Autoworkers Issues

The global class struggle in 2019

By Joseph Kishore, 16 January 2019

The year 2019 is beginning with a wave of strikes, demonstrations and other manifestations of class struggle around the world.

Mexican, US workers exchange statements of support as Matamoros strike grows

By our reporters, 16 January 2019

The massive citywide strike is expanding today in Matamoros, Mexico as the union and employers failed to meet the workers’ demands.

Rebellion in Matamoros, Mexico

70,000 workers strike at US-Mexico border sweatshops

By Alex González and Eric London, 15 January 2019

Workers are waging a struggle against the pro-company trade union and the brutal “maquiladora” sweatshops across the US-Mexico border.

Fight the Ford layoffs! Build rank-and-file committees to unite autoworkers across Europe!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, Socialist Equality Party and Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 15 January 2019

The working class cannot accept the “right” of the corporations to shut plants down, decimate entire communities and destroy the lives of tens of thousands of workers.

Following Oshawa GM sitdown protest, autoworkers fed poison of Canadian nationalism at Windsor rally

By Shannon Jones, 12 January 2019

Autoworkers attending a rally called by Unifor in Windsor, Ontario who were looking for a way to fight GM plant closures were instead hit with a strong dose of Canadian nationalism by union officials.

Jaguar Land Rover announces nearly 5,000 UK job losses in global restructuring

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2019

Last October, JLR posted losses of £90 million and has seen a collapse in sales by nearly 50 percent in its main and most profitable market, China.

No layoffs! No concessions!

Autoworkers call for demonstration February 9 to fight GM plant closings

By Jerry White, 12 January 2019

The Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees, which was established last month, is calling on workers and young people to march on February 9 at the headquarters of GM in downtown Detroit.

Ford to lay off thousands, close plants across Europe

By Will Morrow, 11 January 2019

The company’s statement bluntly spells out the role to be played by the unions—which it correctly labels its “trade union partners”—in suppressing opposition among workers.

Unite Canadian, US and Mexican autoworkers!

Build rank-and-file committees to fight GM’s plant shutdowns in Oshawa and the US

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 January 2019

Unifor cannot be pressured or reformed. Workers must take the struggle to stop the plant closures into their own hands.

GM Oshawa workers down tools after automaker confirms plant closure

By Roger Jordan, 10 January 2019

Unifor distanced itself from the rank-and-file-initiated protest, which lasted five hours during the Tuesday evening shift and two hours on Wednesday morning.

“They don’t treat us like we’re human beings”

Faurecia auto parts workers in Saline, Michigan speak on conditions

By our reporters, 10 January 2019

The brutal conditions inside the plants are reinforced by the United Auto Workers union.

UAW lawsuit against GM pits temporary part-time workers against laid-off Lordstown workers over jobs

By Shannon Jones, 5 January 2019

In an effort to divert anger over its refusal to fight impending GM plant closures, the UAW has filed a lawsuit to force the dismissal of hundreds of temporary part-time workers in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“That place is a death trap”

Faurecia workers respond to exposure of conditions at US auto parts plant

By our reporters, 31 December 2018

Workers describe being treated like slaves and compare their factories to plantations.

India: Stalinist unions suppress Tamil Nadu auto strikes, promise “industrial peace”

By Arun Kumar and Yuan Darwin, 31 December 2018

The strikes’ outcome is further proof that the Stalinist-led CITU serves as an industrial police force for big business, containing and suppressing working-class opposition.

Chicago ZF chassis plant to close, lay off 261 workers

By George Gallanis, 29 December 2018

The UAW has remained silent on the job cuts announced by the German-based auto parts company at its Chicago plant.

UAW, Democrats seek to block struggle by workers against GM plant shutdowns

By Marcus Day, 28 December 2018

The UAW and the Democratic Party are seeking to whip up anti-Mexican sentiment and divert anger away from the auto corporations, which are attacking workers around the world.

Autoworkers at JLR and Vauxhalls UK face thousands of job losses

By Margot Miller, 24 December 2018

JLR’s decision to shed jobs highlights the increasing anxiety of the majority faction of the UK bourgeoisie opposed to a hard Brexit.

