literacy to name just a few. That Sen. Sessions feels no remorse in using Alabama’s endemic poverty as a club to attack UAW employees whose families benefit from the blessings afforded by a living wage shows his callous disregard for Alabama’s working poor.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

America will be America Again!

Let America be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

Langston Hughes
(1902 - 1967)