The Bankruptcy of Detroit
No to privatization, job cuts and concessions!
By Jerry White, 29 July 2014
The following statement is being distributed to Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers who are voting on the city’s contract proposal today.
By Tom Hall and Jerry White, 28 July 2014
Like the emergency manager, the unelected Plan Monitor will be solely accountable to powerful financial interests.
By David Brown, 25 July 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and the Detroit Workers Committee held a rally at the water department’s central facility even as city officials continued shutoffs despite the so-called 15-day “pause.”
Dan Gilbert’s “New Detroit”
By Zac Corrigan, 24 July 2014
Dan Gilbert wants to exclude those who don't fit in with the upscale design of his “New Detroit.”
By Jerry White, 23 July 2014
More than half of the city workers and retirees eligible to take part in the bankruptcy court’s ballot on the plan of adjustment refused to vote.
By Jerry White, 22 July 2014
The temporary suspension of shutoffs is a public relations move as the city prepares to escalate a brutal policy that has left thousands without water.
By James Brewer, 22 July 2014
In this video, Detroit residents speak out against water shutoffs at a bill payment center and rally against water shutoffs.
“We are not living in a democratic society”
By our reporters, 21 July 2014
The shut off of water to tens of thousands of Detroit residents has provoked widespread anger and opposition throughout the city and beyond.
By our reporters, 19 July 2014
The Democratic Party and associated organizations called the rally in an attempt to derail widespread popular opposition to the shutoff of water in Detroit.
By our reporters, 18 July 2014
City workers, retirees and students participated in a rally Thursday against water shutoffs called by the Socialist Equality Party.
By Jerry White, 18 July 2014
The city’s unelected emergency manager Kevyn Orr has declared his full support for mass water shutoffs.
By Jake Dean, 17 July 2014
A profile of the corporate executives who sit on the seven-member Board of Water Commissioners in Detroit.
By David Walsh, 17 July 2014
The DIA has received pledges of another $26.8 million in donations from various major corporations and banks toward its goal of raising $100 million as part of the so-called “Grand Bargain.”
By Jerry White, 16 July 2014
In a degrading farce, US Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted a mere five minutes each for Detroit residents to beg him not to slash city workers’ retirement benefits or shut off water to tens of thousands.
By our reporters, 16 July 2014
Retired city workers spoke with the WSWS outside the federal courthouse in Detroit Tuesday.
By Jake Dean, 15 July 2014
A Detroit-area teacher said, “To shut off water and give no alternative to these people, the whole world should be appalled.”
By Lawrence Porter—Chairman of the Detroit Workers Committee, 15 July 2014
Up to 150,000 households—behind on their bills by as little as two months, or $150—have been targeted for water shutoffs.
By our reporters, 14 July 2014
“They treat people like animals in Detroit,” a worker said. “In here it’s the same; you’re like a robot.”
By David Walsh, 12 July 2014
A leading New York art advisory firm issued a report July 8 on the value of the collection at the DIA and the feasibility of a sale of that artwork, as well as its effect on the art market.
“Not one child should go without water”
By our reporters, 12 July 2014
Detroit's Water and Sewerage Department announced it would press ahead with plans to shut off water for commercial properties and residents.
By Thomas Gaist, 11 July 2014
The overall US maternal death rate has risen sharply during the past two decades even as the global average has fallen.
By David Brown, 11 July 2014
A group of workers, retirees and students attended a meeting of the Detroit Workers Committee (DWC) Thursday at Wayne State University to organize a fight against the ongoing plans by the city to shut off water to thousands of households.
“It is inhumane”
By a WSWS reporting team, 10 July 2014
Thousands more Detroit families had their water shut off this week as part of the city administration’s plan to cut service to 150,000 households who are overdue on their water bills.
By Tim Rivers, 9 July 2014
World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Detroit residents as they waited in line at water payment centers, doing their best to get running water turned back on to their homes.
”I take my elderly aunt four buckets of water a day”
By Muhammad Khan and Shannon Jones, 7 July 2014
The city of Detroit is racing ahead with its plans to shut off water to some 150,000 families who cannot afford to pay their water bills.