Nissan to lay off 1,000 Mexican autoworkers

By Alex González, 24 December 2018

The layoffs will have a devastating effect for tens of thousands of autoworkers and are part of a larger restructuring of the auto industry.

Echoing Trump, Unifor pleads for GM to cut Mexican auto jobs

By Carl Bronski, 22 December 2018

For decades, Unifor and the UAW have pitted workers against each other, helping the automakers to whip-saw jobs, wages, pensions and benefits back and forth across borders in a never-ending race to the bottom.

UAW official sentenced in bribery scheme as noose tightens on top union leaders

By Shannon Jones, 21 December 2018

Nancy Johnson, a top aide to former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, was sentenced to one year in prison for the illegal use of a credit card issued by the Chrysler-UAW National Training Center.

Workers in South Australian city devastated by GM plant closure support US autoworkers’ struggle

By Robert Campion and Mike Head, 21 December 2018

A WSWS reporting team found strong support in Elizabeth for Detroit autoworkers’ decision to fight plant closures.

“We had two people die on the line this year”

Faurecia auto parts worker in Saline, Michigan describes appalling work regime

By David Rodriguez, 21 December 2018

A review of the Saline plant’s 52 years of operation provides insight into changes in automobile production and the corresponding decline in living standards and working conditions.

220 Brian Keller comment

21 December 2018

At meeting on GM plant closings, DSA covers for UAW and Democrats

By Jerry White, 20 December 2018

Congresswoman-elect Tlaib and the other speakers accepted GM's destruction of jobs as an accomplished fact.

Over massive opposition

UAW announces contract ratification at northwest Indiana Lear auto parts plants

By Marcus Day, 19 December 2018

The vote is the result of an entirely illegitimate “contract negotiation” process.

Brazilian GM workers discuss call for rank-and-file committees

By our reporters, 19 December 2018

Brazil has attracted GM investments based on the recent sellouts of autoworkers, including the firing of senior workers, wage freezes and generalized outsourcing.

“My union president acts as if he owns us. Like we’re his property.”

Indiana Lear worker denounces UAW effort to push through sellout deal on third vote

By Marcus Day, 18 December 2018

Voting ends Tuesday night on a third attempt by the UAW to gain ratification of a sellout deal that is little different from two earlier proposals decisively rejected by workers in Hammond and Portage.

Form rank-and-file committees to advance the fight!

UAW attempts third sellout contract at northwest Indiana Lear auto parts plants

By Marcus Day, 15 December 2018

“The union and company think that by giving us signing bonuses that it’s going to make up for the lack of a pay raise.”

US Navistar workers to vote again on contract after 98 percent “no” vote

By Shannon Jones, 15 December 2018

Workers at the Springfield, Ohio truck plant and several smaller are being asked to vote again after a massive vote to reject a deal negotiated by the United Auto Workers.

Germany: Ford announces massive job cuts at its Saarlouis plant

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 December 2018

At a factory meeting last Monday, local Ford management announced that production of the company’s C-Max model is to be discontinued with the loss of 1,600 jobs.

Nightmare odyssey of an American autoworker

A Chrysler worker’s 15-year fight to win her job back

By Shannon Jones, 14 December 2018

After speaking out against sexual harassment on the job, Cordella Minney faced retaliation from management and the United Auto Workers union for a period spanning more than a decade.

Caterpillar to close plant in Joliet, Illinois

By George Marlowe and Marcus Day, 13 December 2018

Despite posting record third-quarter profits, heavy equipment manufacturing giant Caterpillar plans to close its plant in Joliet, Illinois, laying off hundreds.

A significant step forward: Detroit meeting of autoworkers resolves to form rank-and-file committees

By Joseph Kishore, 13 December 2018

In the center of world capitalism, the working class is beginning to establish the necessary organizational and political framework for a counter-offensive.

“This meeting is a powerful expression of the growing opposition of the working class”

Report to Detroit meeting to fight GM plant closings

By Jerry White, 13 December 2018

Jerry White, labor editor of the WSWS, introduced the resolution to the December 9 meeting, outlining the strategy to unify workers in the US and internationally against the attacks on workers’ jobs and conditions.

