Last year was the first time that non-unionized workers at a foreign-owned assembly plant made more than members of the United Auto Workers union make on average in a year. The Detroit Free Press reveals in a very interesting article that Toyota paid out bonuses of $6,000 to $8,000 last year at its largest U.S. plant in Georgetown, KY. Combined with the base pay made by a non-union worker at the plant, that equates to $30/hour or $60,000/year based on a 2,000-hour work year. That is more than the $27/hour or $54,000 a UAW member made on average last year. Union workers, or course, hardly received any profit sharing bonuses last year due to the poor overall performance of the domestic automakers.
This isn't actually surprising, as a matter of fact it was bound to happen. In many instances, Toyota and other large foreign automakers operating assembly plants in the U.S. pay their workers near-UAW wages in an effort to dissuade them from unionizing. In a year when Toyota's sales have grown to record levels and the domestics are losing market share fast, it was inevitable that Toyota's big bonuses would put the pay of its assembly workers in the U.S. ahead of the UAW, which saw no bonuses last year and likely won't for a few. The lack of overtime hours was another hit to the UAW that dropped the pay for many of its members. In time, as the domestics (if the domestics?) recover and the big bonus checks are in the mail again, we expect the UAW's pay to again top that of any non-union assembly workers in the U.S.
We recommend reading the whole article written by Jason Roberson from the Free Press, as there's a lot of layers to dig through with this story.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]