• May 29, 2007
Assembly workers at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant make about $25 per hour, they build the best-selling non-truck in North America, and a lot of workers still aren't happy.

UAW members that are hurt on the job get paid 100% of their wage until they're well again, but at a Toyota plant, you may get placed in a less physically demanding role, but at a lower pay rate. This is just one example of why workers are meeting every Wednesday at a local Holiday Inn creating a game-plan to introduce the UAW into Toyota's biggest plant in North America. Another driving force for unionization is a leaked document that outlines Toyota's goal of controlling its labor costs by capping wages. Toyota officials say that being able to adjust pay at its own discretion allows it to provide stable employment for its workers when other manufacturers are leaving the region and the country all together.

The Georgetown plant has been around for 25 years without unionization, mostly because Toyota has treated its employees very well and paid wages that were competitive with what UAW members made. With Toyota's big profits and immense growth, some employees at Georgetown feel all they have to look forward to are more temp workers and "flexible pay". We know there are a lot of Autoblog readers who would be thrilled to make $25 per hour (including many Autoblog writers), but for the 7,200 workers in Georgetown, the siren call of the UAW may be getting harder and harder to tune out.

[Source: Freep]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think most of you should go to UAW.org and read about the history of the UAW.
      You'll soon learn the UAW and other unions help raise the standard and quality of living in their community and the surrounding areas. Many of the people who benefit most, are not union members.
      The benefits reach out to everyone in the community.
      Union members donate time and money to make their community a great place to live.
      My spouse works part time in a library. She is a union member. Her $8.00 per hour wage is not a living wage, but they joined the union to have set working hours, set schedules, defined vacations etc. etc.
      Unions are still needed in the USA.
      Americans need to support American Companies. If not, the next job lost may be yours, your spouses, your neighbors, your child’s etc. etc.
      If there is ever a World War III, will we have any American Companies left, to switch over and build the products our troops need? Will Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Kia plants help the USA defeat their home country?
      My family, friends and neighbors have always purchased vehicles from GM, Ford and Chrysler. None of us have had any major problems with any of the new vehicles we’ve purchased. We use the neighbors pit, to do our own LOF and tune ups. We are farmers, factory workers, office workers and stay at home parents. Our vehicles get used for many purposes. We take care of our vehicles and the vehicles take care of us.
      My 1999 F-250 truck has 135,000+ miles on it. My spouse’s 2001 Impala has approx 80,000 miles on it. I’d drive either one from one coast to the other without a moment of hesitation.

      • 7 Years Ago

      If the workforce gets unionised will Toyota move production to Mexico?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dear UAW: In the last 19th and early 20th century you revolutionized workforce relations and greatly increased the standard of living for workers who were otherwise getting the raw deal.

        As far as I can tell, there is a wonderful place where you still have the opportunity to do that: It's called Mexico.

        Meanwhile, sniffing around the Toyota plants gives the impression that you are far more interested in following money than actually helping workers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wait, so $50,000 a year isn't enough to turn a wrench? Am I missing something?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The best gauge of industrial decline or closure is whether or not the work force at that facility is represented by the UAW.

      Period.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So instead of trying to expand the middle-class you would expand the rich and the poor?
      • 7 Years Ago

      I hope the history of British auto industry will not be repeated in USA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Aw guys, don't be too harsh on companies that move auto production out of the US to avoid the UAW. Do you really hate the Ford Fusion that much?
      • 7 Years Ago
      stupid people never learn.
      if they do get stupider and there is a union
      i hope Toyota moves to mexico, serves those 'never satisfied' asses right.
      Unions only care about there own survival, they are a crack dealer hiding in the H.Inn across the street like it was a 7-11 outside a school.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, let's see: the UAW won't take concessions and is therefore putting the Big Three out of business...and now they've got their sights set on Toyota's plants.

      What's that saying? "If I'm going down I'm taking everyone with me"?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some of the self righteous pencil pushers here ought to try standing on a concreate floor eight hours a day lifting heavy parts and tools in repetition while doing so with care and attention to detail. Line workers (I assume) have a much more rigorous job than the snobby educated. Telephone, desk, chair computer,and airconditioning thats tough. "My ignorance".

      Comments here twords the auto workers by those who haven`t done it them selves, shows both ignorance and stupidity by those so called educated people.

      Common sense has nothing to do with education. Hard work and common sense built America.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm certainly no expert on unions, but from my perception, I agree with epilonious in that unions once had a purpose, but over time have become obsolete and now the unions serve only the unions and not the workers. It seems that they are collecting members' union dues in order to buy enough politicians so they can keep their inefficient processes in place, keeping the unionized companies at a huge competitive disadvantage - it's not only the hourly wage, it's the way they insist work must be done and how they brainwash the members. They worked hard to turn members to be proud to be union before being proud to be doing what they do.

      I gained this perception when I worked in the transportation industry, where I dealt with both union and non-union companies. I got the impression the non-union workers were always better workers because they were proud of what they actually did and that they worked for company X rather that were proud of being members of union Y. The union workers were drones who simply did a job they felt they were entitled to, while the non-union workers acted and felt like they contributed to something. It was a much more positive attitude, and they didn't even realize it.

      I hope the Toyota workers realize that this leech-like predatory behavior is only going to hurt them and that they can voice their concerns through their management channels rather than unionize and bite the hand that feeds.

      Although it's a bit off-topic, what do people think that the Chrysler/Cerberus sale means for unions? Will privatization close the door in the face of the UAW?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the new owners will man up and take care of the pensioners, but will change the rules for any new employees. I forsee many many buyouts like Ford did to reduce pensions as well.

        In the end, it will be like any company anymore, you pay ~25% of your benefits, and you buy in to a 401k. They gotta roll with the times too or die....
      • 7 Years Ago


      The best paid UAW jobs are not on the factory floor but in the UAW offices.
    • Load More Comments