General Motors could shut more plants in US, threatening more than 6,000 jobs

By Jerry White, 12 December 2018

According to a Detroit Free Press article, four assembly plants in Michigan, Kentucky and Kansas, currently employing 6,238 hourly workers, could be targeted for closure.

Mass layoffs threatened at European GM and Ford plants

By Marianne Arens, 12 December 2018

As part of the new restructuring of the global auto industry, Ford is seeking to cut 25,000 jobs worldwide, with the largest number of job losses in Europe.

Hyundai, Kia workers strike in South Korea in opposition to attacks on wages

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2018

The imposition of a new tier of low-paid workers in Gwangju is just the precursor to broader attacks on workers’ conditions.

Resolution to the Detroit meeting against GM plant closures

No to GM plant closings! Mobilize the working class to stop layoffs and concessions!

12 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by delegates to the December 9 meeting in Detroit to oppose GM plant closings and layoffs.

Brazilian auto workers denounce union blackout of GM’s planned factory closures

By WSWS reporting team, 11 December 2018

Workers at Brazil’s oldest functioning auto plant outside of São Paulo expressed concern over the global implications of GM’s restructuring plans.

Autoworkers at Detroit public meeting: “Rank-and-file committees of the working class are the answer”

By our reporters, 11 December 2018

Workers expressed their support for a campaign to build new organizations of struggle, independent of the United Auto Workers, to lead a fight against all plant closures.

Detroit public meeting resolves to organize fight against General Motors plant closures

By Will Morrow, 10 December 2018

The attendees voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling for the formation of rank-and-file workplace and neighborhood committees to organize a struggle against plant closures.

“A serious fightback will only develop through action initiated by the rank-and-file workers”

GM Oshawa workers speak out against plant closure

By A WSWS reporting team, 8 December 2018

WSWS reporters visited GM’s Oshawa plant in Ontario Wednesday to discuss the company’s plan to close the plant and how workers can fight back.

“The fight against plant closures should be seen as a fight of all workers”

Students across the US declare their support for autoworkers

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US), 8 December 2018

IYSSE members spoke with students around the United States about the struggle of autoworkers against the corporations and trade unions.

Lordstown, Ohio workers condemn GM’s planned factory closures

By our reporters, 7 December 2018

Workers report that the closure of the Lordstown assembly plant will have a devastating impact on an area that has already been hit hard by decades of deindustrialization.

Ohio autoworkers back fight against plant closures

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 December 2018

Autoworkers throughout Ohio responded enthusiastically to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter’s call for a united fight by US, Canadian and international autoworkers to stop GM’s planned closure of five plants.

“We stand with you because all of us are in the same fight”

US autoworkers express class solidarity with French workers

By Jerry White, 6 December 2018

The determination of the “yellow vest” protesters in the face of state repression by the French government has inspired workers in the United States and around the world.

1937: When Canadian and US autoworkers fought together

By Roger Jordan, 6 December 2018

In the face of GM’s plans to shut down five plants in the US and Canada, we are reposting this article about the history of cross-border collaboration by workers originally published in October 2016.

GM, Ford, Bayer, Bombardier

Global investors demand escalation of class war on workers’ jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 5 December 2018

The plant closings and layoffs at GM are part of a broader assault on the working class throughout the world being directed by the most powerful corporate interests.

As industry analysts point to 25,000 Ford job cuts

Ford workers denounce GM plant closings and layoffs

By Jerry White, 4 December 2018

Ford workers expressed support for joint action with GM to fight plant closings and layoffs, and said they planned to attend this Sunday’s meeting in Detroit to organize a fight back.

In wake of GM closure announcement, UAW and Democrats stoke nationalism

By Shannon Jones, 4 December 2018

The spreading of nationalist poison by the unions is aimed at sabotaging and diverting a united fight by workers against the threat of plant closings.

Support grows for December 9 Detroit meeting

Autoworkers say fight necessary to stop GM plant closings, UAW betrayal

By Jerry White, 3 December 2018

Momentum is growing for this Sunday’s meeting to mobilize workers against the shutdown of five plants in the US and Canada and the elimination of more than 14,000 hourly and salaried jobs.