“We are talking about kids who are going to be affected, and the elderly”
By Khara Sikhan and Zac Corrigan, 2 July 2014
The city’s drive to shut off water service to three thousand households every week is in full swing, spelling catastrophe for the approximately 150,000 Detroit households with overdue water bills.
By Walter Gilberti, 2 July 2014
Over the past two decades, Michigan has become “ground zero” for the spread of for-profit charter schools.
By Thomas Gaist, 1 July 2014
The move confirmed the full support of the union for the Plan of Adjustment, which includes large cuts to pensions and retiree health care benefits.
By Shannon Jones, 30 June 2014
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is backing a brutal shutoff policy aimed at residents who are behind in their water bills.
By Patrick Martin, 27 June 2014
A UN agency has issued a statement condemning the city’s decision to cut off water service to tens of thousands of poor and unemployed.
By Shannon Jones and Debra Watson, 19 June 2014
The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with two retired Detroit bus mechanics about the upcoming vote on the Plan of Adjustment proposed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
By Jerry White, 18 June 2014
After agreeing to concessions contracts for active city workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called on retirees to approve the Plan of Adjustment submitted by Detroit’s emergency manager.
By Jerry White, 17 June 2014
Nearly 5,000 retired Detroit city workers will be forced to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in earnings from their annuity savings accounts.
By Larry Porter and Jerry White, 12 June 2014
An announcement that the Big Three automakers are contributing a paltry sum to the so-called Grand Bargain was used to demand that retirees support the plan to gut their benefits.
By Muhammad Khan, 12 June 2014
Despite reassurances from school officials, the deficit elimination plan submitted to the state threatens the closure of 26 more schools.
By Thomas Gaist, 7 June 2014
Two years before the announcement of its closure, CFA was privatized and turned over to a company that runs schools in youth detention facilities on a for-profit basis.
By Shannon Jones, 6 June 2014
Following the pattern of previous retiree meetings, organizers presented an ultimatum—accept the drastic cuts contained in the plan of adjustment or face far worse.
By James Brewer, 5 June 2014
The legislation includes a financial oversight panel that will extend the bankers’ dictatorship over Detroit for at least another 13 years.
By Thomas Gaist, 4 June 2014
Efforts to sell the art collection outright continue despite the much-touted “Grand Bargain”
By Thomas Gaist, 2 June 2014
Kevyn Orr used his remarks at an elite policy conference to warn retirees of severe consequences if the Plan of Adjustment is voted down.
By James Brewer, 31 May 2014
The battle over control of Detroit’s water system between state and local governmental agencies is far from resolved.
By Debra Watson, 30 May 2014
Nearly one in three pregnancies in the city of Detroit end in abortion, a rate that has been increasing steadily since 2001.
By Thomas Gaist, 29 May 2014
Such a vast destruction of housing is historically unprecedented outside of conditions produced by war or natural disaster.
By Tim Rivers, 24 May 2014
In this video, Detroit city retirees speak out against Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s drive to slash their pensions and medical benefits.
By Jerry White, 23 May 2014
Widespread anger over cuts to pensions and health care benefits erupted at two meetings attended by hundreds of retired Detroit city workers Wednesday.
“They are setting up a culture for a revolution”
By our reporters, 23 May 2014
Detroit retirees spoke out against the Plan of Adjustment outside of meetings Wednesday.
By the Socialist Equality Party, 21 May 2014
In this statement, the SEP clarifies its position on a vote currently being carried out on a plan of adjustment submitted by Detroit’s emergency manager.
“More Detroits are on their way”
By Thomas Gaist, 21 May 2014
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Ravitch called for federal measures forcing states to slash pension and health care spending.
Mobilize the working class to end the bankers’ rule in Detroit
By the Socialist Equality Party, 15 May 2014
The following statement calls on Detroit city workers to reject the court-approved restructuring plan that will decimate jobs, pensions and health care and pave the way for the privatization of city services.
By Muhammad Khan, 14 May 2014
The head of the state education authority for “failing” schools used official credit cards for personal expenses.
By Thomas Gaist, 13 May 2014
Firefighters described the cuts as “nothing short of devastating.”
