DETROIT -- The compensation announced today for executives at Ford Motor Co. "is excessive and unjustified," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. The company said that its top five executives received more than $60 million in total compensation in 2007.
"Our members at Ford agreed to substantial sacrifices in 2007 to help Ford survive so the company can rebuild and reinvest in the United States," said Gettelfinger. "We did not sacrifice so that management could find a way to reward themselves with higher compensation.
"When we negotiated new agreements at Ford and other auto companies last year, we called on the companies to use the savings we achieved to reinvest in America and to deliver cost savings to consumers. We're extremely disappointed that Ford has apparently chosen to go in a very different direction.
"By all accounts, our 2007 auto agreements closed the so-called "competitive gap" in labor costs between domestic manufacturers and their foreign-nameplate competitors," said Gettelfinger. "But the competitive gap between U.S. auto executives and their Japanese counterparts remains huge -- and it will become even larger as a result of the increases in executive compensation announced today.
"It will be interesting to see if the news media, which has put so much focus on the compensation earned by autoworkers, will now give equal focus to the compensation earned by auto executives."
"Restructuring at Ford is still a work in progress," said Bob King, who directs the union's Ford Department. "The company has a long way to go to regain sales, market share and the confidence of American consumers. There is no performance-based measure that can justify the huge monetary rewards announced today.
"An increase in executive compensation is exactly the wrong message at a time our members and our communities are suffering from the impact of restructuring, downsizing, plant closings and job loss in the auto industry," said King. "We expect equality of sacrifice from all stakeholders in our industry. Our members will continue to speak out loudly and clearly about what is needed to rebuild our company and rebuild our communities."