Autoworkers struggles

From the archive of the World Socialist Web Site

Walter Reuther and the rise and fall of the UAW

By Tom Mackaman, 24 September 2019

Walter Reuther’s biography has much to teach workers about the transformation of the trade unions into reactionary adjuncts of the corporations and the government.

As walkout leads to layoffs across North America

Counting on UAW to sabotage strike, GM not budging on concession demands

By Jerry White, 24 September 2019

Officials from the United Auto Workers and GM are plotting how to beat back the resistance of striking workers and impose a new round of concessions that will shape the future of the global auto industry.

“We all face the same thing:” GM strikers in Flint defend Mexican workers fired for making international appeal

By Sheila Brehm and George Kirby, 24 September 2019

The decline of Flint is the product of the policies pursued jointly by the UAW and General Motors.

GM fires Mexican workers for aiding US strikers and calling for cross-border fight against automaker

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 23 September 2019

The victimization exposes the weak underbelly of the transnational corporations, which fear that workers will defy the nationalist unions and unite internationally to defend jobs and living standards.

Elizabeth Warren promotes economic nationalism at Detroit GM workers’ picket line

By Shannon Jones, 23 September 2019

The UAW is desperately seeking to shut down the strike, which cuts across their corporatist relations with management and threatens to spark a wider movement in the working class.

Daimler-Benz workers in Germany support GM strikers

By Gregor Link and K. Nesan, 23 September 2019

German autoworkers in the city of Stuttgart support the strike of their American counterparts, against the auto companies and the union, as a model for their own upcoming struggles.

Jeff Pietrzyk, former aide to UAW vice president Joe Ashton, charged with criminal conspiracy

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 September 2019

Pietrzyk sat on the 2011 UAW-GM National Negotiating Committee, which pushed through a miserable sellout contract that maintained a pay freeze and the hated two-tier system.

The GM strike is in danger

By Marcus Day, 23 September 2019

While the weeklong strike by General Motors workers in the US has won the support of workers throughout the world, the UAW is working out a strategy to strangle it as quickly as possible.

Labor Notes, DSA line up with UAW bureaucrats against GM strikers

By Shannon Jones and Barry Grey, 23 September 2019

In the face of the UAW’s strategy of isolating and betraying the powerful strike by US General Motors workers, middle-class “left” groups like Labor Notes and the Democratic Socialists of America are working to keep strikers chained to the union apparatus.

Wall Street to General Motors: End strike and ram through cuts

By Tom Hall, 21 September 2019

Statements from credit agencies and the financial press demonstrate that striking GM workers are not simply confronting GM CEO Mary Barra and other executives, but the entire capitalist class.

“We will not submit, and we will not bow out.”

Hundreds of autoworkers discuss GM strike and global strategy in online meeting

By Marcus Day and Evan Blake, 21 September 2019

Over 300 workers from the US, Mexico, Canada and other countries participated in the second WSWS Autoworker Newsletter online forum, with many expressing their desire to expand the GM strike.

“Go on strike ‘til you get it right!”

Detroit rapper GmacCash supports striking autoworkers

By Kathleen Martin, 21 September 2019

The former autoworker spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about life in the auto plants and why he supports the striking workers.

“Take control of the struggle!” Logistics workers at UPS and FedEx support GM strike, warn of union treachery

By George Marlowe, 21 September 2019

Workers at UPS, where the Teamsters union forced through a sellout last year, and at FedEx are closely watching the GM strike and support a unified struggle of the working class.

21 September 2019

Autoworkers at GM, Fiat Chrysler and Ford react to UAW’s starvation strike pay

By Tom Hall, 20 September 2019

Yesterday’s article detailing how the union has used the strike fund as a slush fund for UAW officials elicited a strong response from autoworkers.

India: Motherson auto parts company in Chennai victimises strikers

By Arun Kumar, 20 September 2019

The company is the largest supplier of moulded parts, assemblies and modules to India’s domestic automotive industry.

The UAW’s $760 million strike fund: A bonanza for Solidarity House executives but only $250 per week for striking GM workers

By Eric London, 19 September 2019

The UAW’s refusal to provide adequate financial support for the strike exposes the unbridgeable conflict of interests between the union management and the rank and file.

As GM tries to cut health benefits for workers on strike, Federal Reserve prepares more handouts to Wall Street

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2019

The federal government wants unlimited amounts of cash to be provided to the financial system in the event of a stock market downturn.

