Fox's Gallagher latest to falsely claim Big Three autoworkers make $73 per hour

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

On The Live Desk, Trace Gallagher falsely claimed that autoworkers for "the Big Three" earn "73 bucks in wages and benefits." In fact, according to General Motors, the $73-an-hour figure is based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for retirees.

On the December 2 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk, co-host Trace Gallagher repeated the falsehood that the average union autoworker earns $73 an hour in wages and benefits. Gallagher asked Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI): "[I]s it tough to justify to your constituents when you have the hourly compensation and wage of the Big Three at around $73 and you have the hourly compensation and wage for the average American at $28? I mean, it's a big disparity to ask those making 28 bucks in wages and benefits to pay for those who are making 73 bucks in wages and benefits." In fact, according to General Motors, the $73-an-hour figure is based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for retirees, as Media Matters for America has noted.

Numerous media figures have advanced the falsehood that autoworkers earn $70 or more per hour in wages and benefits, some using it to blame autoworkers for the domestic auto industry's financial straits.

From the December 2 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk with Martha and Trace:

GALLAGHER: Is there a plan B if the Big Three don't get this bailout?

UPTON: Well, not really. In fact, GM, they'll probably say, at the end of the week, if they don't get some type of bridge loan commitment, certainly this month, now that we're in December, we're not sure that they can actually make it into -- very much into next year at all. So, there's really no -- no one's talking about a plan B right now. What we're trying to do is -- Ford now is -- at least they've shared with us a summary of a plan that's going to be going to all the members on the banking committee -- House Finance Committee over here in the House. We'll see what the reaction is among both Republicans and Democrats.

Hearings are going to be later on this week, and you know, hopefully, they're going to be showing that, in fact, there is going to be some belt-tightening and a number of different changes that will justify a bridge loan to get them into the next level of vehicles that Americans want: electric hybrids, other things to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. And if we can show that they can pass the plan, hopefully -- or that the committee reaction is positive -- hopefully, we can get a bill on the House floor -- House and Senate floor, as early as next week.

GALLAGHER: Congressman, when you talk about justifying this bridge loan, is it tough to justify to your constituents when you have the hourly compensation and wage of the Big Three at around $73 and you have the hourly compensation and wage for the average American at $28? I mean, it's a big disparity to ask those making 28 bucks in wages and benefits to pay for those who are making 73 bucks in wages and benefits.

UPTON: Couple of things. First of all, the last big contract that the UAW did does away with a lot of the legacy cost difference between the Big Three and some of the transplants, Honda and Toyota. Almost gets rid of it by the end of next year. Second, we're going to see, I'm sure, some more concessions. The UAW, I think, is going to be testifying later on this week as well, talk about some other price-savings things that they can do. But, you know, let's look at the facts here. We're looking for maybe $25 billion dollars as a bridge loan that gets paid back, manufacturing staying where it is --

GALLAGHER: What if it doesn't get paid back, Congressman? What if it does not get paid back?

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Trace Gallagher
Show/Publication
The Live Desk
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.