D.C.’s ‘Fox on 15th Street’ Still Hates Unions

Spotting a May 31 Washington Post column “that blamed the United Auto Workers for the bankruptcy of Chrysler and GM,” Dean Baker declares (Beat the Press, 5/31/09) that the D.C. daily “showed yet again why it is known as “Fox on 15th Street”:

So what if Toyota has managed to profitably run a plant in California represented by the UAW for more than two decades? So what if wages of unionized autoworkers in profitable car companies in Europe and Japan are the same or higher than in the United States? So what if the proximate cause of the bankruptcy was incompetent economic management in Washington and an explosion of incompetence and greed on Wall Street?

At the Washington Post, the line is blame the unionized auto workers–after all, they earn $57,000 a year. Except, of course, by the calculation in this column. Richard K. Bank, a man with no obvious qualification other than his dislike of unions, told Post readers that GM, Ford and Chrysler have labor costs of close to $110 an hour. The would come to $220,000 a year for a full-time worker.

“Of course,” Baker notes, “this has no basis in reality, but it helps advance the anti-union case, so it’s good enough to get in the Washington Post“–thus leading directly to the scathing headline of Baker’s piece: “Do You Hate Unions and Working Class People? You Can Write for the Washington Post. No Knowledge Necessary!”

Read the FAIR Action Alert: “ABC’s Overpaid Autoworkers” (12/5/08).