Autoworkers organized in the UAW (United Auto Workers) rejected a proposal from the union to make new concessions to benefit the company. The union was preparing a new surrender, after having sealed an historic betrayal in March. With that agreement, which meant layoffs, wage cuts, the elimination of bonuses and gains, the “Big Three,” (General Motors, Chrysler and Ford) agreed to the Obama administration’ s bailout. Ford, that was the only one not to have gone bankrupt, was now asking the workers for a new sacrifice (“social peace” until 2015 and freezing the wages of the newest employees), but the workers said NO.
It is the first time in decades that UAW rank and file workers have contradicted the “advice” of the bureaucracy, which, it goes without saying, always gives advice favoring the employers, who never tire of thanking them for their good services.
With this agreement, Ford was trying to make conditions the same as those at General Motors and Chrysler, where the bosses, with the bureaucracy’ s collaboration, managed to impose a similar agreement.
One more reason for the workers’ anger is the fact that at the same time the bosses were asking the workers to tighten their belts again, Ford announced one billion dollars in profits, way above last year’s $161,000,000 in losses. Once again, Ford is trying to make workers the ones who pay the consequences of the crisis, while the big companies are recovering and increasing their millions in profits. This new giveback by the UAW bureaucracy shows that only the workers, organized democratically, and with their own struggle, will be able to force the capitalists to pay for the crisis.