Autoworkers struggles

Airlines, auto companies cut pay even as US government bails out corporations

By Shannon Jones, 1 April 2020

While prepared to pocket tens of billions of dollars in federal bailout money, US airlines and automakers are imposing pay cuts and furloughs on employees.

Four deaths over the weekend raise COVID-19 death toll among US autoworkers to nine

By Jessica Goldstein, 30 March 2020

The primary and immediate responsibility for these deaths lies with the Detroit automakers and their lackeys in the United Auto Workers, which conspired to keep workers on the line as long as possible during the pandemic, without even minimal sanitation and safety measures

Following deaths of three autoworkers due to COVID-19

Fiat Chrysler and Ford set April 14 target to re-open US plants

By Tom Hall, 27 March 2020

The rush to re-open the plants collides with elementary public health considerations and will expose tens of thousands of autoworkers to the risk of infection and death.

Two Fiat Chrysler workers die from COVID-19 in US

By Marcus Day and Shannon Jones, 25 March 2020

The deaths, at FCA Sterling Heights Assembly in the Detroit area and at Kokomo Transmission in Indiana, are the predictable outcome of the combined effort by the auto companies and the UAW to keep the plants running up until last week.

Michigan issues statewide lockdown, exempting auto industry as “critical infrastructure”

By Tom Hall, 24 March 2020

The order exempts “critical manufacturing” as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security, setting the stage for a return to work in the plants weeks before the lockdown order expires.

Fiat Chrysler skilled trade contractors in Detroit walk out as workers demand total auto shutdown

By Shannon Jones, 21 March 2020

The workers took the action after management demanded they stay on the job, even though FCA production workers have been sent home over coronavirus concerns.

Kentucky auto parts worker denounces continued plant operation as coronavirus spreads

By Clement Daly, 21 March 2020

Referring to the role of the UAW union, the worker said: “They say our security is their number one goal, but it’s not.”

Mexican autoworkers appeal to US, Canadian workers for support in closing plants over COVID-19

By Andrea Lobo, 21 March 2020

A worker at the GM Silao Complex wrote: “I see the trade union as being totally indifferent to this issue, that is why I ask for your collaboration brothers.”

Citing “national security,” John Deere keeps US plants open amid pandemic

By George Gallanis, 21 March 2020

The United Auto Workers union, which covers Deere plants, signed a joint statement with the company enforcing continued production.

Some US auto companies announce plant closures, others remain open in wake of worker job actions over coronavirus

By Shannon Jones, 20 March 2020

Following work stoppages over coronavirus concerns Wednesday by Fiat Chrysler workers, many major North American carmakers have announced the temporary closure of their factories.

Ontario Toyota worker describes company inaction in the face of coronavirus pandemic

By Carl Bronski, 20 March 2020

Toyota announced closures throughout North America, which will not take effect until Monday, only after the sudden growth of wildcat actions in the United States and Canada to force a halt to production.

Media blackout of wildcat strikes in US auto industry

By Tom Hall, 20 March 2020

Within hours after wildcat strikes in Fiat Chrysler plants in Michigan and Ohio forced a temporary shutdown of much of the North American auto industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the corporate media entered into full cover-up mode.

US autoworkers take matters into their own hands

Auto plants shut down throughout North America in response to wave of wildcats over coronavirus

By Tom Hall, 19 March 2020

Thousands of autoworkers throughout the US Midwest downed their tools Wednesday morning, the latest in a worldwide wave of wildcat strikes against the continuation of non-essential production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers shut production in auto plants throughout Michigan and Ohio, in defiance of UAW and management

By Tom Hall, 18 March 2020

Workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights (SHAP) and Jefferson North (JNAP) assembly plants in Metro Detroit took matters into their own hands last night and this morning and forced a shutdown of production to halt the spread of coronavirus.

“These companies are willing to kill us on the line”

As UAW keeps plants open, Indiana Fiat Chrysler and Lear workers take action over deadly coronavirus

By Jerry White, 18 March 2020

The UAW announced Tuesday night that it had agreed to keep the Big Three plants open on a “rotating partial shutdown” basis, as the COVID-19 disease continues to spread.

How to fight the COVID-19 pandemic: A program of action for the working class

By the National Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 17 March 2020

The essential principle that must guide the response to the crisis is that the needs of working people must take absolute and unconditional priority over all considerations of corporate profit and private wealth.

