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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Business https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ After a 96% strike vote, UAW chooses GM workers to try to push first concession contract

After a 96% strike vote, UAW chooses GM workers to try to push first concession contract

After a 96 percent voting vote, UAW selects GM workers to try to push through the first concession agreement

Jerry White

September 4, 2019

This is less than two weeks before the expiration of the September 14 contract for more than 155,000 American workers at General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Automobile workers have registered their determination to fight for substantial wage improvements and conditions with a near-unanimous vote to strike.

According to general figures released by United Auto Workers on Tuesday, GM workers voted 96.4 percent, Ford workers 95.95 percent and FCA workers 96 percent leave when their contracts expire.

Workers from all manufacturers of more than 80 carmakers make a huge mandate for the first national strike since Ford's release in 1

976. This includes a 96 percent vote at GM's Detroit-Hamtrack plant, which GM threatened to close in January. .

GM workers at Detroit-Hamtrammk plant targeted for closure

Like other sections of workers in the US and internationally, auto workers have suffered a decline in real wages in the last decade, even as transnational automakers have enjoyed a record a profit boom. The militancy of car workers is compounded by the revelations that senior UAW officials have been paid millions of bribes to sign pro-company agreements.

Just after the release of the joint ballot, UAW President Gary Jones – whose home in Detroit was attacked by the FBI last week – announced that GM would be the "union" target for a deal that will determine the model for Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

By the mid-1970s, having been named a leading company in the UAW negotiations was generating concern in corporate halls over a potentially crippling strike and a deal that would greatly increase labor costs. However, this dynamic has been reversed. Companies are practically pitted against each other to be the UAW's "strike target", knowing full well that the first company will receive a UAW deal best suited to its profit needs.

UAW President Gary Jones and GM Executive Director Mary Barra at Opening Negotiations

This is the third time in the last four contract cycles (2007, 2011 and 2019) that GM has been elected. In each contract, the UAW has conspired with car bosses to return workers' wages and conditions.

In 2007, the UAW called a fake two-day strike against GM and a six-hour strike at Chrysler called "Hollywood strikes" by workers because they were just for show. The UAW then signed a "transformation agreement" that introduced two-tier salaries and paved the way for the elimination of tens of thousands of higher-paid "heirs."

Two years later, in 2009, the UAW partnered with the Obama administration to reopen labor agreements during the government restructuring of GM and Chrysler and Aries through extensive concessions. All new tenants' salaries were cut in half and the eight-hour day was eliminated. The UAW has adopted a six-year ban on strikes and the destruction of thousands of jobs. In return, he gained control of the multibillion-dollar retirement health trust, largely funded by corporate stocks.

In 2011, the UAW signed an agreement with GM that expanded the number of second-tier workers and provided no wage or pension increase to workers who had been subject to wage freezes since 2003.

The 2011 UAW-GM includes Dennis Williams, Joe Ashton, Michael Grimes and Jeff Peterzhik, all of whom have been accused or involved in an unlawful multi-million dollar buyout scheme involving the UAW-GM Human Resources Center.

In 2015, the UAW selected Fiat Chrysler, the weakest financially by the Big Three, as the leading company. However, FCA workers rebelled and crushed the contract by a margin of 2 to 1. It was the first UAW-backed national agreement rejected by workers in three decades.

The UAW responded by launching a scare and fraud campaign to obtain a second FCA deal, along with similar Ford and GM contracts. The contracts restricted labor costs to below inflation, imposed an eight-year "growth period" for new tenants to achieve the highest wages and benefits, dramatically increased the number of part-time workers and facilitated the closure of

of the top eight UAW-Chrysler negotiators, including Vice President of UAW Norwood Jewell, have since been charged or implicated in making illegal bribes.

The GM deal was prompted by ignored UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada. the "no" vote by skilled workers ratifies it anyway. Estrada, who has also been investigated in the UAW corruption case, is now the chief negotiator for the UAW-FCA.

Last November, GM announced that it would not distribute new products to five North American plants and would postpone 14,000 manufacturing and white collar workers. The UAW and its Canadian counterpart Unifor have responded with a dirty anti-Mexican campaign aimed at deflecting anger from corporations and unions, which have for decades claimed that endless concessions from workers will "save" their jobs.

Lordstown Workers Prior to Closing

Three of the factories – the historic Lordstown, the Ohio assembly plant and two transmission plants in Baltimore and the Warren suburb of Detroit – are already closed. In May, Unifor struck a deal to retain several hundred of the 2,900 workers employed by an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, where 20,000 GM workers were once hired.

The rest of the factory – the Detroit-Hamtrack assembly plant, the only GM factory inside the former Motor City – is due to close in January. There is little doubt that the UAW and GM will use the plant and other factories operating at full capacity as carrots in a fake "plant savings" deal linked to even deeper discounts.

In an article in the November 29, 2018 industry publication Automotive News outlined this exact scenario. After complaining that "many UAW members want more: more promotions, more profit sharing, more everything," reporter Michael Wayland writes that the plant closure message will change "the story of members who want more, and potentially they just want to save jobs and plants. "

The closure, says Welland, could also be" a blessing in disguise for UAW leaders who are waging an internal battle with members after a federal corruption scandal. If union leaders can save one, maybe two plants, they can be seen as heroes instead of company pawns … ”

However, any factory-keeping deal will come at a huge cost to workers, he writes, adding: "Expect GM to request unconventional employment practices, such as increasing workers, temporary or subcontracted."

GM officials complain that they have the highest labor costs of the three automakers based in Detroit. Although there are currently about 4,650 temporary workers, or 10 percent of the 46,000 part-time workers in the US, she wants much more.

According to the industry website, T he Detroit Bureau Chuck Stevens, a former chief financial officer at GM who retired last year, "told analysts two years ago that the company wanted to there is 50% of temporary factory work in GM factories. "This will allow GM to sharply reduce labor costs. and quickly close more factories as sales fall in the face of a widely anticipated global economic downturn.

The current "negotiations" are not between two opposing parties, but a joint conspiracy by the UAW and the car companies to further impoverish car dealers.

In order to defeat this conspiracy, auto workers must take the leadership of the fight into their own hands by setting up factory committees to prepare for a national strike that cancels all rebates passed by the UAW.

The corrupt bargaining commission must be thrown out and replaced by a committee of the most belligerent and trusted workers engaged in fighting for workers' demands, including the elimination of the two-tier system, the conversion of all temporary and contract workers into full-time employees, redeployment of all laid-off workers and a 40 percent pay increase.

Workers must abide by the principle of "No contract, no job" and prepare a national strike to stop the auto and auto parts industry, including calls for all workers, united and non-union. Workers must now be appealed to in Mexico, Canada and around the world to fight globally in a coordinated effort to attack the workplace and conditions around the world.

This must be combined with the rejection of all forms of nationalism promoted by trade unions, the Trump administration and the Democrats, and the struggle to make the global automobile industry a public enterprise organized on the socialist principle of production for human need, not private profit.

We urge auto workers and other workers to join the online meeting this Thursday, September 5th at 7:30 pm EDT to discuss a strategy to continue this fight. To sign up, go to wsws.org/autocall. records19659037emberYour support is needed

This week WSWS publishes its 75,000th article. Become a monthly donor today and continue this vital work. It only takes a minute. Thank you.

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