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It always amazes me when people who present themselves as progressives go off on rants damning the UAW (United Auto Workers) for their own misfortune characterizing them as reactionary and uneducated, and unworthy of the support of educated "progressives."  Earlier today there was a comment in a diary on the strike asking whether UAW should be supported because of the companies its members work for are not building more hybrids.  A statement released tonight shows that this strike isn't about wages or even healthcare.  It's about job security, and in the end American national security.

UAW officials said the 73,000 UAW members who work at about 80 U.S. facilities for the nation's largest automaker didn't strike Monday over what many thought would trip up the talks: A plan to shift the retiree health care burden from the company to the union. They said they also didn't strike over wages.

They said union members walked out because they want GM to promise that future cars and trucks such as the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt small car or the still-on-the-drawing board Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.

The UAW was willing to give GM a VEBA, and they weren't expecting a wage increase.  All that Gettlefinger and the negotiating team wanted in return from GM was a guarantee that GM will not shift production destined for the American market to Mexico.  That's to say that all the UAW is saying is that they think that cars sold in America should be built in America.  And that the shifting of the auto industry to more environmentally friendly products should not lead to the shafting of American workers.  This is an entirely reasonable request, and frankly anything less from GM is economic treason pure and simple.  What good are jet fighters and aircraft carriers, if the items we need to keep them running are made by states hostile to the most fundamental democratic principles?

And why is it that as much as the media like to talk about the inevitability of globalization, corporate executives (like the bastards at Delphi) get million dollar bonuses?  

Why is it that speaking about the class soldarity of America's economic elites is verboten, but even a whisper of solidarity among the men and women who make this country run brings the cries of class warfare?  

Why is it that at the same time that we claim to send our sons and daughter to die in the godforsaken desert for democracy, that we are told that the demands of the market justify dictatorship in the workplace?  

Why is it that working men and women are supposed to pay the price, while the elites who harbor the Anglo disease get the prize?

When is enough enough, and does the basic demands of human dignity require that working men and women say no?

"It's about investment in new products and its about economic issues that affect our membership," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger at a press conference at union headquarters in Detroit. Gettelfinger said talks would resume immediately, but after nearly 10 days of intense negotiations he did not sound optimistic about the prospects for a quick settlement. "It was going to be General Motors' way at the expense of the workers." Gettelfinger said. "The company walked right up to the deadline like they really didn't care." He added, "You can only be pushed so far. There comes a point where you have to draw the line."

So did the media get the point? Not a chance in hell.

So why did the UAW bother to go on strike in the first place? For one thing, it puts a little additional pressure on GM, which must now deal with shutting down factories and curtailing production. Two, it signals that the UAW leadership is serious about getting the best contract terms it can negotiate.

But perhaps the most important reason is that it sends a signal to the union membership that its leaders are working hard on their behalf, and will squeeze GM as much as they can. The UAW is a democratic institution in that the members elect their leaders and they vote for those who can do the most for them. The leaders, for their part, are not anxious to return to the rank and file.

So to demonstrate toughness to their own members, they let them go out on strike. The weather is still pleasant in Michigan this time of year, and another opportunity for some hunting and fishing is always welcome.

These efforts to make grown men and women appear like children playing hookey are tiresome and part and parcel of the efforts by the media to present the working class as underserving of both basic human respect a wage sufficient to leave them live with human dignity.

The men and women of the UAW rise up to demand to be treated with dignity, and what do the media say in response?

Let them eat cake.

But the last laugh is on GM, because the UAW can hold out longer than GM.

GM can afford to play hardball for a while. Analysts say the company has $32.8 billion in cash, and plenty of inventory on dealer lots, so it can weather a strike for several weeks without too much pain. It had 950,000 cars and trucks in inventory, or about 65 days’ supply.

But the UAW can hold out much longer if it has to. Though smaller and weaker than it used to be, the union still has close to $1 billion in its strike fund--a hoard that could last up to a year, analysts say.

