OLD Media Moves

Biz media needs to correct facts about average GM worker pay

November 25, 2008

Eric Boehlert writes for Media Matters that the business media has repeateadly reported an incorrect number — $70 per hour — when it comes to the pay for General Motors workers.

Boehlert writes, “Let’s note that any suggestion in the press that most UAW workers earn, or are paid, $70 an hour is spectacularly dishonest. Period. (As one Daily Kos diarist pointed out last week, according to the UAW website, the base pay for a worker in a UAW plant is about $28 an hour.)

“What that $70 figure (or $73) actually represents is what it costs GM in total labor expenses, on an hourly basis, to manufacture autos.

“Do you see that there’s a big distinction? General Motors doles out $70 an hour in overall labor costs to manufacture cars. But individual employees don’t get paid $70 an hour to make cars. (The discrepancy between costs and wages is explained by additional benefits, pension fees, and health-care costs GM pays out to current and retired employees.)

“Simply put, GM’s labor costs are not synonymous with hourly wages earned by UAW employees. Many in the press have casually used the two interchangeably. But they’re not.”

Read more here.

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