On Wednesday, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger predicted there would be no wage cuts as part of the union’s concessions to GM and Chrysler. Gettelfinger argued Toyota’s workers actually make $2-per-hour more than UAW workers, if you count bonuses. But … but. … Toyota did not go bankrupt. … Toyota hasn’t had to be rescued with $17.4 billion of taxpayer money. … If Toyota can afford to pay its workers $2/hour more than UAW workers–perhaps because it doesn’t have to build cars under the union’s legalistic work rule system–that’s great. It doesn’t mean Gettelfinger’s workers have a right to $28/hour if at that wage their employers can’t stay in business without an ongoing multi-billion dollar subsidy. I’m sorry if this seems obvious. It’s apparently not obvious enough.
As Fran Ansley once told me about law teaching “you can never be too obvious.”