As part of the Detroit Three's bid to ratchet down costs and become globally competitive, many employees hired in recent years receive lower wages than their peers who have been working in the industry for longer.
These 'tier-two' workers are on the leading edge of a transformation of the auto industry that is contributing to a profound shift in American society – the deterioration of the once-mighty middle class.
Median household income in the U.S., 2000-2011
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau
Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 wages
Data presented for couples with two children
SOURCE: Remapping Debate, U.S. Census Bureau
NOTES: Median household income includes all households. Wages are for one worker. Poverty threshold is dependant on household size.
Wages in the current UAW contracts
NOTES: Wages are calculated before taxes and based on a 40-hour work week. Tier 1 workers agreed to a wage freeze for the duration of the contract.
Numbers of employees at the Detroit Three, 2001-2011
Forecast employee numbers for 2015 and 2020
SOURCE: Center for Automotive Research
SOURCE: PEW Research Center
GRAPHIC BY: Carrie Cockburn/The Globe and Mail