“The union and Lear must think we are stupid”

Indiana Lear auto parts workers vote down UAW sellout contract second time

By Marcus Day, 3 December 2018

The vote is a courageous act of defiance against the union’s attempts to ram through a pro-company deal and is an indication of the growing determination to fight in the working class.

“The union and Lear must think we are stupid”

Indiana Lear auto parts workers vote down UAW sellout contract second time

By Marcus Day, 2 December 2018

The vote is a courageous act of defiance against the union’s attempts to ram through a pro-company deal and is an indication of the growing determination to fight in the working class.

Video: Attend the December 9 meeting in Detroit to oppose the GM plant closures!

1 December 2018

GM’s planned closure of five plants in the US and Canada would be a death sentence for Detroit, Youngstown, and Oshawa, Ontario. But workers are organizing a fight back.

Canadian and US autoworkers call for a united struggle against GM’s assault on jobs

By Will Morrow, 1 December 2018

The broad support for a united struggle by workers contrasts with the efforts by the UAW and Unifor to fan the flames of nationalism.

Industry publication boasts: GM plant closures aimed at extorting more concessions from autoworkers

By Jerry White, 30 November 2018

In an article posted on the Automotive News web site Thursday, reporter Michael Wayland acknowledges GM is using plant closures to demand “untraditional employment practices” from workers, including more temporary and contracted labor.

“Everybody—Ford, Chrysler, GM—needs to strike right now”

Autoworkers’ outrage grows over GM plant closings

By Jerry White, 29 November 2018

GM workers at the threatened Lordstown, Ohio and Detroit-Hamtramck plants and other autoworkers spoke out against the shutdown of five plants in the US and Canada.

General Motors worker on job cuts: “This is all about corporate greed”

Detroit-Hamtramck autoworkers want to fight against plant closures

By our reporters, 28 November 2018

Workers expressed their contempt for the UAW, which did not even bother to turn up at the plant for the first shift since the announcement.

Unifor union pushes nationalist poison over GM Oshawa closure plan

By Carl Bronski, 28 November 2018

After Oshawa GM workers walked out, Unifor officials ordered them back to work and sought to divert opposition with appeals to Trudeau and Trump for tariffs against Mexico.

A call to action to fight the GM plant closings and mass layoffs

By Jerry White, 28 November 2018

Autoworkers and the working class as a whole cannot accept the “right” of the corporate and financial elite to shut these plants down.

Form rank-and-file committees

Reject the UAW-Lear sellout contract! Unite with GM and other autoworkers in a common fight!

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 28 November 2018

The UAW, defying the will of its membership, is forcing a vote on virtually the same rotten deal Lear workers overwhelmingly rejected in October.

GM to close five plants in US and Canada, slash 14,700 jobs

For an industrial counteroffensive against job cuts!

By Jerry White, 27 November 2018

The plant closings have been facilitated by the unions and pose the need for autoworkers in the US and Canada to form independent organizations to prepare coordinated strike action.

“Workers in the US, Mexico and Korea should all stand up”

Lordstown GM autoworkers oppose shutdown and mass layoffs

By our reporters, 27 November 2018

Yesterday’s announcement by General Motors that it will slash 14,700 jobs has triggered shock and outrage among workers.

UAW negotiates secret deal with Columbia University to block strike action by graduate students

By Alexander Fangmann, 26 November 2018

The secret deal exposes the real role of the UAW—to keep wages low and divide workers in exchange for recognition and a stream of dues payments.

In run-up to contract vote

UAW intensifies campaign of intimidation against Indiana Lear workers

By Marcus Day, 26 November 2018

Facing growing anger and suspicion from workers at the information blackout, the union is desperate to smother opposition and block a unified struggle.

Arrest of Nissan chairman Ghosn roils global auto industry

By Shannon Jones, 22 November 2018

Many questions remain unanswered in the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who headed a giant automotive alliance that includes Japanese-based Nissan and Mitsubishi, along with French-based Renault, which produces more than 10 million vehicles annually.