“They will keep doing this unless we stop production on our own”

US autoworkers demand industry shutdown to fight coronavirus

By Tom Hall, 17 March 2020

Autoworkers continued to flood the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter with comments denouncing the decision by the companies and the UAW to maintain full production in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Canadian workers launch work-safety job actions amid rapid spread of coronavirus

By Carl Bronski, 17 March 2020

While workers are being forced by employers in the private and public sectors to labour under dangerous and unsafe working conditions, the Trudeau government is moving to provide the financial and corporate oligarchy unlimited financial assistance.

US automakers, UAW deploy threats and lies to keep workers on the job during pandemic

By Tom Hall, 16 March 2020

Ignoring the dangers facing autoworkers, the United Auto Workers union has set up a joint task force with the automakers to keep production and profits flowing.

“They don’t care if you die. All they want is output”

Autoworkers denounce official coronavirus response, call for plant shutdowns

By Marcus Day, 16 March 2020

Autoworkers have flooded the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter with messages in recent days, calling for the shut down of factories and measures to stop the further spread of the coronavirus.

Workers halt production at Fiat Chrysler Windsor Assembly over coronavirus danger

By Shannon Jones, 14 March 2020

Some 6,000 workers stopped production Thursday at FCA Windsor as autoworkers across North America take up the demand to halt production in the face of the global pandemic.

Global auto industry in downward spiral as coronavirus spreads worldwide

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2020

Even prior to the outbreak, automakers had announced hundreds of thousands of layoffs and many plant closures.

Mexican National Guard deployed against Matamoros auto parts workers

By Andrea Lobo, 14 March 2020

The National Guard confronted 500 parts workers occupying the local labor court to demand the right to leave a pro-company union as a similar operation unfolded against teachers blocking a railway in Puebla.

Shut down the auto industry to halt the spread of coronavirus!

the Socialist Equality Party, 14 March 2020

At plants across North America, support for a mass walkout is growing. Workers must act now to save their lives and the lives of their families by forming rank-and-file committees.

“It’s like the workers are second rate citizens”

Fiat Chrysler keeps Indiana plant running after worker tests positive for coronavirus

By Jerry White, 13 March 2020

The decision by Fiat Chrysler, which has been backed by the United Auto Workers union, is imperiling the lives of workers.

Faurecia workers in Spring Hill, Tennessee reject UAW

By Zac Thorton, 13 March 2020

The vote is the latest in a string of defeated unionization votes by the UAW in Tennessee, including Volkswagen in Chattanooga and Nissan in Smyrna.

“They’ll sit in the office while you die”

Autoworkers condemn lack of response by union and management to coronavirus emergency

By Shannon Jones, 12 March 2020

The rapidly emerging coronavirus crisis is exposing the criminal contempt on the part of both the United Auto Workers and the major car companies for health and safety.

New report finds Tesla withheld workplace injury data from government

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 March 2020

A key factor in the dizzying growth of Tesla’s profits is management’s blatant disregard for workers’ safety and health.

Former UAW President Gary Jones indicted as federal prosecutors raise prospect of government takeover

By Shannon Jones, 6 March 2020

In a press conference following the unsealing of the indictment of Jones, US Attorney Matthew Schneider indicated that the government was still considering a federal takeover of the United Auto Workers.

Ex-United Auto Workers official pleads guilty to corruption charges

By Tom Hall, 4 March 2020

The plea deal means the noose tightens further around disgraced ex-UAW President Gary Jones, who finally resigned last November.

Fiat Chrysler to lay off 1,500 Windsor Assembly workers in June

By Carl Bronski, 3 March 2020

The layoffs are the latest in a relentless series of cost-cutting moves by global auto companies operating in Canada.

Workers left to scramble as GM closes Detroit Hamtramck plant for 18-month retooling

By Shannon Jones, 2 March 2020

The last Chevrolet Impala came off the assembly line Thursday at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant as 800 workers face dislocation due to a planned 18-month retooling of the facility to build electric vehicles.

China auto sales plummet as coronavirus threatens to trigger global downturn

By Marcus Day, 26 February 2020

In a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, average sales dropped to a staggering 811 vehicles a day in the first week of February.

Third round of layoffs in two months at Chicago Stamping Plant

By George Gallanis, 24 February 2020

Last year’s sellout contract by the UAW has emboldened the company to continue their attacks on workers.

General Motors receives 75 percent local tax abatement for Lordstown battery plant

By Tom Hall, 22 February 2020

The new battery plant will employ only 1,100 workers making between $15 and $17 per hour—only a quarter of the number who once worked at the now-shuttered Lordstown Assembly Plant.

