By on December 15, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the Detroit automakers reach for their checkbooks and write out annual cost-of-living adjustment bonus checks, known fondly among workers as the annual “Christmas Bonus.” This year, GM, Ford and Chrysler will pay out $305m in these COLA “bonus” checks… but, in classic UAW style, you can only get one if you no longer work. Yes, you got that right: if you are a salaried or hourly worker currently employed by GM, there will be no COLA bonus this year… or even next year. If, however, you are one of the lucky GM retirees who never had to face the modern challenges of two-tier wages and a near-bankruptcy experience, check your mailbox because there should be a $700 check waiting there to make your Christmas a little brighter. After all, retirees are the future of every company… right? [via Automotive News [sub]]

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16 Comments on “Detroit Drops $305m On UAW Retiree Bonuses, Scrooges Actual Workers...”


  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    I hope my dad got his Chrysler Christmas Bonus in the mail. He’ll be spending it all right here in the good ol’ USA, unlike the German and Japanese retirees who will be spending it in their countries.

    “Buy a Japanese car feed a Japanese retiree; Buy a German car, keep a German retiree warm; Buy a Korean car, keep the lights on for a Korean retiree” … Buy from American auto company keep an American retiree warm, fed and his bright Christmas lights on!

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Actually, based on personal experience, with too many American autos, you’ll be keeping your friendly mechanic warm. My parents’ Bravada already shows signs of transmission troubles with only 60,000 miles on the odometer. Meanwhile, my 2003 Accord keeps humming along, with only 145,000 miles on the odometer. It feels newer and has had fewer things wrong with it than my mother-in-law’s 2004 Malibu with 50,000 miles on the odometer.

      The people who built and engineered that car deserve something all right, but not necessarily a bonus…

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      @geeber
       
      The UAW never covered those who designed and engineered the vehicles.  They never covered the engineers who designed each job on the line as the cars passed through the plants.  They never covered the ones who green-lighted crappy projects.  They never covered the accountants who cut the budgets of the engineering staffs who…

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      For too long, they refused to renegotiate contracts that made their employers uncompetitive with the transplants, which required cost cutting in other areas. Hence, the inferior reliability and quality of too many domestics. Sorry, but the UAW isn’t blameless here, no matter how much its defenders wish it were.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Ed, let’s not throw the retirees under the bus, just because we may have a beef with the UAW.
     
    Eventually, everyone here will be a retiree – even the unfunded and underfunded ones, meaning pension-less.

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      Apparently the view of most of the TTAC staff is that spending decades working your butt off under a retirement plan is no excuse to expect “handouts” from the corporate overlords. Just one more reason right wingers really are scum.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Okay….Let me explain. During the last few years the UAW/CAW contracts were negotiated and then, negotiated again. Eech time the contract was opened up,a new package was created. Some items were taken away,some were added ,some stayed the same. Bottom line, the UAW/CAW workers, total wage and benifit package was brought down a significant amount. So today. we are at parity, or real close to the transplants.

    Was that not the objective?

    The rank and file voted…..and by a narrow magin it passed.

     Part of the UAW retiree package. {BTW…the retirees don’t vote}….included VEBA. Something that did not go over well with the retirees. The UAW retirees did however keep thier $700 COLA. I believe they also have a frozen pension.

     For the record… I’m CAW..GM retired. Here in Canada we give up our COLA for a slightly higher pension. We also are going to eat the Canuck version of VEBA.

     Edward….Its two words..contactual obligations.

     OKAY…Fire away B&B…..Oh… and could you keep the trolls under the bridge. I find not feeding them works.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      During the “fat times” the unions simply took everything that management was willing to give.  Can’t blame them for that.  Thank you, mikey and your union brethren, for keeping my grandmother well taken care of and with good health care on her widow’s pension.

    • 0 avatar
      ohiojohn

      Wow, the hate infused ignorance on these types of sites never ceases to amaze me.  For the record fellas, those of you who toiled your butts off at college were never promised higher paying jobs than the hard working blue collar individual.  Rather your education pretty much guaranteed that you would not be subjected to hard manual labor in less than ideal conditions, nothing more.  Do you really think that you deserve more money for doing paper pushing or keyboard tapping than someone who gets up at 5 am to be at work for 6 am to work in residual dust or fumes or at a pace that wears out a human body in 15 years?  You do? Talk about a sense of entitlement! 

       Carpal tunnel in both wrists, tendonitis in both elbows, compressed and degenerated discs in the mid and lower back; all this acquired during my years spent working at my “easy” job at General Motors. So to all the ignorant haters out there and on here, keep on hatin’, may it eat up your soul and consume all that you are.  Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Contractual obligations entered into by parties who had no long term responsibility relating to making good on the liabilities created for others are the reason we should have let the auto companies go bankrupt within the parameters of existing laws.  Collective bargaining is not something we can sustain for government employees. The unions are a cancer. They killed many of their hosts in private industry and now they’re feeding on the body of our nation.

    • 0 avatar
      LimpWristedLiberal

      For a minute there I thought you were talking about the management.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I spoke of both the management, that learned to loot the companies short term gains, and of the unions, which grudgingly agreed to do their jobs in exchange for multiples of their worth to be paid at a later date. One crooked palm greasing another, at the expense of everyone else’s future.

  • avatar
    forraymond

    Hmmm…workplace safety regulations – keeping you safe from asbestos, PCBs and other carcinogens.  Your employer does that willingly.  Collective bargaining got workplace safety passed into law.
     
    You ride on the backs of all those workers who fought and died for workers rights.  Ungrateful is the only work I can think of at this time that would not get my comments removed.
     
    Corporations willingly developed pension plans to keep employees.  It was a perk of employment.  What makes you think that retirees are not due those pensions?  Just because you will never have a pension like that does not give you the right to be so damn bitter when writing about those workers and the pensions that they WORKED for.
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Well it’s popular to hate the “rich” too, especially those who risked everything to start a business and worked long hours to make it sucessful. Or those who spent years in school to get advanced degrees while others their age were partying and buying shiny cars on cheap credit that they couldn’t keep on the payments. But let’s get them to pay their “fair share” (when they already pay more in taxes then anyone else). And while were at it, let’s tax their assets when they die after we already taxed those same assets when they were alive (didn’t we go to war with someone a long time ago because of things like this? I wonder if they even teach about that in the schools anymore). To borrow from the previous poster, just because you don’t have the same success like that does not give you the right to be so damn bitter when writing about those individuals and the success that they WORKED for.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Now for the record, if the union negotiated for these payments and the corporations agreed to them, then they should pay them, and it is none of our business what consenting adults do behind closed negotiating doors. If these same companies don’t get a handle on costs in future contract negotiations then they got no excuse. Defined benefit plans are dinosours that need to go extinct.

  • avatar

    My dad who worked 34 years at G.M., and worked with out dusk masks and other safety tools that are now required. This check came in handy, buying him things that I hope you never have to purchase.

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