“Those of us who speak out are being blackballed”

UAW carries out campaign of intimidation against Lear auto parts workers

By our reporters, 22 November 2018

Workers have reported “backlash” and harassment by UAW 2335 officials for opposing the union’s efforts to push through another sellout and for speaking out in the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter.

Thousands of GM salaried workers to lose jobs in 2019

By Jerry White, 21 November 2018

The cuts are a prelude to a far broader assault on jobs and living standards amid an expected shake-out of the global auto industry.

Amidst talk of US auto industry consolidation UAW pushes economic nationalism ahead of 2019 contracts

By Shannon Jones, 19 November 2018

The United Auto Workers has responded to the threat to jobs by aligning itself ever more closely with the Trump administration's America First nationalism and protectionism.

UAW hides details of new tentative agreement from Indiana Lear workers

By Marcus Day, 17 November 2018

Workers are increasingly angry over the information blackout being carried out by both the company and the union.

Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs

Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back

By Steve James, 17 November 2018

French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee tyre manufacturing plant poses workers with the challenge of creating new organisations of struggle.

“It’s honestly scary going to work because you’re not safe any more”

Kentucky Ford worker describes hazardous working conditions

By Keisha Gibbs and Marcus Day, 14 November 2018

The erosion of health and safety conditions throughout the auto industry has been imposed with the willing assistance of the UAW.

“Someone is getting paid millions to provoke racism and hatred”

US autoworkers oppose anti-immigrant campaign

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 13 November 2018

Autoworkers in the Detroit area contacted by the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter spoke forcefully against the attempts by the Trump administration to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria.

Fort Wayne GM worker alleges UAW-management collusion in unjust termination

By Shannon Jones, 10 November 2018

After being fired, Ami Reveal, a veteran GM worker, went to the union, desperate for help. She told the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, "What I got from the union was ‘do your job or else.’”

The kiss of death: Stalinists seek to tie Tamil Nadu auto strikes to right-wing parties

By Arun Kumar, 10 November 2018

Opposing all attempts to broaden the struggle, the Stalinists convened an “all party” meeting, where they touted the leaders of opposition parties and their affiliated unions as the strikers’ allies.

Prosecutor points to UAW “culture of corruption” as union officials face sentencing

By Shannon Jones, 7 November 2018

Federal prosecutors are pointing to the systematic and pervasive character of the corruption revealed in the bribery scandal that has rocked the UAW leadership.

“They are trying to outsource to cut costs and pit us against each other”

Allison Transmission workers speak out on UAW-management collaboration

By George Kirby and Shannon Jones, 3 November 2018

Allison Transmission workers in Indianapolis, Indiana are complaining about the outsourcing of jobs, speed-up and lack of representation by the United Auto Workers.

GM makes record quarterly profit as US corporations accelerate cost-cutting

By Jerry White, 1 November 2018

The United Auto Workers union has played a critical role in suppressing workers’ wages and intensifying their exploitation in the factories.

Fiat Chrysler workers hit with temporary layoffs across North America

By Jacob Crosse, 1 November 2018

FCA workers in Windsor, Canada, and factories in Illinois and Indiana are on temporary layoff due to falling sales.

To cheers from big business

Ontario slashes minimum wage, guts labour standards

By Keith Jones, 31 October 2018

In an applause-punctuated address to the Ontario Economic Summit, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made clear his government is bracing for mass working class opposition.

“This union is taking food out of my kid’s mouth”

Lear Portage autoworker denounces UAW collusion with management

By Marcus Day, 29 October 2018

Workers at Lear have described a regime of harassment and intimidation carried out jointly by management and the UAW.

UAW building luxury “cottage” for ex-president Dennis Williams

By Shannon Jones, 29 October 2018

The 1,885-square-foot residence features granite countertops, cherry cabinets with a “chocolate glaze finish,” three and one half baths and a patio overlooking Black Lake.

The UAW is “letting the company get away with anything”

Growing opposition among autoworkers to brutal treatment of temporary workers

By our reporter, 26 October 2018

An interview posted by the WSWS with a veteran worker at Ford Woodhaven Stamping where a young autoworker died last year has gained wide readership.

