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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…Sue ‘Em!

Summary:
When you can’t beat ‘em in the showroom, go after ‘em in the courtroom. General Motors says the lawsuit it filed against FiatChrysler is all about FCA supposedly  graft-giving union bosses under-the-table cashola to gain some kind of competitive advantage on labor costs. The allegation is that FCA’s former head, Sergio Marchionne funneled payments to United Auto Workers bosses to secure wage and benefits deals more favorable to FCA and less favorable to UAW workers – which gave FCA an unfair competitive advantage over GM, which had not-as-favorable deals with the UAW. But the numbers don’t appear to support GM’s claims. The average FCA assembly line worker earns about per hour while the average GM assembly line worker makes

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When you can’t beat ‘em in the showroom, go after ‘em in the courtroom.

General Motors says the lawsuit it filed against FiatChrysler is all about FCA supposedly  graft-giving union bosses under-the-table cashola to gain some kind of competitive advantage on labor costs.

The allegation is that FCA’s former head, Sergio Marchionne funneled payments to United Auto Workers bosses to secure wage and benefits deals more favorable to FCA and less favorable to UAW workers – which gave FCA an unfair competitive advantage over GM, which had not-as-favorable deals with the UAW.

But the numbers don’t appear to support GM’s claims.

The average FCA assembly line worker earns about $22 per hour while the average GM assembly line worker makes about $20 per hour (this figure is pre-strike and may be higher now).

GM, in other words, pays its workers less – or at least did (before the recent settlement with the UAW).

A more striking disparity is how much GM management gets paid vs not just FCA management but the rest of the car industry’s managers. The Detroit Free Press recently published some enlightening data regarding this.

Mary Barra – GM’s CEO – is paid a base salary of $2.1 million annually plus stock and other forms of compensation that brings her total package to $21.8 million.

Over at FCA, current CEO Mike Manley (who took over for Marchionne after his sudden death in 2018) receives a base salary of $680,434 – about a third of Barra’s base pay. Like Barra and other car company CEOs, Manley receives additional compensation, bringing his total up to $14 million.

But that’s still almost $8 million less than Barra’s haul.

The real problem, though, isn’t what GM pays Barra – or what FCA pays its workers – but rather that  FCA – the Chrysler (and Dodge and Ram and Jeep) part of FCA – is doing really well  . . . by not selling electric cars. Sergio – before his untimely death – publicly urged people not to buy the one pitiful example in the inventory, the electrified version of the Fiat 500.

And they haven’t.

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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