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Greg

And with cartoons like this the Republicans wonder why they keep losing elections. This perfectly illustrates why the common working man and woman are stupid if they vote Republican. These people do not care what happens to the American worker. Massive job losses which lead to home foreclosures, which leads to a shrinking middle class and Republicans think they can win the lunch box crowd of Americans. This perfectly illustrates their lack of concern they for these people.

Greg

Can we blame the UAW for this also??


Toyota Braces For First Operating Loss In 70 Years

Toyota Motor Corp. warned Monday that it expects to post its first operating loss in 70 years — an estimated $1.7 billion — during the fiscal year that ends in March.

The world's largest automaker blamed eroding profits on the battered global economy, low demand for cars and the weak dollar. It was the first projected loss since Toyota began reporting such figures in 1941. The company last projected an operated loss in an internal calculation for the year ending March 1938, a year after Toyota was founded.

"The tough times are hitting us far faster, wider and deeper than expected," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said at a news conference at the company's office in Nagoya, Japan. "This is an unprecedented crisis requiring urgent action."

Sinking sales in the U.S. in the wake of the financial crisis have dealt a heavy blow to Japanese automakers. But Watanabe said that emerging markets, which had held up in the beginning, were also slowing.

For 2008, Toyota estimated that at 8.96 million vehicles, groupwide global sales — which include sales at units Daihatsu and Hino Motors Ltd. — will be down 4 percent from last year.

For the business year ending March 31, Toyota lowered its vehicle sales forecast to 7.5 million vehicles from 8.2 million. It sold nearly 9 million vehicles last business year.

Unlike previous years, Toyota did not disclose its sales and production forecasts for the coming calendar year, saying it was impossible to predict where the bottom for the global vehicle market lay.

Peg

I don't think so, Greg.

Do you wish to compare and contrast the profits and losses of Detroit to Toyota?

Greg

We can compare the fact that the wages for the workers for the UAW are comparable to those that work at the non-union plants in the southern states. But here is a little nugget people feel to mention.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner agreed to a token $1 salary as part of his bailout, but his salary rose in 2007 by 64% to $15.7 million, significantly higher than his Toyota counterpart. I'd hazard a guess that the rest of GM's officers are similarly compensated, but you seem to be more worried about the American workers who on the assembly lines who are making $30/hour.

But let's do some basic math, shall we? Rick Wagoner's salary is 14 times more than his Toyota counterpart. Is the GM CEO worth 14 times more than his Toyota counterpart? For those who are math deficient $30 an hour equates to roughly $62,400 a year. That means that the CEO of GM earned the equivalent of more than 251 employees last year. Wagoner's salary works out to $39,452.05 per day, including weekends. Note that in 2007, GM lost a staggering $38.7 billion. From listening to all the Republicans talk, I would assume they think Wagoner is being generous in his pay since they never mention what he and others in management make. Then again the estimated pay of Toyota's CEO in 2005 was under $1 million. Anyone see a problem here?

Simple Illustration

Toyota's CEO receives about $903,000 a year.

The Toyota CEO received the pay of 3.8 workers per hour.

Rick Wagoner made the equivalent of more than 251 employees last year.

Toyota is in a far better position than GM or Ford, anyone see a problem here? But the discussion never goes to CEO pay, or health care cost or anything else, all it seems to focus on is the pay of American workers. Currently the figures are the workers cost make up 10% of a US cars price. If we had universal health care anyone think that cost might go down? Just a thought.

Peg

Greg - Toyota workers in the U.S. are not covered by universal health care. Toyota Corporation deals with the same issues on that score as the Big Three.

As for the salaries and benefits of the Detroit workers vs. Toyota workers, they are not comparable. Wherever you got your figures, they are incorrect.

Also - if you are looking for someone to support executive compensation paid to the top people at U.S. auto companies - look elsewhere. Compensation should be a function of what is being achieved and what is necessary to get top quality people. IMHO - this has not been happening in Detroit for some time.

Of course, these issues alone are not all that has led to the sorry state of Detroit's car companies. It is, however, some of it.

Greg

Actually Peg you are incorrect. This notion that you and those who do not take the time to research the correct information and just take their instructions from Rush are wrong. The notion that UAW workers earn, or are paid, $70 an hour is dishonest. The base pay for a worker in a UAW plant is about $28 an hour. Got that from the UAW's own website.

So where does this $73 figure come from? This figure actually represents is what it costs GM in total labor expenses, on an hourly basis, to manufacture autos. Do you see that there's a big distinction? General Motors doles out $70 an hour in overall labor costs to manufacture cars. But individual employees don't get paid $70 an hour to make cars. (The discrepancy between costs and wages is explained by additional benefits, pension fees, and health-care costs GM pays out to current and retired employees.)

Simply put, GM's labor costs are not synonymous with hourly wages earned by UAW employees. The average GM assembly-line worker makes about $28 per hour in wages, and I can assure you that GM is not paying $42 an hour in health insurance and pension plan contributions. Rather, the $70 per hour figure (or $73 an hour, or whatever) is a ridiculous number obtained by adding up GM's total labor, health, and pension costs, and then dividing by the total number of hours worked. In other words, it includes all the healthcare and retirement costs of retired workers.

Indeed, according to the Associated Press a chunk of GM's $70-an-hour labor costs goes toward paying current retirees' pensions and health-care coverage. In other words, that's money that's not going to end up in the pocket of any autoworker when he cashes his paycheck this week. That's money GM has to set aside in order to pay off costs associated with workers already in retirement.

Just so you do not assumed I made this stuff up let me source my comment.

1. Hourly wages for UAW workers at GM factories already are about equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp.

Source Moneycentral.msn.com

Hourly wages for UAW workers at GM factories already are about equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp. at its older U.S. factories, according to the companies. GM says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78 per hour, while Toyota — generally viewed as the main competitor of the Detroit Three — says it pays about $30 per hour.


2. $73 per hour? Not exactly
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081219.WBdriving20081219165105/WBStory/WBdriving


3. The media myth: Detroit's $70-an-hour autoworker
http://mediamatters.org/columns/200811250012
by Eric Boehlert

Peg

Greg, not sure what I have to do to explain this to you and anyone else who doesn't get it.

If I work for a company, and I receive health benefits, pension benefits and retirement benefits that others do not, that IS part of my compensation. The Toyota workers are not getting the same benefits when they are working and retired.

If I am a retired worker and my corporation is paying out benefits to me, that IS calculcated as part of what I am earning from them.

You and anyone else saying that it isn't simply isn't so - no matter how many people say it and repeat it. That is how compensation is accurately calculated; everything counts.

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