You'll believe anything!
But they did agree in negotiations with Ford to reduce it to $55 per hour with benefits
This reminds me of a few months back when lots of Lehman Brothers software developers hit the streets and really believed they were worth the $200K+ base they were earning; when sussed out, it was clear that skill-wise they might be worthy of $100K here in NYC.
For so long the major unions have held unrealistic expectations of worth; there is no question that holding firm to compensation and benefit demands is going to severely hurt any chance of automotive industry recovery. From a point of pattern bargaining, this news is good news for the sector; once there's a new agreed upon practice, others will follow.
I'd like to see some of this positive energy flow into other areas (like K-12 and college education) to develop a more realistic relationship that has the needs of the consumer/user/etc. as a primary goal.
Have to start somewhere.
You are absolutely right I dont think it is fair to get paid almost full wages for 15 weeks of time away from work, but I would not work on a line unless I had to. Not because the work is too long or hard, but because it is too boring and repetitive. I have the sneaking suspiscion you have never walked down an automotive assembly line. If you had, there is a very good chance you wouldn't be arguing so fervently that the work is so hard that UAW workers deserve to be making more than I do.
Prior to robotics the work performed on a line was more specialized and people needed at least some skill to do things like weld, rivet, assemble, etc. However, the vast majority of those functions are now performed by robots, or are assisted by them. Many of these workers are barely doing more than supervising a robotic arm, hardly a talent I consider to be invaluable.