GM shuts off healthcare for striking autoworkers, begins to use scabs in attempt to break strike

By Jerry White and Tom Hall, 19 September 2019

Autoworkers are fighting not only General Motors executives, but also Wall Street and powerful global investors who demand further attacks on the working class to fuel the endless rise on the stock markets.

“The union is a company now”

Striking GM autoworkers call for expansion of strike to Ford and Fiat Chrysler, denounce UAW sabotage

By Tom Hall, 19 September 2019

Workers are determined to fight the auto companies but have no confidence in the United Auto Workers to carry out a struggle.

012 Flint auto

19 September 2019

Australian workers and youth back striking US autoworkers

By our reporters, 19 September 2019

“I think there’s a common stream connecting workers all over the world. This is something we are all fighting for.”

Unifor shuts down Nemak auto parts strike in Windsor, Canada

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2019

Bitterly opposed to mobilizing tens of thousands of Canadian and striking US autoworkers in support of Nemak workers, Unifor has handed the initiative back to the company and the state.

The strike at General Motors: Class struggle vs. the reactionary politics of racial division

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2019

The strike by American autoworkers refutes all those who have proclaimed the end of the class struggle, supposedly replaced by conflicts centered on race, gender and sexual orientation.

Trump administration intervenes in bid to shut down GM strike

By Tom Hall, 18 September 2019

Autoworkers must be warned: the intervention by the Trump administration is not in their interests. All of their demands will be swept aside on the basis of lying promises about “saving” American jobs.

Striking GM workers arrested in Spring Hill, Tennessee for blocking scab truck

By Tom Hall, 18 September 2019

Police arrested at least five pickets as GM steps up its strikebreaking efforts against nearly 50,000 autoworkers participating in the third day of their national strike.

Video: Fiat Chrysler workers support GM strike, demand joint fight

By Jerry White, 18 September 2019

Fiat-Chrysler workers in Michigan declare their support for the strike and their desire for a joint struggle with GM workers.

Video: Striking GM workers in Flint, Michigan discuss key issues in their fight

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 18 September 2019

GM workers in Flint, the site of the 1936–37 sit-down strike, describe the significance of their battle against the giant corporation and decades of concessions accepted by the UAW.

“We will not accept an increase in production”

GM workers in Mexico hold assembly to discuss strike in the United States

By our reporters, 18 September 2019

A worker at the GM plant in Silao appealed to US workers: “Keep us informed and we'll inform people here to decide what we'll do. There are people supporting us and we just have to keep fighting. If more people support us, we'll move forward.”

025 Indian autoworkers face jobs and wage cuts

18 September 2019

BREAKING: Trump administration intervenes in bid to shut down GM strike

By Tom Hall, 17 September 2019

Autoworkers must be warned: the intervention by the Trump administration is not in their interests. All of their demands will be swept aside on the basis of lying promises about “saving American jobs."

GM hiring scabs to replace strikers at Missouri and Texas assembly plants

By Tom Hall, 17 September 2019

Autoworkers at the Wentzville, Missouri and Arlington, Texas assembly plants confirmed that GM is hiring strikebreakers to operate the plant during the strike.

“All the union officials should be put back on the line and work ten years as TPTs”

GM workers determined to fight as Ford and Chrysler workers press to join strike

By Jerry White, 17 September 2019

On their first day on the picket lines, General Motors workers are expressing their determination to fight the auto giant. Workers are winning broad popular support for their stand in defense of health care and an end to the abuse of younger second-tier and temporary part-time (TPT) workers.

015 GM Mexico workers refuse to increase production

17 September 2019

German workers support GM strikers in US

By our reporters, 17 September 2019

News of the strike by nearly 50,000 GM workers in the US spread like wildfire through German factories and evoked powerful support.

Brazilian GM workers speak out on US autoworkers’ strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 September 2019

Brazilian GM workers increasingly recognize that every issue they face is common to their class brothers in the US and internationally.

“Now it’s time to give us back what we deserve”

Striking GM workers speak from the pickets

By Marcus Day, 17 September 2019

Campaign teams for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter spoke with workers on the pickets Monday about the issues motivating their struggle.

US autoworkers shut down production at GM in nationwide strike

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Nearly 50,000 autoworkers have struck the biggest of the US-based automakers in the most significant strike by US industrial workers in decades.

005 US auto developments

16 September 2019

Video: GM workers speak out on strike

By our reporters, 16 September 2019

GM workers from the Flint Assembly and Romulus Engine plant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the issues behind the walkout of 46,000 GM workers.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

Germany: IG Metall union concludes pact with corporate bosses and government against workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 16 September 2019

The union is offering to cooperate in “structural changes” that will boost the profits of the auto companies.