UAW quashes effort to force direct election of union officers

By Shannon Jones, 22 February 2020

Labor Notes and the Democratic Socialists of America are backing UAWD in order to promote the illusion that the UAW can be reformed through the direct election of union officials.

Michael Grimes, former top UAW administrative assistant, sentenced to 28 months for role in kickback scheme

By Tom Hall, 21 February 2020

Grimes and other UAW officials pocketed millions of dollar in kickbacks from vendors of union-branded merchandise in an operation run out the UAW-General Motors Center for Human Resources.

“What happened to the eight hour day?”

GM workers in Lansing oppose forced overtime, UAW treachery

By George Kirby and Tim Rivers, 20 February 2020

Workers at the Lansing Delta Township plant are on “emergency status” through August, as the company tries to claw back the cost of last year’s strike on the backs of workers.

999 On the spot report at GM Lansing DT

19 February 2020

GM announces exit from Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

By Marcus Day, 18 February 2020

GM continues to shrink its footprint and attack autoworkers’ jobs globally, as it faces declining sales and ferocious competition to dominate emerging technologies.

Renault announces “no taboos” cuts as planned layoffs in auto industry exceed 100,000

By Tom Hall, 17 February 2020

The phrasing of Renault CEO Clotilde Delbos’ statement recalls the incendiary speech last month by Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who pledged to slaughter “sacred cows” as the company pursued tens of thousands of layoffs.

Trump’s “Blue Collar Boom”: Myth vs Reality

By Tom Hall, 15 February 2020

The reality of American social life is very different than the fantasy of a “blue-collar boom” which Trump delivered during last week’s State of the Union address.

Workers at GM’s Silao, Mexico plant charge union with stuffing ballots during recognition vote

By Andrea Lobo, 14 February 2020

The effort by General Motors and the Confederation of Mexican Workers to certify their contract at the Silao complex is a warning to workers across Mexico about the anti-democratic content of the government’s supposed labor reforms.

Changes in the car industry threaten Slovakian workers

By Marianne Arens, 13 February 2020

The small central European country, the world’s largest auto producer on a per-capita basis, is particularly vulnerable to automation and the world manufacturing slump.

US jobs report: 11,000 US auto jobs lost in January

By Jessica Goldstein, 12 February 2020

January’s figures show that the jobs bloodbath in the auto industry is continuing unabated after the United Auto Workers’ sabotage of the General Motors strike last fall.

Ford shakes up management, prepares for more cuts after 99 percent profit decline

By Marcus Day, 11 February 2020

Ford’s falling profits and management reshuffling herald an acceleration of the company’s years-long turnaround plan and attacks on workers globally.

Net draws closer around Dennis Williams and Gary Jones

Former UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson signs plea deal

By Shannon Jones, 8 February 2020

Pearson’s testimony brings the federal corruption probe one step closer to a racketeering lawsuit and the possible federal takeover of the union.

GM workers denounce forced overtime imposed with UAW collusion

By George Kirby and Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

Workers from General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales facilities and other factories in Michigan are angered by continuous forced overtime imposed in the aftermath of the 2019 UAW sellout contract.

BorgWarner buys Delphi as mergers in global auto industry slash thousands of jobs

By Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

The move by BorgWarner is the latest step in the vast restructuring of the industry, as carmakers and supplies scramble to dominate the emerging electrical and autonomous vehicle markets.

Coronavirus outbreak disrupts global auto industry as carmakers shut down production in China

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 February 2020

The shutdown of the auto industry in China due to the coronavirus outbreak is expected to have a major impact on the world economy, with no real timeline in sight for the resumption of production.

Volkswagen works council agrees to destruction of 20,000 jobs in Germany

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 3 February 2020

Chairman of the Volkswagen Group board, Herbert Diess, announced a “radical restructuring” and the “slaughter of sacred cows,” meaning that workers' jobs, wages and working conditions will be sacrificed on the altar of profit.

FCA offers buyouts to 3,900 workers at Belvidere Assembly, raising danger of plant’s closure

By Jacob Crosse, 3 February 2020

The buyout came shortly after a two-week shutdown, and after the plant’s third shift was laid off in May.

Ford planning further layoffs at Chicago Stamping Plant

By George Gallanis, 3 February 2020

The job cuts come a week after Ford announced plans to temporarily lay off 270 workers at the Chicago stamping plant.

999 Borg Warner-Delphi takeover

3 February 2020

India: Maoist union betrays 140-day Motherson auto parts workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 1 February 2020

Having isolated the strikers since August last year, the union has ordered the auto-parts workers to end their strike without winning any of their demands and abandoning 79 victimised colleagues.