Ford worker dies of apparent workplace injury at Chicago Heights stamping plant

By Alexander Fangmann, 26 October 2018

The death adds to the growing toll exacted by dangerous working conditions related to the drive by Ford, abetted by the UAW, to increase production and profits.

Indian police detain thousands of striking Tamil Nadu auto workers

By Arun Kumar, 25 October 2018

Stalinist union leaders have sought to isolate the strikers, fearing that their struggle could become the focal point for a broader movement of the working class.

One year since the death of Jacoby Hennings

Woodhaven Stamping worker describes brutal atmosphere under UAW-Ford regime

“Temporary part-timers are treated like slaves”

By Jerry White, 24 October 2018

A veteran worker describes the oppressive conditions at Ford’s Woodhaven Stamping plant, which contributed to the tragic death of young autoworker Jacoby Hennings.

Indian court dismisses Maruti Suzuki workers’ bail application

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2018

There is incontrovertible evidence the Maruti Suzuki workers have been jailed for life as the result of a crude frame-up, but the judge callously refused to hear any of it.

Lear auto parts workers speak out against UAW-backed sellout contract proposal

By Marcus Day, 23 October 2018

Details continue to emerge of the sellout deal the UAW attempted to push through at an October 14 ratification vote.

Still no investigation into death of young autoworker

One year since the death of Jacoby Hennings

By Jerry White, 20 October 2018

A year after the tragic loss of this young Ford worker, family, friends and co-workers continue to demand the truth about his sudden and untimely death.

Layoffs at Fiat Chrysler's Kokomo transmission operations heighten concerns over outsourcing

By Shannon Jones, 19 October 2018

Temporary layoffs affecting more than 3,000 employees have hit Fiat Chrysler workers at two Kokomo, Indiana transmission plants.

UAW faces growing opposition from Indiana Lear workers following contract rejection

By Marcus Day, 18 October 2018

Following the overwhelming “no” vote Sunday, UAW officials have sought to placate workers’ anger and denounced the WSWS’s widely-shared article as “lies.”

Striking Tamil Nadu auto workers face dismissal

By Moses Rajkumar and Nanda Kumar, 17 October 2018

The unions have refused to mobilise workers to defend strikers at Yamaha, Enfield and MSA, and instead are making futile appeals to the courts and state government.

“We voted to go on strike, then they presented us with a BS contract”

Indiana Lear auto parts workers overwhelmingly reject UAW-backed contract proposal

By Marcus Day, 16 October 2018

The vote is a further demonstration of workers’ determination to fight back against decades of declining wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Tamil Nadu police arrest hundreds of striking Indian autoworkers

By Arun Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 11 October 2018

Strikes and protests have broken out in Tamil Nadu companies that employ the majority of India’s 7.6 million auto manufacturing workers.

Ford announces plans for more layoffs amid new restructuring efforts

By Marcus Day, 9 October 2018

Under increasing pressure from Wall Street, Ford announced further restructuring efforts last week, including the planned elimination of thousands of salaried positions.

Fiat Chrysler Kokomo workers angered by UAW obstruction to fight over health and safety

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2018

Workers at FCA’s transmission operations tell of mood of anger and frustration over the refusal of the UAW to provide any information, let alone lead a fight, over unresolved health and safety issues.

040 Kokomo auto worker interviews

4 October 2018

“The union is not for all of us”

Indianapolis Allison Transmission workers face stonewalling by UAW over contract terms, pensions

By George Kirby and Shannon Jones, 29 September 2018

Workers at the global transmission company report that the UAW is withholding information regarding their contract.

Auto manufacturers in UK cut production, threaten jobs as Brexit crisis deepens

By Margot Miller, 27 September 2018

The UK car industry faces massive disruption if the government fails to agree unfettered access to the EU single market, with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs threatened.

UAW corruption scandal widens as US workers press for wage increases

By Jerry White, 21 September 2018

As autoworkers in Kokomo, Indiana and elsewhere come into struggle, the biggest obstacle they face is the corporatist and anti-working class United Auto Workers.