US autoworkers shut down General Motors

By The WSWS Editorial Board, 16 September 2019

The strike by 46,000 GM auto workers marks a major escalation of class struggle in the United States and internationally.

Updated 5:35 PM EDT

Faced with massive opposition among workers, UAW calls national strike at GM

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 15 September 2019

The UAW announced a nationwide strike at General Motors at a press conference Sunday in downtown Detroit. The strike will officially begin at midnight tonight.

“They’re stealing from us, who have nothing!”

Autoworkers react to UAW betrayal of GM, Ford, Chrysler contract fight

By our reporters, 14 September 2019

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter encountered widespread opposition among workers to the UAW-company conspiracy in the course of campaigns at auto plants on Saturday.

UAW President Jones, former President Williams identified as co-conspirators in corruption scandal one day before contracts expire

By Tom Hall, 14 September 2019

With only hours to go before the expiration of the auto contract, the current and former presidents of the UAW have been exposed as gangsters and the “union” as a criminal syndicate.

US autoworkers want all out strike as contract deadline approaches at GM, Ford and Chrysler

By Shannon Jones, 14 September 2019

As the contract deadline for 158,000 autoworkers nears its expiration this weekend, workers at the Detroit automakers say they are ready to walk out to win back decades of concessions.

015 UAW threatens rank and file committees

14 September 2019

On eve of contract expiration: Vance Pearson, top lieutenant to UAW president Gary Jones, arrested for embezzlement

By Tom Hall, 13 September 2019

The arrest, the 10th so far in the FBI corruption probe, greatly increases the possibility of criminal indictments against Jones.

BREAKING: UAW President Gary Jones, former President Williams are unnamed co-conspirators in latest corruption charges, Detroit News reports

By Tom Hall, 13 September 2019

The Detroit News reported Friday that Jones and Williams are “UAW Official A” and “UAW Official B” in Thursday’s criminal complaint against UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson.

010 Increasing chance of strike at GM

13 September 2019

025 Mexico auto video

13 September 2019

Hundreds of autoworkers discuss contract fight with GM, Ford and Chrysler in online meeting

By Marcus Day, 13 September 2019

Over 300 autoworkers attended an online meeting hosted by the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter Thursday to discuss a strategy for the 2019 contract struggle.

As union prepares sell-out of their struggle

Unifor President Jerry Dias addresses Nemak workers in Windsor

By Carl Bronski, 13 September 2019

A court ruling is expected as soon as Friday on an order demanding the taking down of picket lines at the parts plant where workers walked out last week in defence of jobs.

BREAKING: Vance Pearson, top lieutenant to UAW president Gary Jones, arrested for embezzlement

By Tom Hall, 12 September 2019

The arrest, the 10th so far in the FBI corruption probe, greatly increases the possibility of criminal indictments against UAW President Gary Jones.

UAW threatens workers with starvation strike pay as contract deadline at GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler looms

By Tom Hall, 12 September 2019

While workers are preparing for strike action, the UAW, which forced through concessions for years in exchange for company bribes, is doing everything it can to sabotage a struggle.

“It would be great for workers from different countries to band together”

As auto contract deadline approaches, GM Detroit-Hamtramck workers determined to fight

By a WSWS reporting team, 11 September 2019

GM workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is threatened with closure, said they were ready to walk out and expressed support for striking GM workers in South Korea.

How Detroit Democrats handed Fiat-Chrysler $400 million for a new assembly plant

By Kevin Reed, 11 September 2019

Six years after the bankruptcy of Detroit, the ruling class is once again pilfering the public treasury.

September 12 online meeting

On the eve of the contract battle at GM, Ford, and Chrysler: A fighting strategy for autoworkers

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 September 2019

On September 12 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter is hosting an online meeting to discuss the strategy and perspective needed to organize opposition to the corporations and the UAW. To participate, visit wsws.org/autocall.

As contract deadline looms in US, 8,000 GM autoworkers strike in South Korea

By James Cogan, 10 September 2019

The issues over which the Korean workers are striking are ones that their American co-workers will readily identify with.

250 Call announcemnt

10 September 2019

GM fires and harasses Mexican workers to speed up production

By Andrea Lobo, 10 September 2019

GM is trying to switch production to Silao to continue its massive extraction of profits in the event of a strike in the US, but Mexican autoworkers are expressing strong opposition to being further super-exploited, and much less being used as scab labor.

