San José, CA – After the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, headquartered in the city of Santa Clara, just north of San José, the local news was full of interviews with technology entrepreneurs talking about the “importance to the community” to have all of the uninsured depositors get their money back. With the closing of Signature Bank in New York, which had large numbers of crypto-investment related depositors, over the weekend, federal regulators tried and failed to find buyers for the two banks. This made these two banks the biggest ever – with about $200 and $100 billion in deposits, respectively – to have to shut down.
In the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s autoworkers organized into the United Auto Workers (UAW) through a wave of sit-down strikes and pitched battles with local police and company goons. For almost two generations autoworkers defined what a good job was: relatively high wages, health and retirement benefits and protection against unemployment. Unionized autoworkers set the pace for other workers to improve their standard of living in the years after World War II. But over the last 30 years, the concessions and give-backs by the leadership of the UAW have frittered away these gains. Plant closings and outsourcing have slashed the number of unionized autoworkers from almost 400,000 to less than 60,000 today.
Fight Back! interviewed Gregg Shotwell, a worker from the Delphi auto parts plant in Coopersville, Michigan, and a founder of Soldiers of Solidarity, an organization of rank-and-file members of the United Auto Workers (UAW). This interview deals with a number of critical issues, including the role of the UAW leadership and the need for a united resistance on the part rank and file workers.
When the House of Representatives bowed to popular anger and defeated the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout bill on Sept. 29, 2008, Wall Street was dealt a stunning defeat. The next day, the Senate took the same bill and loaded it up with $100 billion dollars of tax breaks (including one for makers of wooden arrows). The Senate passed the bill the next day, which went on to pass in the House on Oct. 3.