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Elon Musk Taunts UAW: “Tesla Pays Workers More And We Have Fun”

Elon Musk Taunts UAW: "Tesla Pays Workers More And We Have Fun"

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

With perfect timing, Musk made…



Elon Musk Taunts UAW: "Tesla Pays Workers More And We Have Fun"

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

With perfect timing, Musk made a couple of taunts at striking UAW workers. His goal is obvious.

Data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Earnings Per Hour Notes

  • The Motor Vehicle hourly rates are for Michigan workers only. The BLS did not have nation-wide numbers.

  • The data series for construction workers and production workers starts in March of 2006 so that is where I started the chart.

Understanding the Chart

The chart does not tell the full story. UAW workers get far more benefits and huge bonuses that are not factored into hourly earnings.

UAW workers also get annual bonuses that are not factored in.

The motor vehicle decline from $28.35 per hour to $20.65 per hour stems from UAW renegotiations after GM and Chrysler went bankrupt.

To survive at all, the UAW granted concessions and put in a tiered wage structure where new employees were paid less. Factor in retirements and hourly wages fell.

Total UAW Unit Labor Costs vs Tesla

  • Big Three: Analysts estimate $66 an hour

  • Tesla: Roughly $45 at Tesla

  • UAW Demands: Meeting Fain’s initial demands would boost costs to $136 according to Wells Fargo analysts.

Tesla does not pay more in hourly wages, but via stock options, Musk has made millionaires out of many workers.

Stock options are not a company expense. Stock options come out of shareholders pockets.

Whatever the UAW Strike Outcome, Elon Musk Has Already Won

“Any wage increase further advances Tesla’s already tremendous cost advantage in EVs over its older U.S. peers, which are contending with generations of legacy expenses while trying to steer a costly transition to electric from gas-powered vehicles.”

The Wall Street Journal comments Whatever the UAW Strike Outcome, Elon Musk Has Already Won

Musk won before the strike began early Friday. He won before negotiations started two months ago. From the get-go, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler parent Stellantis were expected to spend more on wages because of the union’s pressure. The question is just how much of an increase, and so far their offers haven’t pleased the union, igniting this past week’s work stoppage.

Fain this past week sounded annoyed when asked about Tesla’s cost advantage. 

“Competition is code word for race to the bottom, and I’m not concerned about Elon Musk building more rocket ships so he can fly in outer space and stuff,” Fain told CNBC on-air Wednesday.

“Our concern is working-class people need their share of economic justice in this world.”

Economic Justice

In the name of “economic justice” Fain would bankrupt the Big 3 again.

Here’s the math: $136 * 32 hours per week * 52 weeks = $226,304. Note the UAW demand for a 32 hour workweek. At a 40-hour workweek, pay would be $282,880.

Sorry guys, that will never fly. Whatever does fly, plays into Musks hands.

Musk has suggested that employee stock options make his factory workers the highest compensated in the industry, saying “quite a few” line workers have become “millionaires over the years from company stock grants.”

At Tesla, the average pay for a manufacturing technician can range from $23 to $32 an hour, according to estimates by Glassdoor. Tesla advertises factory jobs in California with expected pay ranging from $24 to $67 an hour plus cash and stock awards and other benefits.

Tweet of the Day

Perfectly Timed Taunt

Tesla and SpaceX factories have a great vibe. We encourage playing music and having some fun.

Very important for people to look forward to coming to work! 

We pay more than the UAW btw, but performance expectations are also higher.

Quite a few of our factory techs who work on the line have become millionaires over the years from company stock grants.”

Tesla does not pay more than the UAW, at least in hourly pay. But workers who have been at Tesla for a long time have made a killing on options with any kind of reasonable timing.

The taunt at the UAW is aimed at encouraging the UAW to not settle quickly. It has a decent chance of working.

Fain has already responded about economic fairness and the race to the bottom.

Automakers Announce Layoffs

Chance of Rapid Acceleration

If workers have little to do because of a part shortage by a strike, the only reasonable thing to do is announce layoffs.

This has a good chance of escalating rapidly.