UAW apologists try to cover up corruption scandal

By Jerry White, 10 September 2019

Organizations and publications in and around the UAW apparatus have responded to the expanding corruption scandal by trying to buttress its political stranglehold over autoworkers.

Countdown to contract fight: In final week before contract expires, autoworkers gear up for struggle against companies and UAW

By Tom Hall, 9 September 2019

A ferment is taking hold among autoworkers, who are determined to win back everything that has been taken from them.

“We all know they are lying!”

Workers furious as UAW stonewalls contract discussion with GM, Ford, and Chrysler

By Tom Hall, 7 September 2019

A letter sent to local union officials makes clear that the UAW will conceal the new contract until after the eleventh hour has already passed.

UAW to autoworkers: We won’t tell you anything, but don’t read the World Socialist Web Site

By Joseph Kishore, 7 September 2019

With just less than a week before the expiration of contracts at Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler, the UAW is terrified that opposition among autoworkers will erupt outside of its control.

Fearing rebellion of autoworkers against UAW, Trump holds White House meeting with General Motors CEO

By Jerry White, 6 September 2019

The meeting with GM chief executive Mary Barra is a measure of the fear in ruling circles over autoworkers sparking a broader movement against decades of declining living standards.

Court orders end to “unlawful” Windsor, Ontario auto parts strike

By Carl Bronski, 6 September 2019

Unifor President Jerry Dias is again ramping up his anti-Mexican demagogy in an effort to divert the struggle by workers at parts maker Nemak who have blockaded the plant in an effort to defend their jobs.

Allentown, Pennsylvania Advance Auto Parts distribution workers on strike

By Tom Eley, 6 September 2019

Some 550 warehouse workers walked off the job Wednesday to demand better wages and working conditions.

Autoworkers must form rank-and-file committees to counter UAW conspiracy

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 6 September 2019

The entire “negotiation” process between the UAW and the auto companies is illegitimate, tainted by corruption and criminality.

Ten days before contract expiration, top aide to UAW GM negotiators pleads guilty to taking $2 million in kickbacks

By Jerry White, 5 September 2019

The plea deal comes as GM CEO Mary Barra is set to meet with President Trump to discuss the upcoming contract battle by autoworkers.

Unifor tries to keep Canadian autoworkers in the dark about US contract battle

By Carl Bronski, 4 September 2019

The Unifor bureaucrats are terrified that the impending struggle of US Detroit Three workers could trigger a unified cross-border offensive by autoworkers.

“It’s our time”: US autoworkers denounce UAW corruption, vow to fight as contract deadline approaches

By our reporter, 3 September 2019

The exposure of widespread corruption in the United Auto Workers leadership has only hardened the resolve of US autoworkers to make gains in the upcoming contract fight.

India: Motherson autoworkers strike indefinitely in Tamil Nadu

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 2 September 2019

About 500 permanent workers from Motherson Automotive Technologies & Engineering remain on strike to demand recognition of their newly-formed trade union.

Autoworkers conclude near-unanimous strike votes as corruption scandal targets charity run by UAW president

By Joseph Kishore, 31 August 2019

Strike votes over the past week have registered autoworkers’ determination to fight, with near unanimous votes in Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky, from 94 to 99 percent to authorize a strike.

Day after FBI raids of UAW, autoworkers cast near unanimous vote to strike

By Jerry White, 30 August 2019

Anger among autoworkers is reaching a boiling point against the corporations and the UAW, which is a bribed tool of corporate management.

FBI raid of UAW president exposes union as criminal syndicate

By Jerry White, 29 August 2019

The raids occur on the eve of a contract battle by autoworkers who are equally hostile to the auto companies and the bribed UAW.

“The cost of living is constantly going up while the chance to live is going down”

Autoworkers vote overwhelmingly for strike at Ford, GM, and Chrysler plants

By Jerry White, 28 August 2019

Near-unanimous support for strike action has been registered at factory after factory while the auto companies, in partnership with the UAW, are preparing to further slash jobs and labor costs.

Transnational Honda shuts down production in Argentina

By Andrea Lobo, 28 August 2019

Honda said it was discontinuing car production in Argentina, “in the face of abrupt changes occurring to automobile industries around the world.”

“We need to be paid back”

Autoworkers vote to strike, denounce UAW treachery ahead of contract deadline with GM, Ford and Chrysler

By our reporters, 27 August 2019

Nearly unanimous votes for strike authorization express the determination of autoworkers to reverse decades of concessions.

