The rebellion against the latest UAW concessions to Ford is gathering pace. For the first time in thirty-three years the contract looks as if it will be rejected by the membership. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long while. The beginnings of a fight back? Here are some of the numbers (unofficial) from across the country:
- Claycomo, Missouri (Kansas City) no 92% with 1,712 voting no, 147 yes
- Louisville, Ky.UAW Local 862 rejected with 84% opposed
- Dearborn–research & engineering employees no 90%
- Flat Rock 74% no with 1265 voting no, 485 yes
- Livonia Transmission no 52%
- Plymouth no vote, but no figures or percentage
- Saline no 75% with 681 voting no, 226 yes
- Sterling Axle no 80%
- Ypsilanti 52% no (skilled trades voted no, production workers voted yes by only one vote
- Dearborn Truck unit of UAW Local 600 92.6% NO
- Main. & Construction, also UAW Local 600 NO
- Metal Stamping plant, Chicago 80% NO
- Sandisky (Ohio) 92.6% NO
- Sharonville Transmission (Ohio) UAW Local 863 75% NO
- Tarus, Chicago NO
- Walton Hills Stamping (Ohio) UAW Local 420 88% NO
Below is the text of a Vote No! leaflet handed out at the UAW’s flagship local 600 in Dearborn, Michigan which contains the sprawling Ford Rouge plant. (flyer as a doc here)
At $14/hr and no real pension, will new-hires defend pensions, buy cars, or put much into Social Security & Medicare? Limits on the right to strike hurt us all! Labor donated 10-18-09
Local 600’s 2009 Labor Day T-shirt reads: “The labor movement, FIGHTING FOR ALL WORKERS.” That excellent message builds public support for the UAW! But concessions contradict this message, hurting the fight even for auto workers, let alone “all” workers. Also on Labor Day, DTP Bargaining Committeeperson Gary Walkowicz helped us all by opposing concessions in the Free Press.
Jerry Tucker, former UAW International Executive Board member and UAW Region Five Director, wrote:
“If I were a voting Ford worker I would be voting against this tentative agreement and openly advocating its defeat.”
♦ “Wage freeze for entry level workers through the life of the agreement.” Mulally says Ford must not be “disadvantaged.” Is it a “disadvantage” to pay new hires enough to buy cars? An M&C brother wrote: “This is likely a 6 year wage freeze for all of us, because that’s the likely outcome of arbitration of the next contract.”
♦ Severe limitations on the right to strike—only arbitration for “improvements” in wages and benefits. Improvements to be “comparable to competitors, including transplant automotive manufacturers.” So the “pattern” includes non-union shops! Contrary to the Highlights’ “defense” of patterns, downward “patterns” pit us against each other. Bring GM & Chrysler members up, not us down–and let’s organize the transplants into the UAW!
♦ Phased combination of most trades into Mechanical Teams. “…our objective remains the same” as GM’s and Chrysler’s trades efficiency (Modifications, page 25). “There will be no established lines of demarcation within the mechanical teams” set up “to reach pattern efficiency”. We know that job combinations undermine working conditions, specialized skills, and health & safety. One goal of “combining” jobs is outsourcing them. And how will overtime work among teams?
♦ Jobs? Ford will “replace the commitments that the company could not fulfill because of the economic crisis.” UNfulfilled commitments were NOT REAL—neither are these! We’re forced to wait until “…business conditions improve and cash is available.” Can you “commit” to your car payment only “when cash is available”?! And some job “commitments” are only to “identify future opportunities.” This is no job security.
♦ Retirees protected? How long will retirees make more than the new workers on the line, who we need to defend pensions? There’s no guarantee the VEBA board won’t go after medical in 2010 when VEBA takes over.
♦ Bonus? Before you “take the money and run,” look to see if your feet are tied together.
The strike threat defends our money, benefits, rights–and UAW political clout…Power in Washington starts with our power right here (for true national health insurance, converting closed plants to greener jobs and alternative transportation for auto and other workers, and defending the gains of civil rights movements, etc.).
International solidarity: CAW-Ford members like Lindsay Hinshelwood at Oakville assembly also organize against concessions. We need an independent Council of union reps and workers across borders, not Ford lobbying the International Metalworkers Federation Ford Network. Ford wants to lead the race to the bottom internationally.
A Local 600 M&C brother wrote, “Ford won’t stop asking for concessions until we tell them NO. We can beat this terrible deal! A resounding NO vote is the first step to re-building the UAW as a union that fights for its members and all working people.”
Judy Wraight, M&C, former T&D Exec. Bd. Gary Walkowicz, DTP Bargaining Cmte, email@example.com Dan Sultana, M&C Donnie McCuien, T&D Dave Gelman, M&C Victor Bean, DSP/Body, Gen. Council Ali Shamsedean, T&D Murray Boyk, T&D Bruce Price Sr., former Fin. Sec. UAW 919, Norfolk , VA, now DTP Eric Truss, DDMP Jim Benson, DEFTP Robert Morris, Parts Bargaining Cmte, Harold Corey, T&D Dan Bartle, M&C T&D Charles R. Mattison Doug Kowalske, Parts, ret., former Alt. Cmte Ron Matley, T&D, ret. Ron Lare, T&D, ret., former Local 600 Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org ♦ Add your name by email
And more links to sources:
Dear Brothers and Sisters (UAW Local 3000 – dated October, 2009) Jeff Hodges UAW Local 3000