Workers who make underbodies for the Mustang pulled off a mini-strike and work-to-rule last Friday. These are the sorts of wildcat actions that were frequent in the United Auto Workers’ early days—and a lot faster than the “obey now, grieve later, wait months for a solution” grievance procedure.
When the Alliance for Retired Americans rallied at an Orlando Social Security office November 8, workers came out, spoke to the crowd, and said they would put up “Don’t Cut My Social Security” signs in their cubicles.
Social Security unionists see threats to the program from the inside, in some ways more subtle than benefit cuts, but just as insidious over the long run.
Clerical workers at United Auto Workers headquarters in Detroit are protesting layoffs that will take effect Friday. They picketed this month carrying signs that read “What about shared sacrifice?” and “Justice for ALL workers.”
Workers at General Motors’ Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, have won the right to wear T-shirts that call their factory a "penitentiary." GM backed down and reversed the suspensions of workers disciplined for wearing the shirts.
Ford workers ratified a new contract by 63 percent in mid-October. Though it was rich in up-front money, UAW reformers campaigned against the deal because it provides no bridge to first-tier wages for second-tier workers. First-tier wages are frozen for four more years and the hefty-looking bonuses will not come close to recovering losses from years of concessions.
Early results of voting on the new Ford-United Auto Workers contract give an edge to opponents of the agreement. Reformers in the union are organizing to get the 41,000 Ford workers to again vote “no” on their national contract, as they did in October 2009.