Yep. Lived in The Thumb for 10 years, working for a nonunion automotive supplier.
It's expensive to do business here and it's not just wages, it's regulations, legal climate, insurance costs, etc.
As you should well know, the Big 3 squeeze the lifeblood out of their suppliers, so wages paid in The Thumb were just as low as any other rural area in our nation. But I agree with you on the regulatory/litigitory/insurance climate -- it sucked.
I live on the other side of the state but I am well aware of the strong arm tactics of the Big 3. Not all of it was bad, there were a lot of fat and happy suppliers who developed better business models and operations under that pressure.
But I'm no fan of the Big 3. Their "monopoly" led them to their own fat and happy pursuits and practices and then they cried and moaned to buy American as they ran American owned companies out of business by going overseas for supplies.