RAW NOTES: Give Backs the Feds Will Demand From the UAW

December 9th, 2008 at 2:00pm

Even though the UAW has made many concessions, like the Jobs Bank it still has a long way to go. What seems perfectly proper to the union is beyond belief for most American taxpayers. And since taxpayers are being asked to bail out the Big Three, they won’t go for union perks and benefits that are better than they get.

Let’s start with paid time off. UAW members average 42 paid days off a year. That includes five weeks of vacation and 17 holidays. In a government led restructuring I’d expect this to get chopped back to about 20 paid days off.

UAW workers also get up to 52 weeks of supplementary unemployment benefits. This pays them on top of any unemployment money they get from the state if they are laid off. And the Big Three pay those SUB benefits. Look for the SUB benefits to get axed.

Some-not many-Big Three plants still suffer from high levels of absenteeism-up to 25% daily. UAW workers can legally go AWOL up to five times and just charge it to their vacation time. Look for the Big Three to be able to fire workers who are chronically absent.

UAW workers get extensive amounts of insurance: life insurance, dependent life insurance, survivor income benefit insurance, sickness and accident benefits, and extended disability benefits. So many workers were abusing disability benefits that the current contract specifies it will not accept certificates of proof of disability from specific unscrupulous doctors. Look for most of this insurance to be dropped.

UAW workers get bonuses throughout the life of the contract ranging from $2000-$3000 per year. In total they will get an additional $13,000 over the life of the contract. Retirees and their spouses also get bonuses totaling an average of $2300. It seems unlikely they’ll continue getting those bonuses when taxpayers are footing the bill.

By the end of the contract UAW workers involved in General assembly will earn $28.85 an hour. Skilled workers will earn $33.56 an hour. While there is a provision to hire new workers starting at $14 an hour that only applies to non-core workers. Look for all wages to be chopped down to what the transplants pay.

It truly is tragic to see honest, hard-working people have to give up so much of their livelihood. But that’s what you get when you’re asking taxpayers to foot the bill and most taxpayers don’t have it that good.

Next time we’ll look at the concessions that creditors, shareholders, dealers, and suppliers will have to give up in a federally mandated restructuring.

4 Comments to “RAW NOTES: Give Backs the Feds Will Demand From the UAW”

  1. Mark Braeger Says:


    I agree totally with your assessment. In today’s market reality, those types of benefits are unrealistic if you wish to compete on a global level. While I do feel for those who will have to adjust their lifestyle in regard to those changes, they were long overdue.

    I believe private companies should manage themselves without government interference, but because there are tax dollars involved, management will have to be monitored so that the dollars made available through these concessions really go toward strengthening the company via engineering and improved production and materials – not to simply giving shareholders a larger bump on quarterly earnings.

  2. Zieke Says:

    It’s about time that this happens. I was a union member for many years, and my benefits paled in comparison to the UAW. Maybe the health care needs to be looked at also. I always had to pay some costs for me and my family. The retirees certainly can afford to pay some of their’s.

  3. Ron Morelli Says:

    Our economy is in termoil partly because this group of companies has allowed the UAW to structure unreasonable practices that have given birth to a new generation of worker. I call the the “not my job” generation. It’s just plain un-American and seriosly damages the enginuity and can do attitude that used to what we Americans were known for.
    Every UAW worker can look there child in the eye and tell them how they got paid the money that would have supplied generations of workers. But, the kid probably won’t care because its not his job.

  4. Tony Gray Says:


    Thanks for publishing this. I wish it would get more play on the mainstream media. Having this much time off with pay is just staggering. I work for a large firm and get 16 days vacation and 10 holidays, which I think is a pretty good deal. I’m a salary guy, so they get their moneys worth out of me, but when you have a worker whose benefit to the company is directly related to the amount of time spent manufacturing a product…and that worker gets paid that many hours with no productivity…well that just seems unsustainable.