Jaguar Land Rover announces 500 job cuts at Halewood in northwest England

By Margot Miller, 1 February 2020

The response of Unite to JLR’s announcement was to pledge to ensure redundancies are implemented smoothly.

As GM Detroit-Hamtramck shutdown looms, media touts promise of investments

By Shannon Jones, 1 February 2020

With a host of UAW and Democratic Party officials present, GM President Mark Reuss formally announced that his company would invest $2.2 billion to build an electric pickup truck at the site of the soon-to-be-idled Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

1 February 2020

999 Borg Warner-Delphi takeover

31 January 2020

“GM routinely negotiates similar deals with the UAW”

Fiat Chrysler seeks to dismiss GM lawsuit charging it “acquired” the UAW

By Jerry White, 30 January 2020

Fiat Chrysler filed a motion to dismiss the GM lawsuit alleging it gained an unfair competitive advantage by bribing United Auto Workers officials.

Opposition builds to pro-company union at GM’s Silao, Mexico complex

By Andrea Lobo and Jerry White, 29 January 2020

The Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) is holding a vote next month to seek legal recognition under the Obrador government’s new labor reform laws, which promote so-called “independent” unions.

FCA announces temporary shutdown of Belvidere Assembly plant near Chicago

By Jacob Crosse, 28 January 2020

The decision to idle the plant for the third time in six months raises questions about the future of the facility, including the possibility of its closure

28 January 2020

28 January 2020

Despite thousands of job cuts, General Motors will receive $2.28 billion in Michigan tax credits

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 January 2020

The deal with the Michigan Strategic Fund board includes a modest reduction in the tax credit in exchange for the “flexibility” to cut more jobs.

With UAW collusion, Ford implements video surveillance of workers at Dearborn Truck Plant

By Tim Rivers, 27 January 2020

The move comes after lying assurances from union officials that the program, established in the new union contract, would not be implemented at the plant.

Volkswagen boss Diess commits management to mass layoffs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 25 January 2020

2020 began with a fiery speech by the CEO of the world’s largest auto company, Volkswagen, in which he announced a “radical restructuring of the group” and the “slaughter of sacred cows.”

Norwood Jewell begins 15-month sentence in minimum-security prison for role in UAW bribery scheme

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 January 2020

Norwood Jewell will spend 15 months in a cottage in a minimum security prison nicknamed “the University.”

Ford planning temporary layoffs at Chicago Stamping Plant

By Marcus Day, 23 January 2020

The layoffs further discredit the UAW’s hollow promises of a “pathway” to full-time employment for temporary workers.

23 January 2020

Tesla under investigation by US government for defect that caused over 100 crashes

By Jessica Goldstein, 20 January 2020

The serious allegations of safety problems with Tesla’s vehicles and the suffering of the workers who build them are bound up with the subordination of the means of production to the capitalist system.

“What the automakers looked for was flexibility, and they maintained a lot of flexibility”

Detroit Three automakers see gains in 2019 UAW contracts, industry think tank gloats

By Marcus Day, 20 January 2020

The presentations made clear that the United Auto Workers’ betrayal of the 40-day national strike by General Motors workers paved the way for massive concessions.

New UAW Ford director part of union’s narrow inner circle

By Shannon Jones, 18 January 2020

The appointment of UAW Region 1D director Gerald Kariem to head the union’s Ford department elevates another long-time bureaucrat into the top leadership.

GM layoff of 240 temps exposes UAW’s bogus “pathway” to full-time positions

By Tom Hall, 13 January 2020

This move reveals the pattern for the future: a small trickle of temps hired in, with the rest strung out on a nearly unattainable “pathway” before being disposed of.

Mack Trucks to lay off 305 workers at Allentown, Pennsylvania factory

By Steve Filips, 11 January 2020

The announcement comes only months after the UAW’s betrayal of the Mack Truck strike last year.

Corruption investigation targets newly installed UAW president Rory Gamble

By Shannon Jones, 10 January 2020

According to press reports Gamble and Settles may be linked to bribes paid by businessman Jason Gordon in exchange for the award of contracts for merchandise.

GM workers in Mexico thank Australian workers for support

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 10 January 2020

Amid the looming threat of war after the US killing of Iranian General Suleimani, the statement calls workers to fight against war and the environmental destruction that triggered Australia’s bushfires.

Lessons of the US autoworkers’ struggle of 2019

By Tom Hall, 8 January 2020

The sellout contracts imposed by the United Auto Workers on GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler workers has set the stage for new and more explosive struggles.

