Fox News takes on GM strike: Company could get “squeezed” by well-paid union workers

Fox News couldn’t help but slip a pro-management message into its coverage of the United Auto Workers strike at General Motors plants.

Subbing in as guest host of Varney & Co., Fox Business anchor David Asman asked panelists “whether or not we're going to have another situation where the companies are squeezed” by union demands.

Asman and correspondent Susan Li then speculated whether the strike was really being launched to distract from Justice Department investigations into the UAW leadership.

“So you suspect this might be a diversion from that?” Asman asked.

“I don't know,” Li responded. "I think there has to be some — it calls into questions some of their motives, right?

“At least the timing, you know,” said Asman. “It take that story off their front page.”

“Especially when these workers are being paid quite well in comparison to other industries,” Li said. “We talked about $40-50 an hour.”

“Sixty-three dollars per hour is what I have,” Asman said, “that GM pays in wages and benefits, it's all-in.”

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Citation From the September 16 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.

And over on the main Fox News channel, America’s Newsroom featured Fox Business host Charles Payne, who attributed the GM strike to the unions having sensed a politically opportune moment for reinvigorating union membership.

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Citation From the September 16 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom

CHARLES PAYNE (HOST, MAKING MONEY): I think the unions sense that their moment may be coming to sort of try to reinvigorate membership. You know, recent Pew polls show the highest approval rating for unions. In fact, the fourth highest approval rating in the last 50 years. It's been going up steadily in this country, and I think to go against General Motors, which has been making a ton of money, where they'll say, “The CEO makes 280 times the median worker. Why are they shutting down plants?" So I think the timing on their part is pretty impressive. However, when people hear about the offer, they're going to say, “Golly, what are the unions complaining about?" Apparently, GM is offering $7 billion to hire 5,400 people, to turn on idle plants, to make big-time investments. And of course, when they complain that they've got to contribute 4% to their health care plan — again, a lot of regular folks watching this show are going to be like, “I kind of like the unions, and I want to root for them, but they're making a heck of a lot more than I am."