GM has $32.8 billion in cash on hand, and a burn rate of $4.6 billion a month, meaning that they can hold out just over 7 months.  The UAW has about $950 million on hand and a burn rate of $63.4 million a month, meaning that they can hold out for about 15 months, nearly twice as long as GM.  Further, every dollar that GM burns is one that can't be used to fund the VEBA that they need in order to achieve labor cost parity with Japanese competitors.  The media seems to think that GM can break the union at will, but they seem to miss that for the UAW killing GM may be the price that has to be paid to provide their members job security.  The GM brand isn't going to die, and if it's forced into dire economic straights a sale to private equity is possible.  Meaning that a new set of managers focused on creating long term value instead of maximizing stock prices can be  brought in.  Like just happened at Chrysler.

But that's not the story that the media want's to tell.  Because the class solidarity of the people who own the media prevents it.  They still think that the union is going to bend over in short order.  I think that they're dead wrong, and this is only the beginning. Globally, working men and women have been asked to surrender their dignity to the rapacious monster that the market becomes when not socially constrained.  This is not our fight alone.  In Britain, the Brown government faces serious resistance from public sector trade unions to wage freezes, with media raising the specter of another winter of discontent.  And in France, President Sarkozy's turn towards neoliberalism has prompted backlash from the railworkers and other unions.  

The media has chosen to ignore it, but there's serious labor unrest either underway or in threat in most advanced capitalist economies.  And the wisodm and viability of the neoliberal economic model is under threat in a way not seen since the 1970's.  We live in a brief period in which the collapse of the economic ideas of the Right is opening the door for a more human world in which the market is not allowed to destroy both man and nature for profit.  The question is whether confronted with opportunity, we will move forward.


Originally posted to ManfromMiddletown on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    Well my daddy come on the Ohio works
    When he come home from World War Two
    Now the yard's just scrap and rubble
    He said "Them big boys did what Hitler couldn't do."
    These mills they built the tanks and bombs
    That won this country's wars
    We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam
    Now we're wondering what they were dyin' for

    Here in Youngstown
    Here in Youngstown
    My sweet Jenny I'm sinkin' down
    Here darlin' in Youngstown

    From the Monongahela valley
    To the Mesabi iron range
    To the coal mines of Appalachia
    The story's always the same
    Seven hundred tons of metal a day
    Now sir you tell me the world's changed
    Once I made you rich enough
    Rich enough to forget my name

    •  Sorry I missed this diary earlier (0+ / 0-)
      but glad it was rescued so I could find it.  Very well done.

      I lived in Michigan during the strikes of the 70's, and I can only imagine the pain the UAW families are going through right now. A long strike is very hard on everyone, the workers, their families, and the communities. The ripple effect of a strike spreads very wide, and the cost is not just economic but social and emotional as well.

      "This isn't a political game--it's war." John Edwards

      by edgery on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 08:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, MM. (7+ / 0-)

    We both grew up with the UAW. I am so glad the Teamsters support them.

    I am going to see if I can find links tomorrow for public donations to a strike fund.  I will put them in EENR.  Salo suggested it.

    Let's get the netroots to support the strike, or at least try.

    "The greatest anti-poverty movement in American history is the organized labor movement." John Edwards

    by TomP on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:36:11 PM PDT

    •  As Yoda said, (7+ / 0-)

      "Do, or do not.  There is no try."

      I'm urging my local NEA chapter to issue a statement of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the UAW, and yours and Salo's idea about donating to the strike fund is a great one.

    •  I think that it might be good (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, BlackGriffen, farleftcoast, BobOak

      if we could put together a list of union local websites that often give contact info for people who'd like to help out.  That way maybe we maximize the impact of donations and help by getting an idea from local presidents what we can do to help.

      I don't think that you can donate directly to the strike fund, however a benevolent fund for the support of worker' families is probably a possibility both legally, and in terms of being the best if there's media coverage.  

      Anyone who gets pissed about people giving money so that kids don't have to go in want because mom or dad is on strike is going to look pretty despicable.

      •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farleftcoast, BobOak

        This should  be a major Kos Project. We can funnel a huge amount of support of all sorts their way.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:49:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That sort of solidarity action (6+ / 0-)

        Was used to great effect during the Southern California grocery workers' strike in 2003-2004. It helped the UFCW hold out for much longer than was thought possible. And as you note, the media effect of those actions is very useful.

