In the run up to the next round of negotiations between Ford and the United Auto Workers, the automaker has said it pays workers an average of $8 more per hour than its foreign and non-union rivals. By and large, foreign automakers with U.S. factories employ non-union labor, which helps keep labor costs reigned in.

According to the Blue Oval, its cost of labor has risen to $58/hour, while its competitors average $50/hour. The wage gap has persisted even after Ford negotiated concessions with the UAW that cut labor costs by $500 million in 2009.

Ford says it will be impossible to sustain a competitive business if it can't close the gap. Worse, Dearborn says the differential could eventually prevent the creation of new jobs. The company's $58/hour wage rate is a three-dollar hike over last year, thanks in large part to $5,000 profit sharing checks Ford cut each of its workers this year.

According to a company spokesperson, its wage rate would be closer to $56/hour without the profit sharing initiative.

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