Chris Brooks

Auto Companies Announce Closure Following Outbreak of Wildcat Strikes

Update 2:00 p.m. EST, March 18: Following a number of wildcat strikes bubbling up in auto plants with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the Big Three automakers announced they will begin temporarily suspending production until at least March 30. Honda, a non-union company with several plants in North America, had already announced they were suspending production for a week at full pay.

Last week Ford mandated that most of its global white-collar workforce is to work from home indefinitely, starting yesterday. But the company is still requiring blue-collar workers to keep the assembly plants running. Ford workers are to come in even if they are in a high-risk group, such as having a respiratory disease or being older than 60.

Who Corrupted the Auto Union? Criminal Employers Did

GM strikers picketing on the road holding signs.

Officials in the Auto Workers (UAW) have been working arm in arm with the Big Three automakers since the 1980s to increase productivity. So perhaps it was inevitable that union officials’ hands would find their way into the employers’ deep pockets.

Now some UAW officials and corporate executives are behind bars. A federal investigation has revealed that Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) funneled millions of dollars into the UAW.

University of California Intimidating International Students to Defeat Wildcat Strike

University of California President Janet Napolitano proudly touted her opposition to Trump’s racist immigration policies before he even moved into the Oval Office. Now she’s following in Trump’s footsteps, threatening international students with actions that could lead to their deportation in an attempt to smash a wildcat strike at the university’s Santa Cruz campus.

United Auto Workers activists are making a push for a specially called national convention to amend the union’s constitution and mandate that its top positions be elected by a direct vote of the members.

So far six UAW locals have passed resolutions, including four that participated in the recent strike at General Motors—Locals 774 and 259 in New York, Local 1853 in Tennessee, Local 838 in Iowa, and Local 167 in Michigan—plus the National Writers Union, Local 1981. Together they represent an estimated 10,000 members.

As news broke yesterday that United Auto Workers President Gary Jones was resigning over allegations of corruption, questions arose whether Acting President Rory Gamble was also mired in the unsavory culture that has become a way of life in the upper reaches of the union.

UAW Official Demoted After Saying Locals That Voted Against Ford Agreement Should Lose Jobs

As voting on the Auto Workers’ agreement with Ford came to a close last week, a union official publicly expressed his contempt for locals that had voted against the pact.

Management should move production to locals that voted yes, wrote Michael Robison, an assistant director in the union’s National Ford Department.

“Everyone of them Locals should lose there product now and in the future. $1 Billion dollar investment in KTP [Kentucky Truck Plant] really. Ship Lima Engine to Dearborn Engine. Ship Chicago Assy’s work to Flat Rock,” Robison wrote Friday on Facebook.

UAW Just Agreed to Let Ford Use Technology to Monitor Assembly Workers

Ford logo

Somehow it was left out of the contract highlights the United Auto Workers prepared for members: the tentative new agreement with Ford will allow the company to use new technologies to take time-and-motion studies to a whole new level.

The new language falls under the heading of “production standards” and states that the union and company will choose “pilot locations” to use new technology tools such as “digital video recording and walk path mapping devices” as well as “motion tracking systems and additional productivity implementing tools.”

All General Motors Needs to Close an Auto Plant Is a Thesaurus

Today the United Auto Workers announced that it has dropped its legal effort to save three General Motors plants from closure. It’s sad evidence that even a union contract doesn’t guarantee job security for auto workers.

After a large number of plant closings in the 1980s, the UAW bargained contract language that prohibited automakers from closing plants during the life of the agreement.

So the companies began to “idle” plants instead.

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