There’s a photo of a 84 year old Chrysler retiree on the front page of the New York Times today. I’m looking at it right now. Every time I look at it it makes me so sad. I swear, I want to cry. It’s Nollie Dixon who spent 31 years as an autoworker…one of the toughest jobs around I might add.
The story addresses the growing number of retirees among the United Auto Workers and how that fact will impact the auto makers abilities to continue paying the benefits they promised these men and women when they were slaving away in the hot auto plants of our nation. (I’m serious, many of these plants were never air conditioned.)
Anyway, the way it was supposed to work was that active workers would be able to subsidize the retirees when it came to health coverage because they were paying into a pot a portion of their pay. Now that the retirees outnumber the workers the system is in big trouble, especially with U.S. automakers scrambling to hold onto their dwindling market share. (A problem they brought about themselves by not adapting to the times.)
Nollie thinks he’s getting the shaft. “I just feel like now that I’m old, they don’t care, I ain’t nothing to them.”
Seems to be the disgrace of our time.
The biggest disgrace: Not all automaker employees are worried about the future.
Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda took home more than $3 million in compensation last year.