Reflections on What Sucks

Inflation Sucks

Inflation is what sucks and there is plenty of blame to spread including the Fed, Congress, and three stimulus packages.

But Biden’s Big EV push is behind much of this recent angst.

It takes fewer hours to build an EV. Biden is pushing them like mad despite the fact that consumers do not want them because the infrastructure isn’t in place. Ironically, increased mileage standards have negative benefits according to a government study (at long last getting something right).

So now the union wants a 32-hour workweek with a 36 percent raise (down from 40 percent) more benefits, and ability to strike over plant closures despite the fact it takes fewer workers to produce an EV.

There is no one other than Biden to blame for this latest round of economic and environmental madness.

This union battle was created by Biden, the EPA, the Labor Relations Board and other administration regulatory clowns.

Unprecedented UAW Strike, Where’s it Headed? Keep Em Guessing Says Fain

I discussed winners and losers in Unprecedented UAW Strike, Where’s it Headed? Keep Em Guessing Says Fain

Time Will Tell the Winner

There are two definitions of win, short-to-midterm and long term.

The long term view is easier to state. GM and Chrysler (now Stellantis) already went bankrupt once over untenable wages and benefits. It could easily happen again. And If the bondholders (not that I feel much sympathy for them) were not totally screwed in the last settlement, it would have been much worse for the unions.

Short term, I suspect everyone loses, but Fain and the UAW will temporarily cheer.

Record profits said Biden. Lovely. Then what? Then a preposterous deal, then bankruptcy?

The above discussion is from the point of view of the Big 3 vs the UAW. I left off a winner, Elon Musk.

Tesla benefits no matter what happens because the Big 3 costs are certain to rise.

The big loser is the consumer who will pay more for cars.

Meanwhile let’s discuss the benefits of improved gas mile standards.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Analysis of Gasoline Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA did an impact assessment of 4 fuel standard proposals and compared them to the cost of doing nothing. Guess what.

 Buried deep on Page 56,342 of volume 88 of the Federal Register, the agency makes this concession about its latest proposed rules: “Net benefits for passenger cars remain negative across alternatives.” In plain English, this means that mandating ever-more-stringent fuel economy for passenger cars will harm society.

Through 2040, the total reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks would be a mere 2.01 percent less vs doing nothing at all with emission standards!

The NHTSA also considers impacts on the economy including “consumer cost, national balance of payments, environmental, and foreign policy implications.”

Here is the NHTSA’s bottom line: “Net benefits for passenger cars remain negative across alternatives” vs doing nothing at all.

The Shocking Truth About Biden’s Proposed Energy Fuel Standards

For discussion, please see The Shocking Truth About Biden’s Proposed Energy Fuel Standards

Regardless of how we assess the winners and losers in the UAW battle, over the short and long haul we all lose from the push to pay more for the regulatory and environmental madness of this administration.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Sun, 09/17/2023 - 17:30

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Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl…



Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl to 18 years in jail and a travel ban for posting tweets in support of political prisoners, according to a rights group.

On Friday, ALQST rights group, which documents human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court handed out the sentence in August to 18-year-old Manal al-Gafiri, who was only 17 at the time of her arrest.

Via Reuters

The Saudi judiciary, under the de facto rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has issued several extreme prison sentences over cyber activism and the use of social media for criticising the government.

They include the recent death penalty against Mohammed al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher, for comments made on Twitter and YouTube, and the 34-year sentence of Leeds University doctoral candidate Salma al-Shehab over tweets last year.

The crown prince confirmed Ghamdi's sentence during a wide-ranging interview with Fox News on Wednesday. He blamed it on "bad laws" that he cannot change

"We are not happy with that. We are ashamed of that. But [under] the jury system, you have to follow the laws, and I cannot tell a judge [to] do that and ignore the law, because... that's against the rule of law," he said.

Saudi human rights defenders and lawyers, however, disputed Mohammed bin Salman's allegations and said the crackdown on social media users is correlated with his ascent to power and the introduction of new judicial bodies that have since overseen a crackdown on his critics. 

