September 28, 2023
Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-207-2831
Washington, DC – The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s longest-operating consumer organization, calls on the auto industry to bargain fairly with the very workers who have helped the industry become extremely profitable.
Though top-scale assembly workers earn $32.32 an hour, lower-tier workers who joined the company after 2007 earn less than $17 an hour. By comparison, many McDonald’s franchises are paying starting workers $15 per hour.
For years, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union gave up general pay raises and lost cost-of-living wage increases to help the companies control costs during tougher economic times when the industry struggled. Now, the industry is thriving. The “Big 3” auto companies—Ford, GM, and Stellantis—saw profits skyrocket 92 percent from 2013 to 2022, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Total profits of the Big 3 were $250 billion for the decade.
Today, the striking UAW union is asking for 36-percent raises in general pay over four years. Compare that to Detroit’s three automakers that have raised CEO pay by 40 percent over the past four years. Workers should get similar raises.
CEO salaries dwarf the pay of even the best-paid assembly line workers. General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra was paid $28.98 million in 2022; Ford CEO James Farley received nearly $21 million; and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares’ 2022 pay was $24 million. Barra’s pay was 362 times the median employee earnings of $80,034 at GM.
“We believe that those who work on the assembly line building America’s cars deserve the same percent of pay increases that CEOs receive,” said Sally Greenberg, CEO of NCL. “We support those who make our cars and wish them victory in their valiant battle for fair wages and benefits.”
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit nclnet.org.