January 26, 2009


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.”

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