Responses to "A darker future for 'Tier 2' workers"

Letters to the Editor

These are among the responses that we received to our July 27, 2011 article, A darker future for “Tier 2” workers:


Tier 2 workers: thanks for coverage

July 27, 2011  —  I am a Tier 2 worker in Illinois and it’s just nice to see anyone talking about this. I don’t even have the union in my shop saying this (he’s Tier 1). I don’t feel like the UAW is even thinking about helping us. And I’m paying dues every month! I could go on for a while, I’m just saying thanks for saying something!!

Chris Drendall (Rockland, Illinois)


July 30, 2011 — I want to send a gigantic thank you to you for writing this piece. I am a Tier 2 worker and, like almost all other Tier 2 workers, we have felt like we have been forgotten and used and forced to think that we should be “lucky” to have jobs at all and accept our Tier 2 wage. The fact that your article touches on so many subjects we talk about daily at work gives us hope that someone sees the injustice that is going on inside of GM.

The daily grind of going to work and working next to someone who makes double what you make and has better health care and job security takes its toll. I am also happy to read that a fellow GM worker feels for us just as much as our friends and family do.

Hopefully this article will show people that trying to “compete” with foreign auto makers is NOT the way to go at all. All we can hope for is that our union can negotiate closing the pay gap between Tier 1s and Tier 2s. Then we can be closer to some kind of equality and better worker morale.

Once again, I appreciate your article and letting us Tier 2s know that we’re not just “whining and complaining” about nonsense.

Ashley O. (Flint, Michigan)


Tiered wages’ effect on quality of product?

July 27, 2011 — Another great piece. I think car buyers should be concerned, too. It would seem quality suffers when 40 percent of the workers are hired on the cheap. Furthermore, how enthused would you be about your job, knowing that the guy next to you makes twice as much money?

I’d find it demoralizing.

Jim Dalgleish (St. Joseph, Michigan)


Coverage failed to ask crucial questions about two-tier system

July 27, 2011 — I very much appreciate your site and your content. I find that you and your staff do an excellent job breaking down complex issues and generally make sure that all sides are covered in a debate. However, I did not find the same quality of coverage with Eric Kroh’s article on “Tier 2” workers.

I didn’t have any issue with the analysis itself  —  I thought it was comprehensive coverage in that regard. However, I found two key questions missing: one, what is the “loaded” cost of each type of worker — in other words, if you take all the benefits that accrue to an employee, how much does it cost GM per employee when you average it across the hourly rate? Part of the reason I think that question needs to be asked is because of one particular line in the article  —  that Waun was on GM’s payroll even when he wasn’t doing any work. How much does that cost GM to pay for workers who don’t work?

The other missing question is how much is this work worth? Is it worth $28 per hour? Is it worth $14 per hour? What are these people doing to make either wage? Is it truly the same exact work? I feel like these questions add important context to this story.

Thanks for your work! And for the opportunity for me to provide feedback.

Nikki Baird (Highlands Ranch, Colorado)


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