Delphi CEO Steve Miller speech

Delphi’s Steve Miller claims that Delphi Employees make 2-3 times what they should.

In a speech Wednesday, he said that hourly employees are being paid 3 times what the market for their services and that skilled trades are getting about twice what they should.

He also said that the recent bonuses given to top execs were to prevent them from leaving to go to other companies and that they were being paid less than their market value.

Apparently, Mr. Miller hasn’t tried to get a plumber or electrician to come to his home to work for $15 an hour lately.

The attitude that money spent on employees wages and benefits is wasted is the norm among big business types these days. Apparently, they think that wages they thought were fair and negotiated in good faith in the past are wasted and go into some kind of black hole.

Nothing could be further than the truth. The people making $15 an hour these days aren’t buying new cars. They don’t make his industry go. They don’t buy as much gas, food, homes or luxuries or discretionary items. The economy around them relies on those wages. And the auto industry relies on the businesses and workers supported by those wages to buy autos too.

Money goes around and around. Money spent keeps the economy running. Money saved keeps the stock market going. Both are necessary for big ticket items like autos to sell briskly. The only money not working is what isn’t spent.

Yes, autoworkers make good money. But it’s a wage that the companies agreed to. It’s competitive with what is being paid at assembly plants. And the benefits that go with it were also agreed on.

No one doesn’t know that times are tough. Competition from abroad is a big problem. But dragging the U.S. wage scale down to match third-world wages isn’t the answer. Delphi and GM are multi-national companies and have taken much of their work overseas. They enjoy the low wages here. So why are they still in trouble?

They can’t make it work with low wages overseas, why do they think lower wages will solve their problems here? Mismanagement and slow-to-market product designs that are out of touch with consumer demands are the real problems. Delphi’s loss of control over the prices they charge for their products is also to blame. You can’t keep cutting price without losing money. They need to stand up to GM and tell them to pay a fair price for the products. But, no if they did that, they would have to admit they can’t compete against cut-rate labor and social costs in third-world countries. If they did, the politicians might wake up and put an end to their overseas operations.

But as always, they blame the workers.

Posted in Work

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