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We VERIFY how much the Big Three car companies actually pay their workers, who just went on strike.
On Sept. 15, the United Auto Workers went on strike, starting with walkouts at three plants operated by America’s largest automakers.
The UAW and GM, Ford, and Stellantis (the parent company of Chrysler) – known as the “Big Three” – have failed to agree on a new contract after the previous ones signed in 2019 expired. The auto workers are demanding improved pay and working conditions.
VERIFY viewer Edgar said he saw reports that auto worker pay is already high – that they’re being paid $75 an hour – and wanted to know if that was true.
Are UAW workers paid $75 an hour?
No, UAW workers are not paid $75 an hour.
WHAT WE FOUND
Union employees of GM, Ford, and Stellantis are paid according to the collective bargaining agreement reached between the companies and the United Auto Workers.
In 2019, all of the Big Three automakers and the UAW signed contracts that set the current pay scale.
The contracts show full-time union workers at these companies are paid between $17 and $33 an hour, which is about $35,000 to $68,000 a year for a 40-hour workweek. Employees move up the pay scale as they gain seniority.
At GM, minimum base pay under the 2019 contract is $17 per hour. The maximum rate is $32.32 per hour.
At Stellantis, wages range from $17 to $31.77 per hour.
At Ford, wages range from $17 to $32.00 per hour.
Ford says the majority of its union workers have enough seniority to be paid the top rate and that the average wage of its UAW employees is roughly $28 per hour. Stellantis says its average is $30.47 for full-time workers. GM did not respond to VERIFY’s inquiry.
Temporary workers may be paid below this range. In its email to VERIFY, Ford said just 3% of its hourly workforce is temporary.
Some employees make additional money from overtime, bonuses and profit sharing. But that pay, along with benefits such as healthcare (which companies typically include as part of their labor costs), is distinct from wages.
The UAW has begun negotiations with a demand for a 40% pay raise over four years, which would increase the top rate to roughly $45 an hour.
UAW did not respond to VERIFY’s request for comment.