More On $71 Per Hour vs. $49 Per Hour
About $71 an hour, significantly more than the $49 paid by nonunionized counterparts at Japanese, German and other so-called "transplant" factories in the U.S. But most of that gap is in how much GM, Chrysler and Ford shell out for workers who long ago clocked out for retirement.
According to documents submitted by Ford to Congress, the auto maker pays its current workers $29 an hour. Wages and other labor costs are generally the same for GM and Chrysler, according to company officials and labor experts. The equivalent wage on the nonunion side is a bit less at the older foreign-owned auto plants. Toyota pays workers in Kentucky about $26 an hour.
The gap widens because United Auto Workers get more holidays and vacation pay. The Big Three also have to continue paying workers who have been laid off. For that, Detroit's three auto makers pony up an additional $14 an hour, compared with $9 for the transplants. The big difference comes in the cost of health care and pensions for retired workers. Over the decades, the number of retired Big Three workers has risen into the hundreds of thousands. Their health care and pension costs add $16 to the hourly labor costs the Detroit companies pay.
~Wall Street Journal
Update: Chart above added.