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CBC reports on $19/hour wage difference

by David Zatz on

According to a CBC news item, much of the $19 per hour difference Chrysler claims exists between their Canadian factory workers’ pay and those in Canadian Toyota plants is due to benefits. The CAW has publicly disputed Chrysler’s claim that line workers cost the company $76 per hour and, by implication, have disputed the $19 per hour difference.

The conservative Canadian Free Press claimed that an analysis puts base wages at $36.06 for Chrysler and $34.20 for Toyota (all figures are Canadian dollars and apply only to Canadian plants); vacations, overtime, and other benefits, were ranked at $31.32 per hour at Chrysler at $16.89 at Toyota. Legacy costs were put at $3.69 at Chrysler, $1.50 at Toyota.  The remainder is taxes.

Of interest is the relative similarity of legacy costs vs “vacations, overtime, and other benefits.” Overtime is done at the discretion of the employer. No mention was made of which bucket includes pensions, and the effect of layoffs and downtime pay. 

CAW economist Jim Stanford said that under the GM – CAW deal, the average CAW wage and benefit would be under $44 per hour. Chrysler has rejected that deal. Chrysler has suggested that they could cut $19 per hour without lowering base wages. 

Details of the report were disputed by factory workers at, who found errors and inconsistencies between the report’s numbers and their own paystubs. The base wage on one worker’s paystub was $34.03, rather than $36.06; and they claimed that vacation time were similar.  Another employee noted that base wages for skilled trades might have been included, raising the averages.

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