Temp Workers at Car Manufacturers

The UAW objects to American car manufacturers having temp workers on the payroll.

The use of temporary factory workers at the Detroit car companies has long rankled the United Auto Workers union, which wants fewer of them and a faster path to full-time status.

Never mind that

Automakers say they need the flexibility that temp workers provide, especially as they manage a tricky and costly transition to electric vehicles and confront the ups and downs of factory production.

The union pretends to object on the grounds of the different pay levels temps earn compared to union workers. This is cynically disingenuous. The temps know, going in, that they’re getting a lower wage than their full-time, unionized neighbor on the assembly line. They still take the gig, because they’d like to have the income. That’s an income the UAW wants to deny them, along with denying the car manufacturers these labor gap fillers.

The union boss, Shawn Fain, claims to want to help the temps:

UAW President Shawn Fain has said he wants to get temps better pay and limit their use. He also wants to accelerate the timeline to full-time status to 90 days.

But he doesn’t want them working at all until he and his union get their way. This is demonstrated by the outlandish demand of full-time status for temps within 90 days. That’s far too short to evaluate a worker’s fitness over the longer haul, and it’s far too short relative to longer-lasting but still temporary labor gaps.

In the end, temp workers are the most reliable workers on the car makers’ factory floors—the UAW’s strike, especially as damage maximizing as the present one is designed to be—demonstrates this conclusively. Fain’s demand regarding temp workers is just another union power grab.

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