Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 26, 2008 at 5:17 PM

Auto-industry bailout

Do the math

UAW [United Auto Workers] average compensation is less than $70/hour as some have contended. Media Matters for America reports autoworkers base pay is about $28/hr, health care $6/hr, pension $7/hr, totaling $41/hr. The difference is the added expense for pension and heath-care costs for retired workers.

The person on the line does not benefit from this.

The falsity perpetrated in the press is an attack against working people who are among the most productive in the world, and who, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, contribute a value-added worth of $206/hr.

The labor cost per vehicle is about $2,400, including direct, indirect and salaried labor representing 8.4 percent of the typical $28,451 price of a new vehicle in 2008. The vast majority of costs include transport to dealer, sale prep, design, engineering, marketing, raw materials and executive compensation.

UAW members have a common vision of the middle class, shared sacrifices and rewards. Making them or any members of our society a scapegoat only further divides us and harms our resolve to recover and deliver social justice to all our citizens.

This must stop. To do otherwise is to surrender to the politics of hate and fear.

— Brian Grad, Bremerton

We’re just pawns

Lets take a trip down memory lane.

In my 80 years, I remember when the oil, rubber and auto companies were monopolies that forced the streetcars out of business. The courts found them guilty and fined them $5,000 to break the monopoly, so they say.

But the oil companies don’t want the auto companies to increase the miles per gallon on their vehicles. It would cut into the oil company’s profit.

Let’s just jump to 1973. Remember the gas shortage? We could buy only 5 gallons of gas at a time, no fill-ups. Then came the story of two immigrants from Hungary — a father and son. The story was printed in The Seattle Times. They invented a carburetor that would give any car 50 miles per gallon. They then got in touch with the auto companies, who bought their carburetor and the prints. They then destroyed both the carburetor and the prints.

So what does that tell you?

It tells me that the oil and auto companies are holding us prisoners and the government can’t do anything about it.

— Paul Katocs, Fall City

Comments | More in Economy, Politics

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►