        But more importantly, it's about time progressives and labor unions rediscovered each other. Some of the crap we've seen on dKos, from those who use the strike to rant about Detroit not building fuel efficient cars (like the UAW has a role in design?) to those who use the strike as a prop, would be less effective if folks had more personal knowledge of the situation.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eugene (5+ / 0-)

          I'm just disgusted now.

          Tom shouldn't have mentioned Edwards, but you know what the difference was.  Tom used Edwards as a lede to get people to focus on the strike, where Elise and Adam are using the strike as lede to focus on Obama.

          It's fucking despicable.  I do hope that people pick up on the fact that the UAW is striking to keep small car production in the US.

          The areas of the Midwest where these plants are at already have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.  And a lot of people are going to lose their homes because of this.  They are not props, they are living breathing  people deserving of the respect that all god's children merit.  We should all remember what Bob said below, but for the grace of God there go I.

          •  Absolutely (4+ / 0-)

            Michigan was already in the throes of a recession, likely one of the first places to experience the coming Depression. Folks talk about how long the UAW's billion-dollar strike fund can last, but that's by paying out $200/wk in strike benefits. That's a massive loss of income by any standard, especially in places like MI already teetering on the brink.

            I know what's it's like to face a strike. We nearly struck our university in April. It was like a daily punch to the gut, and the decision-making that seems easy beforehand becomes very difficult when you see your ability to eat and pay rent jeopardized by going out on strike. Do I have the strength to uphold my ideals and walk? Or would I chicken out like a gutless coward?

            Everyone faces moments of self-doubt in their lives and on the eve of a strike, you face them squarely. It takes guts to be out on that picket line. Instead of using them as props we should be seeing them as fellow Americans engaged in the same struggle we're all about to join, like it or not. They're not out there to see whether Obama or Edwards will be the first out with a statement of support. They're out there to protect what they've got and ensure that they and their families will have something for the future.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 09:06:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  striking (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm a little disappointed that there isn't more talk about the other workers on strike right now.  It's always made me wonder why the media boils a strike down to $ when few strikes are really about cash.  When my dad went on strike, it was about job security and trying to keep the forge in Ohio.  It didn't work, it closed up and then there was a convenient fire in the office with the records.  After 20 years on the job, my dad's pension went from close to $100k in benefits to a settlement of $8,000.  Sucks, huh?  If the shop had stayed open, he probably wouldn't still be a tool and die maker today, at 64.

            •  In Youngstown? (0+ / 0-)

              The media rarely if ever covers these events.

              And I hate to even think what strike pay is like for someone working a UFCW job or the like.

              I think that it's unfortunate that there isn't a formal foundation to which individuals can donate to support the families of strikers.  This is one place where I think that the union movement has as yet to take full advantage of the internet.  

              Historically, solidarity of this type was very, very effective.  I also think that it could help change the bullshit media narrative that's out there right now if it was clear that hundreds of thousands of Americans are ready and willing to open their hearts and wallets to the men and women walking the line.

              In Spain, the socialist party and trade union UGT (General Worker's Union) have had casas del pueblo (people's houses) where the union and party have taken on this tremendous social significance because social benefits and education where conducted there.  There's a differing political structure here, but I tihnk that the idea could be imported to some degree in larger cities.

  •  The "Liberal Media" Always Sides With Corporate.. (6+ / 0-)

    ....America.  Anyone remember the New York transit strike two years ago?  Every indication suggests this UAW will go the same way, as evidenced by the link you provided.

  •  making sure we have a strong industrial sector is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich, farleftcoast, BobOak, Migeru

    the primary goal.

    THE UAW ought to be supported in its strike.

    Open your wallets Kossacks!

    My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

    by Salo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:48:09 PM PDT

  •  idea (4+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure if this would adversely affect the UAW so I didn't do any diary on it...but what if we organized a boycott of buying any GM product or stock until they give in to the UAW demands?

    I missed the comments where "Progressives" are somehow trying to blame workers for massive labor arbitrage by executives who line their pockets with blood money, but I'm not seems the phrase there for the grace of God go I is an unfathomable concept all too often, on here it's frighteningly too abstract for some.

    by BobOak on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:48:54 PM PDT

    •  Equally some people said that buying toyotas is t (5+ / 0-)

      o blame.

      Really it is the government's fault in offloading responsibity for healthcare on a car manufacturer.  GM should make cares not insurance packages.

