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A Hiring Binge in Detroit?

Posted by: David Kiley on April 16, 2008

Detroit has lost over 100,000 auto jobs in the last two-plus years, devastating the Michigan economy and tax rolls. But a new report by the Center for Automotive Research says a hiring binge will begin by this Fall, continuing through to the middle of the next decade.

The CAR report projects that 46,000 new auto workers will be hired in Michigan alone by 2016.”The bleeding will stop, said Kristin Dziczek, a CAR project manager.

Before you get too excited, though, there will be an economic trade-off. And the overall number of auto worker jobs will Fall when furrther buyouts and retirements are factored in. The CAR report said in Michigan alone, the number of autoworkers will drop from 129,00 today, to just 108,430 by 2016.

Just like manufacturing workers who wind up working for Walmart or call-centers lose pay and benefits in the transition, so will the new wave of auto workers. Many of the new hires will be coming in at much lower wages. That’s because the United Auto Workers Union has approved a new two-tier wage/benefit package. Those in the lower rung will make $14 an hour compared to top-tier wages of $26 an hour.

Reader Comments


April 17, 2008 1:15 PM

So we are supposed to feel sorry for these new-hires? No one is forcing them to work for the car industry, nor to reside in Michigan for that matter. Ugh. And it should be abundantly clear that those far better paid 'workers' of yore were not particularly efficient, dedicated, nor quality-prone. That the UAW fostered bad attitudes is a given, that for a very long time there was no meaningful competition is true as well. Toss in years of lousy management and if is no wonder GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been 'run over'.

Our auto biz is a very sick one, self-inflicted wounds bleeding sales right and left. Owner 'loyalty' is a thing of the past now when it comes to The Failing Three, and they will have to work very hard to restore what used to be. My thinking is that it is far too late now.

On the other hand, the usual case is that the 'suits' will do just fine, well paid and protected, not really as connected as they might be if their business were the manufacturing of shoelaces or toothpicks. Despite the lower wages of the working stiffs, those 'running' them will flourish too. When was the last time you saw a starving union leader?


April 18, 2008 7:15 AM

GM closed about 10 auto plants in the past two years, not counting Ford and Chrysler, and they aint coming back short of a miracle. Big3 lack of leadership and poor products are the causes as to why Americans are refusing to buy from Big3. Americans are buying American cars built in Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, S. Carolina, and California with names like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, and BMW. In addition to losing sales GM even lost its phony claim to superior auto technology when it failed to produce a hybrid challenge to Prius after ten years of talking big but can't walk the walk. Ford leases Toyota's hybrid powertrain, and Chrysler under Nardelli is still running like a disorganised hardware warehouse store without a production hybrid. Big3 CEOs are a bunch of phonies talking big and choking on cigars and whose self preservation is more important than investors or auto workers. Taking home over $20mil/year plus corp perts, plus golden parachutes the average Big3 CEO earn more per year than an auto worker hitting the jackpot lotto every year. Why open plants when closing plants boost bottom line which increase CEO's stock option. About 30 years ago, GM commanded 80% of US auto market.Today, GM has 23% and lots of closed factories. In the intervening years did GM ever increase hiring to reopen these plants to recapture the 80% market share? How about Ford, Chrysler? The answer is obvious. You know who is rehiring these dejected unwanted American auto workers? Try naming Toyota, Honda, Nissa, Subaru, and BMW. Next time at GM shareholder's meeting when you see Wellburn with his "fine threads", Lutz with his designer suit, and Wagoner with his limo, ask them when are they going to reopen the 10 auto plants and rehire all the American auto workers who are now struggling to feed their families. The people of Detroit, and Michigan are suffering because the 3 stooges of GM can't lead. At Chrysler's shareholder meeting, ask Nardelli when will Chrysler stop assembling its cars in Mexico and selling that car in USA as an American car built in USA. Big3 corporate boards have never sank so low or stank so much. Only the stupid institutional investors can turn the Big3 leadership around, but they won't because they believe Bear Stearn will come to rescue the Big3. The other shoe will drop when Ford burn thru its cash and Cerberus gives up on Chrylser. Rehiring? A dream. A pie in the sky.


April 21, 2008 12:30 PM

Auto companies like to keep the guys who are too old, no qualifications, totally outdated and arrogant technicians who calls them as "ENGINEERS". They love to be called engineers, technical specialists because these folks were never been to any engineeing school.

Then the managers who loves these technician engineers have no clue about either new technologies or management. They are full of politics. Now tell me who wants to work with these guys? I don't know why these managers who are total non-sense are still kept? They should be shown the door and to revamp, auto companies should look at new faces with right qualifications and right attitude. They were hundreds of auto companies in the US , now two, in the near future one and in the long term none.


September 5, 2008 9:57 PM

Wow these comments are off base by far.
First i have been building assembly lines for the big 3, mercedez, jaguar,land rover, bmw, and a few others.
Noz is so far off base and so brainwashed with the ceo company line it makes me wonder if he is a foreigner.
ALL phrases of car building is controlled by Managment (Ceo'c) from the design to the finished product is controlled by Quality programs the upper managment put in place following the Demming plan.
All the Uaw people do is assembly the car with parts made to Quality specs set by Managment.
The robotic assembly lines now a day are programmed to handle parts with the same precision as any foreign car.
Both the imports and american car are made of the same metal same kind of assembly line robots.
Most foreign car lines are made by UNION workers and in several plants that I know of they could not run the lines without our Union slills and help.
the joke is on you NOz.
After over 30 years of managments Quality hype and get it out the door at any cost no wonder you have joined other americans in locksep with the company line.

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