By Thomas Gaist, 10 May 2014
The legislation would effectively extend the state of financial dictatorship which began with the arrival of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr into the indefinite future.
By Lawrence Porter and Thomas Gaist, 9 May 2014
This interview with disabled master plumber Steve Paraski, is the third in a series of interviews the WSWS has conducted with Detroit city retirees.
By Jerry White, 8 May 2014
All the major political actors—the courts, the two big business parties, the corporate-controlled news media and the trade unions—have taken sides against the working class.
By Thomas Gaist, 7 May 2014
The Plan of Adjustment approved by Judge Rhodes Monday contains major cuts to pensions, eviscerates retiree health care and paves the way for a fire sale of the city’s water system and electrical grid.
By Thomas Gaist, 6 May 2014
The privatization of garbage collection is only the latest step in the ongoing restructuring of every aspect of the city’s economy in accordance with the interests of the corporate-financial elite.
By Thomas Gaist, 2 May 2014
This week saw sustained efforts by the unions, aided by the middle class “left,” to cover up their collusion in the looting of pensions and public assets in Detroit.
By Lawrence Porter and Thomas Gaist, 30 April 2014
The number of residents living in poverty in Oakland County, Michigan grew by 77 percent between 2005 and 2012.
By Lawrence Porter and Thomas Gaist, 30 April 2014
Ziraldo authored a report finding that fifty-eight percent of those living below the poverty line in the Metro Detroit Area now live in the suburbs.
By Jerry White, 29 April 2014
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) signed a deal to support a restructuring plan that will impose savage cuts in city worker jobs, pensions and health benefits.
By Thomas Gaist, 26 April 2014
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew made a two-day visit to Detroit this week, reaffirming the Obama Administration’s support for the drive by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to use the city’s bankruptcy to slash workers’ pensions and sell off city assets.
By Andre Damon, 25 April 2014
The Detroit bankruptcy is setting the precedent for the destruction of workers’ pension benefits throughout the US in both the public and private sectors.
By Thomas Gaist, 25 April 2014
This week saw leading Detroit publications call for the further dismantling of democratic norms in order to impose the dictates of the corporations and banks.
By WSWS reporting team, 25 April 2014
The event held near Wayne State University drew students, Detroit city workers, retirees and other workers
“They want us to look somewhere else for the source of our problems, when they are robbing us right here”
By our reporters, 25 April 2014
Workers and WSWS readers from more than 50 countries have signed up at internationalmayday.org to attend the May 4 International May Day Online Rally.
23 April 2014
A detailed exposure of a social crime: the decision to use the courts to impose unprecedented attacks on the Detroit working class.
By Thomas Gaist, 23 April 2014
Detroit workers condemn the city’s policy of shutting off water to those behind in payments.
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit’s creditors, the investment bankers, the unions, academia and identity politics
By David Walsh, 22 April 2014
A group of Detroit’s creditors has been dangling the DIA’s irreplaceable artwork in front of various hedge funds, private equity firms, billionaire collectors and auction houses.
By Shannon Jones and Thomas Gaist, 21 April 2014
Detroit workers and youth denounced water shutoffs and social conditions in the city.
By Thomas Gaist, 19 April 2014
Detroit workers expressed deep hostility and skepticism towards pension and other cuts that are part of the bankruptcy restructuring plans.
By Jerry White, 17 April 2014
All the principal political actors are being lined up in Detroit to browbeat workers over the next several weeks into accepting a bankruptcy restructuring plan, which contains sweeping attacks on the working class.
17 April 2014
The Detroit Workers Inquiry and the Socialist Equality Party are holding a public meeting April 23 to mobilize the working class against mass water shutoffs in the city of Detroit.
By Jerry White, 16 April 2014
The retiree association representing 6,500 former policemen and firefighters has reached an agreement with the city on pension and health care cuts.
By WSWS correspondents, 16 April 2014
Retired Detroit city worker Mushak Meah explained to World Socialist Web Site reporters the devastating impact the cuts were having on his life
By Workers Inquiry Chairman Lawrence Porter, 15 April 2014
The event was not intended as a genuine mobilization of the working class. It was organized to support the unions and the Democratic Party.