      What we really need is for all the unions to come together to ensure every citizen has access to a National Health Service or Universal Healthcare Plan. And maybe some of the CEOs of these companies should  wake up and realize they don't need block UHC.

      My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

      by Salo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:52:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's crap (3+ / 0-)

        GM has been screwing over workers since the 80's and then they turn around and Ford especially is guilty of this, pushing bad car designs and ignoring innovation.  They outsource so much design frankly I don't know how the damn thing even works when you press on the gas.

        by BobOak on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:54:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is because American car companies (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackGriffen, dkmich

          are not really building cars. They are roped into benefits packages that Germany and Japan don't need to deal with Becuase the state takes care of citizen's healthcare.

          This leads to a screwy business model.

          My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

          by Salo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:59:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm sorry I don't buy that at all and the evidence is from the overall pattern, plus you cannot blame incredibly poor corporate management on "health care" that's ridiculous.  


            by BobOak on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:00:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we'll see. (0+ / 0-)

              My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

              by Salo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:02:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is possible to walk and chew gum at the same (0+ / 0-)

              time.  Yes, GM has made some bad management decisions. Yes, GM is grossing out CEO paychecks while cutting worker benefits. Yes, GM has been lax, in the past, with quality control.  But, there is no doubt that American based operations are at a distinct global disadvantage when it comes to having to pay for the cost of health care when operations in other countries (imports) are free of this cost.   Salo's point is valid.

              No justice, no peace.

              by dkmich on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 02:26:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  adsf (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                what that is in your classic Sen. Ron Wyden sort of rhetoric to continue pushing bad trade deals, offshore outsourcing and insourcing by claiming it's just healthcare.  Healthcare simply does not add up to the overall cost savings that result when one hunts the globe for cheap slave labor...which is why the UAW is not striking on health care...the real profit margins are in moving the jobs to a low wage country and health care costs or savings don't come close to making up the difference in those profit margins.


                by BobOak on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 11:54:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course, not just health care. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  China is $9.00 a month; and if they piss the boss off, I think he gets to hit them, too.

                  No justice, no peace.

                  by dkmich on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 01:43:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  exactly (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the reason I sounded "kind of" harsh is I've been hearing this kind of cop out from a series of DLC Dems....claiming oh we just need health care reform and all of this "flat world" mentality is "all good"...

                    and the UAW itself released press statements that the real issue is those jobs being shipped offshore.


                    by BobOak on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 09:35:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  You can blame anything on anything (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So long as it advances your agenda. Salo demonstrates (s)he is far more concerned with UHC than with either the well-being of the UAW or GM.

              "Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect, because the people are too damn dumb to know the difference." - Harry Hopkins

              by jqmilktoast on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:17:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know Bob, (9+ / 0-)

      I think that's a given.

      there for the grace of God go I  

      Did I say that to you, because I say that a lot.

      Right now I'm intensely irritated that there's dueling diaries trying to turn this situation into how to hold on high the glory that is Barack Obama rather than focusing on how this came about and what can be done to help.

      I extremely disppointed to see that Elise has decided to turn this into a pissig mach for here candidate, but there's a large part of this community that just doesn't fucking get it. I read Elise diary, and I have to say this, it isn't the time or the place.  She should be ashamed, there are 73,000 men and women trying to figure out how they're going to keep their kids feed and clothed.  And instead of focusing on that, she's used them as props.  

      And as the brother in law, son, and uncle of those props, I'm just pissed beyond fucking belief.

      Tom should never have included anything about John Edwards in his piece, but this shit on the recommnded list is simply disgusting.  We aren't goddman props for some campaign.  I'm so fucking disgusted right now.

      •  well (3+ / 0-)

        I didn't know this is one of "your phrases to live by" so perhaps we have more in fellowship than just being concerned for the US economically and for working America.  ;)

        I feel your disgust.  I've been blowing a rod over various problems like this where any sort of real analysis or even understanding the issues is spammed to oblivion...

        That said, having a stronger political presence, those who are outright labor to those who align with labor and basically Progressive/Populist economics....getting that solidified into a real support movement instead of (and I agree, that is ridiculous!) what you're witnessing is a very good question!  I've been playing around with a lot of web 2.0 technologies and if every individual puts together a blog, it does really add up in creating it's own "subnet" of readers, awareness and support.

