Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Harbour Report

Very interesting data here.

On average, including retiree benefits (which Honda, Toyota, etc. don't have to pay yet because they haven't been here 30 years yet and thus have no retirees), U.S. automakers pay $606 more per car in labor costs than Toyota/etc.'s , but this number will be reduced to $97/car once the UAW takes over the retiree health plan in 2011. GM's UAW plants appear to be more efficient than Toyota's non-UAW plants, thus giving the lie to the notion that "the UAW makes GM pump up their employment numbers" -- GM, for example, put 22.19 man-hours of assembly labor into each car last year, while Toyota put 22.36 man-hours of assembly labor into each car. See the graph on page 8 of the above-named report.

In short, saying that unions "bloat up the workforce" does not appear to be true for GM at least. The UAW is well aware that they must be competitive with the US-made "imports" and no longer does that kind of nonsense.

-- Badtux the Car Penguin


  1. Great factoids. Keep up the effort to educate us all on the reality of the situation.

  2. Plus the item that you didn't mention, the Union wages are some-what highe then the non-union wages, more then enough to cover the union dues.

  3. Excuse me? I suggest you read the previous posting, where I point out that Toyota line workers average $31/hour while GM line workers average $29/hour. Yeah, the base pay for the GM workers is higher ($27/hour vs. $25/hour for the Toyota workers), but the Toyota workers get more overtime pay and profit sharing.

    Pay ain't the problem. Health care is the problem. Once GM dumps the retiree health care onto the UAW, then GM still has a health care problem because their workers are older and the insurance companies charge more if your workers are older. Short of age discrimination (which is illegal) the only way to solve *that* problem is a national single-payer insurance system.

    - Badtux the Car Penguin


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