www.tdiclub.com

Economy - Longevity - Performance
The #1 Source of TDI Information on the Web!
Forums TDIFAQ Articles Links Meets
Orders TDI Club Cards TDIFest 2013 Gone, but not forgotten VAG-Com List Unit Conversions TDIClub Chat Thank You



Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > General VW Discussion

General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:40   #1
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default "Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant sets new standard for low wages"

By Andre Damon

Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, made headlines this year as the first US auto assembly plant to pay its entire production workforce the lowest starting wage for new US autoworkers—$14.50 per hour. But now the plant is starting all new production employees at $12 per hour, workers said, setting the bar even lower for autoworker wages.

In order to receive a bevy of state, federal, and local subsidies, Volkswagen promised in 2008 to create 2,000 local jobs at the “full” pay rate. But as production approaches full speed, all new production workers are now being hired in through Aerotek, Volkswagen’s labor contractor, at $12 per hour. In addition to the current production workforce, the factory employs over 500 temporary contract production employees, workers said.

“Aerotek workers are in assembly doing the same jobs as VW workers, they just work for a different company,” said one contract worker named Josh. “In orientation, we were told we’re considered equal to Volkswagen workers, and expected to work just like them.”

While discipline is severe for Volkswagen employees, Aerotek contractors have it even worse. “If you're five or six minutes late within your first week or two, you’re done.” said Josh. “If you call out a day within your first month and a half, you’re out,” he said.

“Anyone who talks about ‘spoiled American workers’ is very badly mistaken,” he concluded.

Despite the record-low wages paid by the plant, there has been no problem filling positions with local workers. The economic devastation wrought on Chattanooga over the past ten years has thrown tens of thousands of experienced and qualified industrial workers out of work as major factories shut their doors.

“These are the best-paying jobs available anywhere in Chattanooga,” said one Volkswagen worker who asked us not to use his name. “You do everything knowing there are a dozen people out there who would gladly do your job if you don’t want it.”

Volkswagen received over 35,000 applications for its initial hiring batch of 1,500 employees, and applicants continue to stream in by the thousands. On morning shift changes, applicants join the uniformed Volkswagen and Aerotek workers streaming into the plant’s gates.

“Every day for the past three months, 48 people have taken an 8-hour production simulation exam, hoping to land a job at the plant,” said Josh. “That’s over four thousand people wasting a whole day to fill five hundred positions,” he said.

In addition to the hundreds of contract employers from Aerotek, maintenance and food service is done by contractors who earn even less than production temps, in some cases as little as $8 per hour.

“Wages are falling everywhere; it’s true in Detroit and it’s true here,” said Josh. “But what can you do? Twelve dollars per hour is still a pretty good job around here.”

Wages in the area have fallen as high unemployment forces workers to take any job that becomes available. “It’s good business on the part of the companies,” said Josh.

Josh used to work for the local electrical company making $11.50, but started looking for other work when he found out his department was being cut. “I knew more layoffs were coming, so I started looking for work early,” he said. “I'’ve seen my coworkers laid off by the dozens.”

Josh said that two out of the seven Aerotek workers on his team were laid off from General Motors plants in Detroit, where they were paid $28 per hour or more, and moved to Chattanooga to start as temps making $12 per hour.

Many of those who make it through Volkswagen’s arduous hiring process cannot stand the mental and physical fatigue of production work. “Twenty or 40 people a week just walk out,” said Josh. “It's a very hard job.”

While the paint and body shops—where many temps start out—have their fair share of hard work, workers said assembly is the most arduous part of the plant. “I’ve been here since early August and I haven't even touched a car body,” said Josh. “They make sure you’re prepared, because assembly work is absolutely insane.”

The vast majority of those who applied for work at the plant were turned away. One of those was John Mayo, 57, who currently works as the head of the maintenance for a local marina. Mayo said he makes $13 per hour at the marina, and applied to Volkswagen for the benefits.

“They looked at my age and said, ‘he couldn't do this for 20 years.’ Sure, they overlooked my experience, but that’s how things go,” he added.

Mayo said he took off work to complete the application process, which took most of the day. Five of his co-workers at the marina applied for work at the plant, all unsuccessfully. “I’m not looking for a handout, just a decent job,” he said.

Mayo accepted his current job, despite the “ridiculously low rate of pay,” because he was laid off from his previous job as a maintenance head at a boat dealership, and collected unemployment for the first time in his life.
Daryl Okolley, who waits tables at a local diner by the plant, said he understands why people accept Volkswagen's low wages. “It’s hard to find any decent work anywhere around here.”