        But on here, I'd let those diaries ring themselves out...just blow over.

        My question is are their UAW or union bloggers and absolutely there should be an alert mailing list so people can support each other's diaries on these topics...then one can individual write a story, staged, so one in the morning, one afternoon, one evening and so forth and try to hit a window where you might get recommended and people really reading what this is about.  Another way is to get a front pager to write what this strike is really about and how it is important to all of working America.

        by BobOak on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:25:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MissLaura (6+ / 0-)

          Another way is to get a front pager to write what this strike is really about and how it is important to all of working America.

          I'm just irritated, because I know how much this is going to affect my sister's family. This could last for months, and if if does they'll probably lose their house.  My nephew and niece are 12 and 11.  Their future's at stake, and people are turning them into props for their candidate instead of asking how to help.

          I should just go to sleep now.

          •  you're not alone (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackGriffen, uscitizenvoter

            this is why I blow a rod, people are losing their whole careers, going bankrupt, poverty, serious problems and I get "oh you're a racist xenophobe" when posting on various techniques to global labor arbitrage and it's probably a good thing Im on the blogs because there are days and I want to reach through the computer screen and plain sock some of 'em.  They have no concept, NONE, on what it's like to lose your jobs, career, ability to pay your bills, buy food, even to the point one is homeless and that's their response.  

            Miss Laura seems to specialize in labor, surely she'll be hitting this hard.


            by BobOak on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:53:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Extremely disappointed is very generous. (0+ / 0-)

        Have you been to Buhdy's blog? It has quite a number of people participating, and it is much more liberal and open minded than many of the people here.  

        No justice, no peace.

        by dkmich on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 02:34:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this (4+ / 0-)

    Although I am not currently in a union, I grew up in a union household and stand in solidarity with my working brothers and sisters in the UAW!!

    •  Solidarity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, BobOak, uscitizenvoter

      Coming from the Detroit area, my father and my extended family has strong ties to the UAW and the auto industry.  It breaks my heart to see "progressives" blaming the unions for the demise of the American auto industry.  The real culprit are government trade policies which reward companies which offshore their operations and move jobs overseas, along with the auto industry CEO's who refused to market cars that the American public were interested in buying.

      If you had a UAW production line worker designing automotive prototypes, then we could maybe blame the union.  But we need to stand by the UAW in this fight, for it is for all American workers, and the middle class survival in this country.


      •  If so-called "progressives" are blaming (0+ / 0-)

        unions for killing American industry they aren't really progressives . . . they're morons.

        "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

        by rrheard on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:30:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  good strike info from Detroit paper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich, BobOak

    Here is the front page of the Detroit News.  There is a gallery of picture of the strike action which conveys the passion of the strikers:

  •  It Is Time For All OF America To Go On Strike... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich, BobOak, Migeru

    Hey, fellow Progressives--

    As you might have noticed around the blogosphere,  a very simple movement has started-- stay home on October 17th:

    Just call in sick, take a day of leave, a personal day-- whatever it takes-- just be absent and not working-- STAY HOME.

    For some, it is a very salutable sacrifice of a day's wage, for many, it's a paid day off. This is a Mass Movement in the making. There are plenty of good Americans who have done an awful lot to help bring this Country back to its senses, and many others who have done very little. In this action (inaction?) we are asking those who would do the least, to do exactly the least-- stay home and do nothing. We feel that it is the least that they could do, and in this case-- we support that 100%. If some folks want to extend the Strike Period, we will certainly give extra credit, and support them!

    What we are asking is very simple. There is no need to make a sign; no need to get on a bus and go anywhere; no travel costs; no confrontations or arrests... Just stay home with your family/pets/friends. Personally, we'd love for the Teamsters to park their trucks in the roads to encourage participation on the prescribed day-- we've written letters to National and several Locals, but there "official" participation is yet to be known. We've written quite a few Unions and groups to encourage participation. We're preparing for a spot on the Head-To-Head Radio (internet) Network. We don't want money. We don't give it either.

