5 Reasons it Sucks to be Salaried

If you haven’t been following the UAW negotiations with the Big 3 Auto’s it provides about as good a theater as watching any of the great reality TV shows out there.  This week Ford came to an agreement with their UAW workforce that includes:

  • 5750 new jobs
  • $6000 ratification bonus payments (basically this is a bribe to get them to vote “yes”)
  • About a $3.75 per hour increase
  • 4 – $1500 inflation bonuses
  • Profit sharing checks that will average about $3,752
  • Oh, and $250 dollar year-end bonus for meeting performance objectives (I guess they aren’t big on pay-for-performance compensation at the UAW!)

Pretty cool if you’re a UAW member!  GM and Chrysler UAW members get slightly different stuff, but it all basically equates to around the same thing – a lot of money.

If you work in a union environment, but you’re not union, the classic next step is to complain about everything the union is getting, that you are not getting as a salaried worker for your company:

1. Union workers get better health insurance, and pay less for it.

2. Union workers get paid overtime, double-time and well, heck, more than me.

3. Union workers get to complain about their boss and when they do, they get sent home with pay!

4. Union workers get more breaks throughout the day!

5. Union workers get those “cool” jackets to wear that say stuff like “Local 825 – Working Less, 4 More”.

In which, as an HR Pro, I look at Mr. Salaried Worker, and I listen, and I shake my head agreeably (so they really know I’m listening – HR Pro Tip!) – then I firmly, but softly tell them one thing –

“I hear what you are saying – if you would like I will start your transfer paperwork immediately – would you like the position where you put the nut on the bolt, or the one where you push the button all day?”  

I then walk back into my air conditioned office, check my facebook, call home to see how the wife is doing, pull a cold soda out of the small fridge that is in my office, by the small conference room table, turn up Pandora (because my favorite song is on), shut my door (so not to bother anyone), close my eyes and think what it will be like when I finally get to retire and not have to listen to people whine about what others have, and what they are unwilling to do to have the same thing.



5 thoughts on “5 Reasons it Sucks to be Salaried

  1. This has nothing to do with right and left, this is all about balance. Employees have their rights and so do employers, stockholders, citizens and don’t forget them: customers.

    Nothing is all black or white, there isn’t a good side and a bad side, but there is an equilibrium. And from what I’m reading in the news, that doesn’t sound like anything close to an equilibrium…

  2. RedState –

    Far right? Is there where I am? If you check your metrics – the union workers in right-to-work states actually make very similar wages and benefits as the other states – although, you’ll never find those numbers in union literature. But like any metric, you can come up with just about anything.

    As far as the NBA union labor talks are concerned – you’re joking right? That’s not a union – and those aren’t labor talks. It’s a game – where you get paid millions of dollars by billionaires. Let’s not disrespect hard working Americans – union and non-union – by trying to make this equal.

  3. I am not sure whats with all these attacks on the union from the far right. Are you implying that all union workers are slackers? What about the low wages and benefits in right-to-work states? BTW, what do you all think of the NBA union labor talks?

  4. Yes, I worked for a union when I was a student and despite the great benefits and all the money, it sucked. I worked there 4 summers and 4 Christmas vacations and I can confidently say that the people there worked harder not to work (find excuses, break stuff, play tug war with foremen, etc.) I’d say the union made the place really toxic and they were at war with the company even though they had a grade 12, making between $65k and $100k a year (depending on how much overtime they were willing to do), 6 weeks of vacation, 4 hours of work out of a 12 hour shift (people would sleep from 12am to 7am every night and get paid 12 hours), etc.

    It was too bad, because it was a great company, a great factory, a great job with great pay and benefits, but the union killed the company’s soul…

  5. Wow, working for a union sounds so great! I wonder why it is that they are so afraid of right to work in MI? Since they are so great all their members would stay put even if they weren’t forced to be a member right?…

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