Wyoming, MI – On day 20 of their strike, workers waved “UAW on strike!” signs as they walked back and forth, October 5. Six groups of determined United Auto Workers of Local 167 stood outside and blocked entrances at the enormous General Motors (GM) plant in Wyoming, a working-class Michigan town. A total of 46,000 union strikers are out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across the United States. GM is losing millions of dollars while negotiations with the UAW continue.
San José, CA – On Monday, November 26, General Motors announced that it was cutting 15,000 jobs. Their plans include closing five auto and auto parts plants in the United States and Canada. Wall Street liked the news, and GM’s stock rose almost 5%, three times as much as the broader stock market. But for thousands of GM workers, the holidays suddenly became much bleaker.
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.
Detroit, MI – More than 600 rank-and-file auto workers demonstrated here, Jan. 8, to protest attacks on working people by Delphi and General Motors. The Delphi Corporation, which makes GM auto parts, wants to use bankruptcy proceedings to make huge cuts to wages, benefits and pensions.