    We hope that you might mention this idea in your diary and/or blog; and if you, or someone that you know would like to become a contributor/writer, please just let me know, and I'll add you/them to the permissions list, and send the keys. The more, the better actually. This is a community thing-- a nationwide community thing.

    We Americans have tried everything else on the "appetizers" menu of Civil Protest, We hope that this action (inaction?), the First Course Entree on the Menu, will wake them up. If not this one, then the next one... and the next.

    The link to the SHUT IT DOWN 17OCT2007 blog is:

    All writings, graphics and codes are completely in the Public Domain, and we encourage circulation. Heck, send a "bumper sticker" slogan to fit above the date, and I'll customize to your Local needs.

    OK. This is getting long, and you're a busy person. I bid you Peace, and thanks in advance.

    Sincerely yours,


    Current Draft Code:

    by monkeyfister on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 09:58:42 PM PDT

  •  After watching this story on TV for 2 days (0+ / 0-)

    I was shocked to read that the reason for the UAW walkout was SECURING THEIR JOBS FROM GOING OFFSHORE.

    Why isn't that secret allowed to get out?

    They aren't asking for healthcare, salary, doubletime overtime, or 3-week vacations.

    They want a contract that protects their jobs in the United States.

    So, they deserve to die in Hell?

    News people are traitors.

  •  I'm Don't Agree With The Title and What's A VEBA? (0+ / 0-)

    Actually I know what a VEBA is, but acronyms should always be introduced so people don't have to go out on the Internet looking for them and get all upset and spill their cereal.

    Mainly the diarist is showing good sense. BECAUSE it's not described in those terms, we should understand that this is make-or-break for the union.

    Either they take some control at GM or they lose. They're going to lose a lot anyway - healthcare benefits are finished. And they will have to bet on a company that has shrunk enormously. That's not good.

    But they can gain control and possibly give a kickstart to the Universal Healthcare agenda.

  •  I wish GM would build a car I could buy (0+ / 0-)

    I certainly side with the unions in that labor needs to have a strong voice and presence, which will only provide the balance that keeps their company alive.  What the union is falling down on is demanding GM produce cars that Americans will buy.  Case in point: I did extensive comparisons when shopping for my last car. I bought a Honda Fit.  No American company manufactures a car FOR SALE IN THE US that can compare to the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris or Scion Xa.  The Avero (closest competitor, by Ford, I believe) is less safe, worse mileage, smaller cargo, longer length-- every criteria point is worse.  

    If you want a big truck, then GM's your company.  The workers should be pushing GM to manufacture cars that Americans want to buy.

  •  UAW Strike on Job Security (0+ / 0-)

    Any thought to unionizing the Mexican auto workers.
    The big multinationals are determined to break the unions and take jobs away to other countries.  Unions must become multinational to compete.  There should be a UAW Mexico, Brazil, Argentina etc, there should be unions for service workers, unions for IT workers, unions for telecom workers, union in India and China.  Globalization shouldn't just work one way for big companies.

    Concerned Canadian who realizes that we are all in this together.

    by tialuv on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 05:09:15 AM PDT

    •  Union law has followed corporate law at a glacial (0+ / 0-)


      However, the importance of international solidarity has not been lost on the UAW.

      The UAW convoked a conference of labor unionists from a number of countries. There are also more articles in this issue of Solidarity.

      "My biggest fear is that if we don’t do something to develop a global strategy, then workers around the world will become less and less relevant to the process," said UAW Vice President Terry Thurman, who directs the union’s National Organizing Department and led the May 22-24 meeting.

      "What do we hope to accomplish? It’s really quite simple. We must take direct action, finalize a joint strategy and understand that we cannot take care of our workers without bringing up the rest of the world. We have got to do this," Thurman said.

      Hosted by the UAW and the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center, this historic meeting was the first time international trade unions from eight countries, including the United States, had gathered at Solidarity House, the union’s headquarters in Detroit, to focus on coordinated organizing strategies.

      Unionists from Argentina, Brazil, France, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom participated. (Lekubu Herman Ntlatleng, auto coordinator for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, did not attend due to illness.)

      Our brothers in the Steelworker's have penned an agreement with two British unions Amicus and the Transport and General Workers (T&G) to coordinate globally.

      One of the firefighter's unions here in the US is working with a British counterpart as well.

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