"He is able, with one word or the stroke of a pen, in seconds, to change the laws if he wants," Taha al-Hajji, a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant with the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, told Middle East Eye this week.

According to Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch, Ghamdi was sentenced under a counterterrorism law passed in 2017, shortly after Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince. The law has been criticised for its broad definition of terrorism.

Similarly, two new bodies - the Presidency of State Security and the Public Prosecution Office - were established by royal decrees in the same year.

Rights groups have said that the 2017 overhaul of the kingdom's security apparatus has significantly enabled the repression of Saudi opposition voices, including those of women rights defenders and opposition activists. 

"These violations are new under MBS, and it's ridiculous that he is blaming this on the prosecution when he and senior Saudi authorities wield so much power over the prosecution services and the political apparatus more broadly," Shea said, using a common term for the prince.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 11:30

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Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op…



Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op gesture to win union votes, Biden will head to Michigan for a token visit.

Biden to Walk the Picket Line

Taking Sides

CNN had some Interesting comments on Biden Talking Sides.

Jeremi Suri, a presidential historian and professor at University of Texas at Austin, said he doesn’t believe any president has ever visited a picket line during a strike.

Presidents, including Biden, have previously declined to wade into union disputes to avoid the perception of taking sides on issues where the negotiating parties are often engaged in litigation.

On September 15, the day the strike started, Biden said that the automakers “should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Some Democratic politicians have been urging Biden to do more. California Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday told CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich that Biden and other Democrats should join him on the picket line.

“I’d love to see the president out here,” he said, arguing the Democratic Party needs to demonstrate it’s “the party of the working class.”

UAW Announces New Strike Locations

As the strike enters a second week, UAW Announces New Strike Locations

UAW President Shawn Fain called for union members to strike at noon ET Friday at 38 General Motors and Stellantis facilities across 20 states. He said the strike call covers all of GM and Stellantis’ parts distribution facilities.

The strike call notably excludes Ford, the third member of Detroit’s Big Three, suggesting the UAW is more satisfied with the progress it has made on a new contract with that company.

General Motors plants being told to strike are in Pontiac, Belleville, Ypsilanti, Burton, Swartz Creek and Lansing, Michigan; West Chester, Ohio; Aurora, Colorado; Hudson, Wisconsin; Bolingbrook, Illinois; Reno, Nevada; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Roanoke, Texas; Martinsburg, West Virginia; Brandon, Mississippi; Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Lang Horne, Pennsylvania.

The Stellantis facilities going on strike are in Marysville, Center Line, Warren, Auburn Hills, Romulus and Streetsboro, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Plymouth, Minnesota; Commerce City, Colorado; Naperville, Illinois; Ontario, California; Beaverton, Oregon; Morrow, Georgia; Winchester, Virginia; Carrollton, Texas; Tappan, New York; and Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Contract Negotiations Are Not Close

Good Luck Getting Repairs

Party of the Working Cass, Really?

Let’s discuss the nonsensical notion that Democrats are the party of the “working class”.

Unnecessary stimulus, reckless expansion of social services, student debt cancellation, eviction moratoriums, earned income credits, immigration policy, and forcing higher prices for all, to benefit the few, are geared towards the “unworking class”.

On top of it, Biden wants to take away your gas stove, end charter schools to protect incompetent union teachers, and force you into an EV that you do not want and for which infrastructure is not in place.

All of this increases inflation across the board as do sanctions and clean energy madness.

Exploring the Working Class Idea

If you don’t work and have no income, Biden may make your healthcare cheaper. If you do work, he seeks to take your healthcare options away.

If you want to pay higher prices for cars, give up your gas stove, be forced into an EV, subsidize wind energy then pay more for electricity on top of it, you have a clear choice. If you support those efforts, by all means, please join him on the picket line for a token photo-op (not that you will be able to get within miles for the staged charade).

But if you can think at all, you understand Biden does not support the working class, he supports the unworking class.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 10:30

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UK Quietly Passes “Online Safety Bill” Into Law

UK Quietly Passes "Online Safety Bill" Into Law

Authored by Kit Knightly via,

Buried behind the Brand-related headlines…



UK Quietly Passes "Online Safety Bill" Into Law

Authored by Kit Knightly via,

Buried behind the Brand-related headlines yesterday, the British House of Lords voted to pass the controversial “Online Safety Bill” into law. All that’s needed now is Royal assent, which Charles will obviously provide.

