• Dec 17, 2010
The Detroit Three's 267,000 hourly retirees will soon receive a COLA (cost of living allowance) of $700 each to cover the cost of inflation; an annual tradition that arrives in time for the holiday season. The 72,000 surviving spouses will also be rewarded with up to $455 to help with rising costs.
That's a lot of people receiving quite the sum of checks, and someone has to foot the bill. General Motors has to sign the most signatures with a bill that Automotive News says approaches $200 million. Ford will pay $70 million and Chrysler will pay $35 million. While retirees will no doubt relish their stipend, active employees will receive no such allowance. The United Auto Workers eliminated their cost of living increase as part of concessions made during 2007 and 2009 contract negotiations.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      All of you who hate unions why you read do some historical research and see how well workers were treated, and what the conditions and pay were before the advent of unions. Do you really want to go back to that? Everyone benefited from unions, everyone does now too, but people are missing that point.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What unions have done in the past is irrelevant. Today's UAW higher ups are as crooked as the mob and twice as greedy. They consistently refuse concessions even when workers are facing permanent job loss. You don't see the unions of today trying to organize workers in sweat shops because there's no profit in it, workers who can't pay dues are not members worth having.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Automation is inevitable, but if unions are gone then all will be in jeopardy. The whole "people will rise up" is a dim hope, most of the time the people get trampled. Look to history and that happens again and again. Other great civilizations could never see their possible end either. Unions built the middle class and they safe-guard it, without them the middle class will eventually die. I am not saying that the unions or their leaders are perfect, far from it, I am just saying that unions are needed. You mentioned the tea party and the current administration, a flip-side of the same coin. One wants total regulation, the other wants none, but both sides are wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The majority of the commentators on this site have no clue what unions have done for the working man and woman in this country. Unions are responsible for the 40 hour work week, plant safety, vacations with pay, sick days, the fight for a minimum wage, workers rights fighting against discrimination in the work place. Without the unions in this nation wages would be half what they are. When factory workers are polled, the majority would prefer a union, these workers know how bad it can get without it. THE UNIONS OF THIS COUNTRY BUILT THE MIDDLE CLASS, THE ENGINE THAT HAS DRIVEN THIS ECONOMY FOR SIXTY YEARS. Weakened Unions, and the declining middle class is not a coincidence, it will get worse.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Have you ever heard the phrase "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"? If not then you should look it up if you think unions are useless dinosaurs that need to go away or that the current labor laws are good enough without unions. If the unions disappear you will see just how long it will take for wages to plummet for all workers. Companies moved to South Carolina and Texas to pay less in wages and to provide lower benefits, but they would have paid even less had unions not been around. Employers drop employees like flies these days, with a union you have some protection, but without it you have almost none. In the future it will be a moot point as all of these jobs will be automated anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's fine, what they've done in the past was good. But now they've outlived their usefulness. NOW they are just making unreasonable demands and that's why we hate them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have read all about the turn of the last century. You ask why? I suggest you take your own advice and read about the history of Detroit, and the area known as "The Rustbelt".

        Ever wonder why companies like Toyota and BMW move their plants to places like South Carolina and Texas instead of Michigan? Face it, the UAW is a dinosaur simply fighting to justify its existence in a world where it is no longer needed.

        BTW things, can't go back to the way they were before unions because there are labor laws in place that weren't back in the 19th century.
      • 4 Years Ago
      why are they getting a COLA if the cost of living did not increase? even the Social Security Administration froze their adjustment because the cost of living has actually gone down the past couple of years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is not a cola. Had they got a raise four years ago in the contract they would not get this. This is part of a raise given four years ago, divided into four parts. For most this amounts to about $25 dollars a month.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I apologize for the poor grammar.
      George
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not all retirees get this money. Only those who retired before 2007 get this money. Anyone after this date get nothing. I retired in 2008. I get nothing. I get to pay more for my dental and vision and the active workers still get their dental and vision paid for
      msroll
      • 4 Years Ago
      $700 wow wonder what ceo's get? After all they are job creators.
      • 4 Years Ago
      lol!?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the reason the big 3 can't compete.

      What other industry has to pay union retirees and survivors of retirees, COLAs? I think there has to be more union concessions in the future or the UAW will finally bankrupt the American auto industry.

      Just ask my dad, who used to have a cushy steel mill union job.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bull----!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Every Union in this country, and other countries also......
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if my employer will give me $700 Christmas presents once I'm through working here?
        • 4 Years Ago
        If your employer goes down that path, you might be through working there a little sooner than expected!! lol
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