7 January 2020

Many unanswered questions in Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2020

According to the head of Ghosn’s own Japanese legal team: “A very large organisation must have acted to pull this off.”

New study shows link between auto plant closures and opioid deaths in working class America

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 January 2020

The study found a staggering 85 percent increase in opioid deaths in counties which experienced a plant closure.

31 December 2019

GM workers in Mexico thank US workers for donating to their defense fund

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 27 December 2019

The militant workers’ group Generating Movement at the General Motors assembly plant in Silao, Mexico, express their appreciation to workers in the United States for supporting their defense fund.

999 Lessons of the auto struggle

23 December 2019

Fiat Chrysler merger with PSA signals new attacks on autoworkers’ jobs and conditions

By Jerry White, 19 December 2019

The $47 billion deal will create the world’s fourth largest automaker by sales, trailing only Volkswagen Group, Toyota Motor and the Renault-Nissan alliance.

GM Oshawa auto assembly ends production, eliminating 5,000 jobs

By Carl Bronski, 18 December 2019

The Unifor union suppressed all opposition to the closure of the factory while stoking animosity toward Mexican autoworkers.

São Paulo Ford plant closure exposes Brazilian union as agent of capitalist “restructuring”

By Brunna Machado, 17 December 2019

The Ford plant closure follows a series of similar union-imposed defeats that have radically changed the Brazilian auto industry.

Volvo Trucks to lay off 700 at New River Valley plant

By Ed Hightower, 17 December 2019

UAW local 2069 still has not made so much as a single Facebook post acknowledging the announced layoffs.

John Deere to lay off 57 workers at Davenport, Iowa, assembly plant

By George Gallanis, 17 December 2019

The newly announced layoffs come after Deere cut 163 workers in October and revealed last month plans to lay off more workers through a “voluntary separation program.” Despite this, the United Auto Workers has idly stood by, giving Deere the greenlight to continue its layoffs unabated.

“We are all working people. We should be fighting together”

Detroit autoworkers voice support for victimized Mexican GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter reporters, 16 December 2019

Campaigners for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter went to auto plants in Southeast Michigan this weekend to distribute material explaining the case of the victimized Mexican autoworkers known as the Silao Seven and appeal for support on their behalf.

Feds subpoena security camera footage and visitor logs in investigation of July fire at Detroit UAW headquarters

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 December 2019

The details of the subpoena were revealed just two weeks after US Attorney Matthew Schneider said government oversight of the UAW was a “definite possibility” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Mass abstention as UAW forces through Fiat Chrysler contract

By Tom Hall, 12 December 2019

Fiat Chrysler workers were in no mood to be strung out and isolated on the picket line, as GM workers were two months ago, forced to subsist on $275 per week in strike pay during the Christmas holidays.

Defend the Silao Seven!

Fired Mexican GM workers issue open letter to American workers

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 December 2019

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter urges workers to support the GM workers at the Silao, Mexico factory, who were fired for supporting the 40-day strike by GM workers in the US.

Germany: IG Metall union announces further attacks on Daimler workers

By K. Nesan, 10 December 2019

With the help of the unions and their works council representative, the auto manufacturer wants to destroy 10,000 jobs by 2022.

“They are jamming this down our throats:” Fiat Chrysler workers denounce UAW for rushing vote on sellout contract

By Jerry White, 10 December 2019

Just days after dumping the thousand-page contract on its web site, the UAW is holding a series of snap votes which it plans to conclude by Wednesday.

“All you have given us is a slap in the face”

Fiat Chrysler autoworkers denounce UAW sellout at informational meetings

By Tim Rivers and K. Nahsir, 9 December 2019

The United Auto Workers is attempting to pull a fast one on autoworkers by moving to ram through the thousand-page contract less than a week before voting began.

GM sends termination notices to 48 TPT workers in Indiana less than two months after UAW signs concessions contract

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 December 2019

The contract makes clear that the so-called “pathway” to regular employment in the contract highlights touted by the UAW is a fraud.

Vote “no” on the FCA contract! Form rank and file committees to oppose UAW sellout!

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 7 December 2019

The United Auto Workers is seeking to ram through a sellout contract at Fiat Chrysler which will lay the basis for the expanded use of temporary workers, further attacks on health care and integrate the union even more closely with corporate management.

020 GM layoffs

5 December 2019

UAW sanctions “perma-temps” in Fiat-Chrysler tentative agreement

By Tom Hall, 5 December 2019

The deal reached with FCA does not even include the fig leaf “pathway” for temporary workers to regular employment found in the GM and Ford contracts.