The bill’s (very catchy) long-form title is…

A Bill to make provision for and in connection with the regulation by OFCOM of certain internet services; for and in connection with communications offences; and for connected purposes.

…and that’s essentially it, it hands the duty of “regulating” certain online content to the UK’s Office of Communications (OfCom).

Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes could barely contain her excitement in a statement to the press:

“Today is a major milestone in the mission to create a safer life online for children and adults in the UK. Everyone at Ofcom feels privileged to be entrusted with this important role, and we’re ready to start implementing these new laws.”

As always with these things, the bill’s text is a challenging and rather dull read, deliberately obscure in its language and difficult to navigate.

Of some note is the “information offenses” clause, which empowers OfCom to demand “information” from users, companies and employees, and makes it a crime to withhold it. The nature of this “information” is never specified, nor does it appear to be qualified. Meaning it could be anything, and will most likely be used to get private account information about users from social media platforms.

In one of the more worrying clauses, the Bill outlines what they call “communications offenses”. Section 10 details crimes of transmitting “Harmful, false and threatening communications”.

It should be noted that sending threats is already illegal in the UK, so the only new ground covered here is “harmful” and/or “false” information, and the fact they feel the need to differentiate between those two things should worry you.

After all, the truth can definitely be “harmful”…Especially to a power-hungry elite barely controlling an angry populace through dishonest propaganda.

Rather amusingly, the bill makes it a crime to “send a message” containing false information in clause 156…then immediately grants immunity to every newspaper, television channel and streaming service in clause 157.

Apparently it’s OK for the mainstream media to be harmful and dishonest.

But the primary purpose of the new law is a transfer of responsibility to enable and incentivize censorship.

Search engines (“regulated search services”, to quote the bill) and social media companies (“regulated user-to-user services”) will now be held accountable for how people use their platform.

For example: If I were to google “Is it safe to drink bleach?”, find some website that says yes, and then drink bleach, OfCom would not hold me responsible. They would hold Google responsible for letting me read that website. Likewise, if someone tweets @ me telling me to drink bleach, and I do so, Twitter would be held responsible for permitting that communication to take place.

This could result in hefty fines, or even potentially criminal charges, to companies and/or executives of those companies. It could even open them up to massively expensive civil suits (don’t be surprised if such a legal drama hits the headlines soon).

Unsurprisingly the mainstream coverage of the new laws barely mentions any of these concerns, instead opting to put child pornography front and centre. Because the Mrs Lovejoy argument always works.

That’s all window dressing, of course, what this is really about is “misinformation” and “hate speech”. Which is to say, fact-checking mainstream lies and calling out mainstream liars.

Section 7(135) is entirely dedicated to the creation of a new “Advisory committee on disinformation and misinformation”, which will be expected to submit regular reports to OfCom and the Secretary of State on how best to “counter misinformation on regulated services“.

This is clearly a response to Covid, or rather the failure of Covid.

Essentially, the pandemic narrative broke because the current mechanisms of censorship didn’t work well enough. In response, the government has just legalised and out-sourced their silencing of dissent.

See, the government isn’t going to actually censor anyone themselves, protecting it from pro-free speech criticism. Rather, huge financial pressure will be applied on tech giants to be “responsible” and “protect the vulnerable”. Meaning de-platforming and cancelling independent media via increasingly opaque “terms of service violations”

These companies will be cheered on by the vast crowd of jabbed-and-masked NPCs who have been so successfully brainwashed into believing the “they are a private company and can do that they want” argument.

This has been going on for years already, of course, but that was covert stuff. Now it’s legal in the UK, and is about to get a lot worse.

It won’t be just the UK either, considering the messaging on “misinformation” being seen at the UN in the last few days, we should expect something similar on a global scale.

You can read the full text of the Online Safety Bill here.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 08:10

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