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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Honda sets lower hourly pay for new Greensburg factory

Production workers at Honda Motor Corp.’s new factory will start at a lower hourly wage than their counterparts in Marysville, Ohio, but the car maker will pick up the tab for health insurance.\nHonda will pay $14.84 an hour and provide an annual performance bonus to workers starting at the $550 million factory under construction in southeastern Indiana.\nThe wage will gradually rise to $18.55 by 2009 and eventually pass $20 an hour as workers gain experience and the plant becomes established, Honda spokesman David Iida said.\nHonda received more than 30,000 online applications for production jobs at the plant. It expects to fill about 2,000 positions when the factory reaches full capacity.\nThe company will start conducting interviews in late November. Iida said some employees may be hired at the end of this year, but most will start in 2008.\nThe factory will produce 200,000 Civic sedans annually after it reaches full production. It is being built on 1,700 acres along Interstate 74 and is expected to open in fall 2008.\nHonda set the starting wage in Greensburg based on the product the factory makes and pay in the region, among other variables, Iida said.\nThe wage, which totals about $31,000 annually before taxes, trails top pay at other factories like the Toyota plant in Princeton or Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, location.\nNew Toyota workers start at $17.91 an hour. Hourly pay for the 4,800 workers there averages $25.98, according to company officials.\nWages at Honda’s Marysville plant start at $15.35 an hour and top out at $24.40 an hour, Iida said. He also noted the plant has been in operation for 25 years.\n“There are some small differences between each plant, it’s not a cookie-cutter approach,” he said.\nIida said he thinks Honda’s Greensburg pay package will be attractive to potential workers.\n“It will move up pretty quickly when you combine the wage with the performance bonus and the accompanying health care package,” he said.\nHonda will pay the entire premium for employee health insurance.\nThat bucks the current trend, said Andrea Cranfill, vice president of FlashPoint Human Resource Consulting in Indianapolis. She said employers are asking employees to pay more for insurance to control costs and make them more accountable “for their health care decisions.”

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