“There’s a lot of people who are ready to get rid of them”

GM Wentzville workers speak out against UAW corruption

By Marcus Day, 26 August 2019

The expansion of the corruption scandal to UAW officials for GM has brought to the surface the simmering anger of workers over decades of union-enforced concessions.

German automaker Opel to cut workers’ hours and pay

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 26 August 2019

The action is part of a radical savings and cutback program, with which Opel’s parent company, French automaker Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroen), is responding to the global crisis in the auto industry.

Strike votes continue as autoworkers gear up for contract fight against GM, Ford, and Chrysler

By our reporters, 24 August 2019

The balloting is taking place under conditions in which the union has been widely discredited by its role in forcing through decades of sellout contracts and an expanding corruption scandal.

Unifor convention gives centre-stage to Trudeau, Freeland and the Liberal re-election campaign

By Roger Jordan and Carl Bronski, 24 August 2019

Unifor is spearheading a massive union drive to keep the big business, pro-austerity, pro-war Trudeau Liberal government in power.

“We are ready to stay out as long as it takes”

Workers at GM, Ford, and Chrysler ready to strike in contract fight

By Jerry White, 23 August 2019

In front of the factory gates Thursday, Fiat Chrysler workers explained what the most critical issues they want addressed in new labor agreements.

“It’s ludicrous the way they treat the temps”

GM autoworker speaks out on UAW corruption, upcoming contract fight

By Debra Watson, 22 August 2019

Workers at the Big Three in the US begin voting today to authorize strike action if no agreement is reached on deal when their contracts expire next month.

Autoworkers determined to fight as UAW contract deadline approaches

By Tom Hall, 21 August 2019

The September 14 contract deadline is fast approaching for more than 150,000 hourly workers at Ford, GM and Chrysler operations in the US.

Joe Ashton, UAW VP named in corruption scandal, had long history of selling out auto workers

By Jerry White, 21 August 2019

A lifelong UAW functionary on the payroll of the union’s International staff for 28 years, Ashton epitomizes the social layer at the head of the so-called “American labor movement.”

UAW corruption scandal: Former union VP Joe Ashton reportedly took $550,000 in illegal kickbacks

By Jerry White, 20 August 2019

Ashton would be the highest-ranking UAW officer implicated in the corruption scandal that has already led to the conviction of UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell and three other top UAW officials on the 2015 UAW-Chrysler Bargaining Committee.

Detroit to serve as a cheap labor platform

Behind Fiat Chrysler’s $4.5 billion investment in the Motor City

By Kevin Reed, 20 August 2019

The investment of $4.5 billion by FCA in automotive manufacturing in Detroit is part of a global strategy predicated on further dramatic reductions in labor costs.

Mass layoffs for workers; millions for GM, Ford and Chrysler CEOs

By Andre Damon, 19 August 2019

CEOs in the United States make in one day what most workers make in a year, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.

Ashok Leyland autoworkers in India strike to demand higher bonuses

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 August 2019

The Ashok Leyland strike is part of series of militant struggles developing among autoworkers globally amid a major crisis in automobile industry in India and internationally.

US farm equipment manufacturer John Deere calls for “organizational efficiency,” threatening jobs

By George Gallanis, 19 August 2019

Amid slumps in sales due to escalating trade tensions and low corn and soybean harvests, Deere is intent on cutting production costs.

205 Autoworkers react to UAW corruption

19 August 2019

“That was our money!” Autoworkers livid over UAW corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 17 August 2019

Less than one month remains before the expiration of contracts covering 155,000 US auto workers, and there is growing rank-and-file outrage over rampant union corruption.

UAW official indicted for taking millions in bribes as scandal spreads to GM

By Tom Hall, 16 August 2019

Michael Grimes took nearly $2 million in kickbacks for himself and fellow bureaucrats, according to federal investigators.

Trade war, falling sales take center stage at Michigan auto industry conference

By Tom Hall, 15 August 2019

The discussions at the Management Briefing Seminar exposed the financial pressures on the auto industry that are driving demands for ever greater attacks on workers.

One month before the expiration of auto contracts

US autoworkers on collision course with the companies

By Jerry White, 15 August 2019

While the transnational corporations have made record profits since the 2008 financial crash, autoworkers have suffered a decade of falling real wages. They are determined to win substantial gains.

Autoworkers react to slap-on-the wrist sentencing of former UAW VP

By Shannon Jones, 14 August 2019

Workers contrasted the lenient treatment handed out to Norwood Jewell with the brutal conditions they face every day in the factories compounded by the ever-present threat of layoffs.