Okolley was one of over a thousand workers who lost their jobs when Wheland Foundry, an automotive brake casting plant in the South Side of Chattanooga, was closed in 2001. “One day they just got everyone together in the auditorium and said, we're closing down. About a week later I got a retirement check for $161, and that was that.”

He went from making $13 per hour at the foundry to minimum wage at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, before landing his current job. “It was quite an adjustment, to say the least,” he said.

Okolley made $13 per hour at the foundry. “At the time, that was a decent job,” he said. “But you can’t raise a family on that now.”
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:47   #2
terrylwc
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, OH
Fuel Economy: 40.1 MPG
Default

Is there a point to this?
__________________
terrylwc is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:53   #3
bcbsox
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dayton, OH/Afghanistan/Fairbanks, AK
Fuel Economy: high 40s, occasionally low 50s
Default

Link to original story? I grew up in a GM town (Dayton, Ohio). The plant there was part of the major shutdowns a few years back. The closed up shop Dec 23, Merry Christmas.
I never made sense to me why a company would pay someone upwards of $22/hr to sweep floors and clean bathrooms JUST because they'd been with a company for umpteen years. There are jobs that are just limited to a certain pay bracket, raising those wages above a set point just inflates the end product's selling price to the customer--the manufacturer certainly isn't going to absorb it. If you've been with a company for 20 years and you're still cleaning bathrooms, good for you for establishing your career path. Sorry that it is one that should really only pay a couple bucks over minimum wage.

Maybe it's the ice-cold-conservative blood running through my veins, but I see somethings in such a black and white way, this is definitely one of them.

Don't even get me started on Minimum wage.... Notice there are no more "dollar menus" at fast food joints? They can't produce the food cheaply enough to continue to make any money at those low prices, partially because of the Minimum Wage laws.
bcbsox is online now  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:58   #4
terrylwc
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, OH
Fuel Economy: 40.1 MPG
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbsox View Post
Link to original story? I grew up in a GM town (Dayton, Ohio). The plant there was part of the major shutdowns a few years back. The closed up shop Dec 23, Merry Christmas.
I never made sense to me why a company would pay someone upwards of $22/hr to sweep floors and clean bathrooms JUST because they'd been with a company for umpteen years. There are jobs that are just limited to a certain pay bracket, raising those wages above a set point just inflates the end product's selling price to the customer--the manufacturer certainly isn't going to absorb it. If you've been with a company for 20 years and you're still cleaning bathrooms, good for you for establishing your career path. Sorry that it is one that should really only pay a couple bucks over minimum wage.
Maybe it's the ice-cold-conservative blood running through my veins, but I see somethings in such a black and white way, this is definitely one of them.
Don't even get me started on Minimum wage.... Notice there are no more "dollar menus" at fast food joints? They can't produce the food cheaply enough to continue to make any money at those low prices, partially because of the Minimum Wage laws.
Amen brother.
__________________
terrylwc is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:04   #5
oilhammer
Certified Volkswagen Nut Vendor
 
oilhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St Louis
Default

For assembly line work, in this country, in this economy, $12/hr is probably about right. Maybe more manufacturing will return here if the wages are more in line with what they should be.

This is known as "unskilled labor", and the compensation should reflect that. No reason why a guy putting one small piece of a giant puzzle together should expect more pay than someone like me, who not only is expected to take the ENTIRE puzzle completely apart AND put it back together again, but also have the gray matter to understand WHY.
__________________
oilhammer
www.cardocautomotive.com
oilhammer is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:06   #6
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrylwc View Post
Is there a point to this?
I don't know. China is getting the B7 Passat with LEDs, xenon, rear vents, and stuff.

And, then there's this:

Hedge fund king John Paulson earns more per hour than most Americans in a lifetime—and he pays a lower tax rate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaid Jilani
If your job paid $50,000 a year and you stayed at it for 47 years, your tally for a lifetime of work would be $2.4 million. Not bad — but hedge fund hustler John Paulson pulled down that much last year.

Most of us would consider an annual income of $2.4 million to be a windfall, but it didn’t take Paulson a full 12 months of work to pocket his windfall — or one month, a week, or even a day. That’s how much he made an hour. Yes, Paulson could’ve worked one single hour in 2010 and hauled off a paycheck equal to what a typical household gets for a lifetime of work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaius Publius
By the way, hedge-king John Paulson is the guy we clocked in 2009 as earning $2.3 billion. He's also the guy who got Goldman Sachs to create worthless derivatives packages so he could bet against them.


