The Difference Between Detroit and Japanese Automakers


By Bernie on 14 Dec 2008

The difference between the two is very simple: here is Ford's 22 Pound, 2,215 page, 2007 Contract with the UAW in 5 volumes. The Coke can is for scale although the scale of stupidity of the automakers' management in agreeing to anything of this size is incredible.

Most of it is concerned with trivial nonsense such as improvements to the dental plan and how many day's notice the Union needs in case of a plant closing, etc.. What's missing of course, is a commitment to improve American automobiles.

Ford's 22 Pound, 2,215 page, 2007 Contract with the UAW
Photo Credit: Ironic Surrealism II

LaborPains.org says, "I’ll tell you this much, those 2,215 pages don’t include much regarding efficiency and competitiveness. What you’ll find are hundreds of rules, regulations, and letters of understanding that have hamstrung the auto companies for years."

The 2,215 pages are broken up as follows:


  1. Volume 1: Agreements

  2. Volume 2: Retirement Plan and Insurance Program

  3. Volume 3: Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Agreement and Plan, Profit Sharing Agreement and Plan, Tax-Efficient Savings Agreement and Plan, and UAW-Ford Legal Services Plan

  4. Volume 4: Letters of Understanding

  5. Volume 5: Skilled Trades Book


On the other hand...

Here is Japan's 1 page contract with it's workers:

Japan's one page contract with labor

Disclaimer: Although I exaggerate the simplicity of the Japanese Auto workers contract, what is not exaggerated is that workers who make cars for Japanese automakers focus on making a car. UAW workers focus on screwing the manufacturer and the American public.

CBS News gained exclusive access to the UAW's contract with the Ford Motor Company. In total, the massive document weighs in at twenty- two pounds.




Also for the morbidly curious here is GM's 2003 contract in PDF.

Chrysler's 2003 Contract in PDF

More of my articles on the absurdity of allowing unions to exist can be found here.








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