By Lawrence Porter, 15 April 2014
Lawrence Porter, chairman of the Workers Inquiry, spoke to protesters, consisting overwhelmingly of retirees, demonstrating April 1 against the draconian bankruptcy proposals of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
By our reporter, 14 April 2014
Campaign teams visited several locations in the Detroit area over the past several days.
By Shannon Jones, 12 April 2014
UBS and Bank of America are being paid to unwind illegal swap deals that have already cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars.
By David Walsh, 12 April 2014
Major Detroit creditors filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court calling on the court to order the city to cooperate with investor groups interested in purchasing some or all of the DIA’s collection.
As savage cuts to pensions and benefits loom
By representatives of the Detroit Workers’ Inquiry, 11 April 2014
Retirees spoke to the Workers’ Inquiry about the attack on pensions, skyrocketing health care costs and the economic decimation of Detroit.
By Thomas Gaist, 10 April 2014
The offer is a huge increase from the 15 cents on the dollar previously proposed.
9 April 2014
This is the first of several interviews conducted by the World Socialist Web Site with retired Detroit city workers who are facing deep pension and health care cuts.
By Thomas Gaist, 8 April 2014
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is lining up private firms for what could become the largest water utility privatization in US history.
By Thomas Gaist at the Federal Court, 4 April 2014
The payment would terminate the “swaps deal,” which has already cost the city hundreds of millions
By Thomas Gaist, 3 April 2014
The new Plan of Adjustment includes larger cuts to firefighter and police pensions.
By WSWS reporters, 1 April 2014
Last week, the city of Detroit announced an aggressive campaign of water shutoffs targeting some 150,000 residents who are behind on their payments.
By Joseph Kishore, 29 March 2014
The plan to shut off running water to tens of thousands of Detroit households is the latest step in a deliberate policy of mass impoverishment in the United States.
By Shannon Jones, 29 March 2014
In a unanimous vote, a group of Detroit workers, students and retirees endorsed a resolution condemning plans by the city to cut off residents who are behind in their water bills
Utilities are a basic social right!
By Lawrence Porter, 28 March 2014
Larry Porter, SEP assistant national secretary and chairman of the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit, denounced the decision by city officials to shut off water service to tens of thousands of poor residents who are late on their water bills.
By Thomas Gaist, 27 March 2014
In an editorial, the News showered contempt on the more than 100,000 Detroit families who are behind on their water bills, denouncing them as “scofflaws”
Kevyn Orr justifies pension cuts, attack on DIA
By Shannon Jones, 26 March 2014
The appearance of Kevyn Orr Tuesday at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was an exercise in cynicism and deceit.
By Thomas Gaist, 25 March 2014
The merger was unknown to the public until it was reported in the press, indicating that the hospitals’ management preferred to keep the deal under wraps as long as possible.
By International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 25 March 2014
The following leaflet was distributed at the March 25 appearance of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr at the University of Michigan.
As retired city workers are forced onto private exchanges
By Lawrence Porter, 24 March 2014
Several hundred workers, retirees and unemployed workers attended a publicly sponsored health care exposition at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit last Wednesday.
By Thomas Gaist, 22 March 2014
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is launching an aggressive campaign to shut off between 1,500 and 3,000 customers per week.
By our reporter, 21 March 2014
The event, sponsored by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, drew a diverse and attentive audience.
“The city wants to never have to fund pensions again”
By Thomas Gaist, 20 March 2014
The WSWS spoke with attorney Carole Neville about the historic cuts to pensions and health benefits contained in the plan of adjustment
By Thomas Gaist, 19 March 2014
The deal represents yet another huge giveaway to billionaire Mike Ilitch.
By Thomas Gaist, 18 March 2014
Retired Detroit city workers are bracing for punishing blows to their pensions under the emergency manager’s Plan of Adjustment.
As retiree letters flood the bankruptcy court…
By Thomas Gaist, 17 March 2014
Taking into account the end of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), non-uniformed city worker pensions will be cut by 47 percent.