Average weekly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers in the motor vehicle and parts manufacturing industry are relatively high. At $1,184 per week, earnings of production workers in establishments that manufacture complete motor vehicles were among the highest in the Nation in 2002. Workers in establishments that make motor vehicle parts averaged $848 weekly, and those in motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing earned $625 per week, compared with $619 for workers in all manufacturing industries, and $506 for those in the entire private sector.
These hourly earnings may increase during overtime or special shifts. Workers generally are paid 1-1/2 times their normal wage rate for working more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, or for working on Saturdays. They may receive double their normal wage rate for working on Sundays and holidays. The largest manufacturers and suppliers often offer other benefits, including paid vacations and holidays; life, accident, and health insurance; education allowances; nonwage cash payment plans, such as performance and profit-sharing bonuses; and pension plans. Some laid-off workers in the motor vehicle and parts manufacturing industry have access to supplemental unemployment benefits, which can provide them with nearly full pay and benefits for up to 3 years, depending on the worker’s seniority.
In 2002, about a third of workers in motor vehicle and parts production were union members or were covered by union contracts, more than double the proportion of workers in all industries. A greater proportion of workers in motor vehicle production were members of unions than in parts production. The primary union in the industry is the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, also known as the United Auto Workers (UAW). Nearly all production workers in motor vehicle assembly plants, and most in motor vehicle parts plants, are covered by collective bargaining agreements negotiated by the UAW. Other unions-including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers of America, the United Steelworkers of America, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers-cover certain plant locations or specified trades in the industry.