The money goes somewhere!
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:09   #7
oilhammer
Certified Volkswagen Nut Vendor
 
oilhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St Louis
Default

This thread is destined to turn very political in a short time....
__________________
oilhammer
www.cardocautomotive.com
oilhammer is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:10   #8
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default

Life is political.

Certainly buying cars is a political act. Every time someone buys a B7 Passat, they're supporting the new record low for wages. I think people should be informed about their political acts.
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:11   #9
oilhammer
Certified Volkswagen Nut Vendor
 
oilhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St Louis
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxford_guy View Post
Life is political.

And so is the banned topic list....
__________________
oilhammer
www.cardocautomotive.com
oilhammer is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:11   #10
bcbsox
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dayton, OH/Afghanistan/Fairbanks, AK
Fuel Economy: high 40s, occasionally low 50s
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
For assembly line work, in this country, in this economy, $12/hr is probably about right. Maybe more manufacturing will return here if the wages are more in line with what they should be.

This is known as "unskilled labor", and the compensation should reflect that. No reason why a guy putting one small piece of a giant puzzle together should expect more pay than someone like me, who not only is expected to take the ENTIRE puzzle completely apart AND put it back together again, but also have the gray matter to understand WHY.

Exactly... we have literally chased away manufacturing jobs from our shores with high taxes and the absolutely out of control unions (what a waste of space).
bcbsox is online now  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:12   #11
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
And so is the banned topic list....
Yes. It's always easier to hide the truth. I'm sure Mr. Paulson approves.
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:13   #12
terrylwc
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, OH
Fuel Economy: 40.1 MPG
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxford_guy View Post
I don't know. China is getting the B7 Passat with LEDs, xenon, rear vents, and stuff.

And, then there's this:

Hedge fund king John Paulson earns more per hour than most Americans in a lifetime—and he pays a lower tax rate







The money goes somewhere!
Tell it to the union jackass. What are supposed to pay someone to do a job a monkey can do? Don't confuse income tax and capital gains tax. Your arguments are really stale and laughable at best.
__________________
terrylwc is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:15   #13
compu_85
Gadget Guy
 
compu_85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Springfield VA
Fuel Economy: 56.3/44/41
Default

Well, the truth is that political tops are not allowed on TDIClub. Free speech does not apply here. Sorry, them's the rules. If you don't like Fred's rules don't play in Fred's sandbox.

If you want to have a political discussion there are many other fine message boards you can visit.

-J
__________________
Present:
2012 Passat SE TDI DSG. 50,000 miles. Factory Alarm, LED tails, HIDs 38/48 MPG.
99.5 Jetta "GLX" TDI. 295,000 miles. Half way there!!! Power Memory Seats, HIDs 11mm pump, BV39 Turbo, RCIII 36/47 MPG.
1991 Mercedes 350SDL 230,000 miles, 70,000 on engine. 18/27 MPG.
Past:
1988 Audi 5000S Quattro, 1992 Jetta ECOdiesel, 1991 Jetta ECOdiesel.

Check out the official TDIClub Chat Room!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
compu_85 is online now  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:15   #14
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default

If you want a debate, I'm glad to participate, but not if it's going to devolve into name-calling.
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:16   #15
oxford_guy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio
TDI(s): Golf '11
Default

Life is political.

The bottom line is that some politics are allowed and others aren't.

Buying cars is a very political act.

The issue of Volkswagen's plant wages is hardly something that should be banned from a VW site. What country is this, anyway?
__________________
FSF: Fuel System Failure. "Since the CR fuel system failure is so expensive, ... " — eddif
oxford_guy is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
is red "T" in TDI badge standard? j13stone TDI 101 6 April 18th, 2009 00:02
"VW Jetta TDI Sets New World Record: 58.82 MPG" tdimid TDI News/Tech 97 October 13th, 2008 14:41
"Gold Standard" UOA for 2004-2005 Passat TDIs leicaman VW B5 Passat TDIs 13 October 17th, 2007 13:49
Piedmont Biofuels "Industrial" plant - grand opening Monday 9/25 Richard Berg South Eastern USA 4 September 25th, 2006 14:33
"Mileage" vs. "MPG" vs. "Mile range" vs. "Miles per tank" boyelectric TDI Fuel Economy 33 August 19th, 2002 06:06


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:24.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright - TDIClub Online LTD - 2014
Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Forum Rules | Disclaimer
TDIClub Online Ltd (TDIClub.com) is not affiliated with the VWoA or VWAG and is supported by contributions from viewers like you.
© 1996 - 2013, All Rights Reserved
Page generated in 0.18726 seconds with 10 queries
[Output: 136.96 Kb. compressed to 115.79 Kb. by saving 21.17 Kb. (15.45%)]