Argument: US autos have already significantly cut labor costs
Bob Chaffin. "Failure to help Detroit 3 would affect 50 states." Tennessean. 30 Nov. 2008 - Critics and pundits ignore the substantial changes U.S automakers have made already. Over the past 10 years, GM has reduced its U.S. hourly work force by 52 percent, or 69,000 workers, its salary work force by 14,000, and reduced the executive ranks by 45 percent.
[...]Contrary to myth, no GM hourly worker makes $81 per hour or $72 per hour as various opponents and talk-show hosts are making it appear. GM has thousands of retirees who were contractually given health care for life as part of their total wage package. Health care that was much cheaper then than is now the case, and thankfully, people are living longer, thanks to good health care, than was expected a number of years ago.