Auto Workers Issues

GM autoworker: “They say ‘safety first’ but it’s really profit that’s first”

GM safety violations linked to cost-cutting attacks on workers

By Jerry White, 23 April 2014

From 2002 to 2012, GM cut its hourly workforce by 12 percent each year.

General Motors uses bankruptcy to deflect safety responsibility

By Matthew MacEgan, 23 April 2014

General Motors has filed a suit in federal court to enforce a bar on lawsuits resulting from defective cars sold prior to its bankruptcy in 2009.

As safety complaints mounted, GM avoided recalls that could cut into profits

By Jerry White, 22 April 2014

GM officials opted to issue “technical service bulletins” to car dealerships instead of removing potentially deadly vehicles from the road.

Judge denies suit seeking to force GM to ground recalled cars

By Shannon Jones, 19 April 2014

The cars have defective ignitions that have been tied to fatal crashes in which airbags failed to deploy.

Police attack locked-out Toyota workers in India

By Arun Kumar, Moses Rajkumar and Kranti Kumara, 11 April 2014

Toyota India workers engaged in hunger strike were brutally attacked by state police on April 6.

European automakers outsource production to eastern Europe and China

By Denis Krassnin and Dietmar Henning, 9 April 2014

European automakers are using outsourcing of production to cut jobs and drive down wages and working conditions in western Europe.

The GM ignition scandal and the case for public ownership

By Shannon Jones, 1 April 2014

Both corporate management and government regulators turned a blind eye for years to mounting reports of death and injury caused by a defective ignition system.

Toyota locks out auto workers in India

By Kranti Kumara, 24 March 2014

Japanese auto company Toyota has locked out its entire unionized workforce at its two plants in India.

Toyota pays $1.2 billion to escape prosecution for defect deaths and injuries

By James Cogan, 21 March 2014

The fine agreed by Toyota and the US Justice Department sets a precedent that can be used by General Motors.

SEP holds meeting to oppose Australian car industry shutdown

By our reporters, 18 March 2014

Speakers outlined the need for the global unity of workers, and a socialist perspective, to fight the worldwide assault by the auto giants.

Evidence mounts of cover-up of deaths related to GM ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 March 2014

A new study of crash data shows that 303 fatalities may be linked to an ignition problem with several GM models.

Germany: Workers protest Johnson Controls closure in Bochum

By Dietmar Henning, 8 March 2014

Johnson Controls plans to eliminate 220 of 660 jobs in Bochum when the neighbouring GM/Opel plant closes at the end of the year.

Ford Australia refuses to guarantee production until 2016

By Will Morrow, 8 March 2014

The threat of an imminent plant closure will be used to intimidate workers into accepting deeper attacks on wages and conditions.

Socialist Equality Party public meeting in Melbourne

A global political strategy to defend car industry jobs

6 March 2014

Working class suburbs in Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide face being deindustrialised and impoverished like American cities such as Detroit.

100 years since Ford’s five dollar day

By Tom Mackaman, 5 March 2014

Ford’s profit-sharing scheme was billed as the key to social harmony. Yet socialism and the Russian Revolution, coming just four years later, breathed a new spirit into the American class struggle.

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

By Jerry White, 27 February 2014

The rejection of the United Auto Workers union by workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.

GM’s job destruction and the South Korean pseudo-left

By Ben McGrath, 25 February 2014

In conditions of growing distrust and anger among workers, All Together is playing a filthy role as apologist and defender of the KCTU, KMWU and other trade unions.

Ford Cologne: Management and IG Metall union blackmail workers

By Dietmar Henning, 24 February 2014

After the closure of Ford plants in Genk, Southampton and Dagenham, now the plant in Cologne is under threat.

Socialist Equality Party campaigns against Toyota Australia shutdown

By our reporters, 22 February 2014

SEP campaigners met with a warm response from Toyota workers, many of whom bitterly denounced the union for its partnership with the company.

GM axes more auto jobs in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 20 February 2014

GM Korea plans to slash 1,100 jobs from its Gunsan factory, part of an overall assault on auto workers in Korea and internationally.

The UAW debacle in Tennessee

By Jerry White, 18 February 2014

The vote was a verdict on the UAW, which is correctly seen by workers as a tool of the auto companies.

Auto workers reject UAW at Tennessee VW plant

By Tom Eley and Jerry White, 17 February 2014

The vote at the Chattanooga VW plant is a debacle for the UAW, which had based its survival strategy on being invited into plants by corporations like Volkswagen.

Toyota registers record profit through ruthless restructuring

By John Watanabe, 14 February 2014

The restructuring of Toyota’s operations, within Japan and internationally, is aimed at driving down wages and increasing exploitation.

Australian car industry closure: A warning to workers internationally

By James Cogan, 13 February 2014

The situation facing car workers in Australia is a devastating historical verdict on all national programs and the profit system itself.

Australian Labor Party and unions posture over Toyota closure

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 February 2014

The previous Labor government presided over the axing of more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs between 2007 and 2013, including in the car industry.

Following Ford and GM, Toyota Australia announces end of car production

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 February 2014

Unless the working class takes up a fight in defence of jobs against the closures, the entire auto industry in Australia will be wiped out.

French automaker PSA plans to slash jobs at Poissy, shift production to Asia

By Stéphane Hugues, 11 February 2014

PSA is intensifying the exploitation of its work force, relying on speedup and job cuts in Europe while preparing a major production shift towards Asia.

Build rank-and-file committees to defend VW workers

Reject UAW-Volkswagen company union

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

11 February 2014

Workers have no interest in voting for recognition of the UAW, which functions as a pro-company police force in the auto plants.

Ford Australia brings forward 300 job cuts

By James Cogan, 7 February 2014

The unions have moved immediately to suppress any opposition by bitter Ford workers.

Lou Renfrow (1925-2014)

By Shannon Jones, 6 February 2014

Lou Renfrow played an important role in the party’s intervention among auto workers in Dayton, Ohio.

Australian government inquiry calls for end to car industry subsidies

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 February 2014

Decisive layers within the ruling elite have concluded that most of the industry is “globally uncompetitive” and should be allowed to collapse.

Australian government intervenes against Toyota workers

By Will Morrow, 30 January 2014

The government is presenting its insistence that workers vote on Toyota’s cost-cutting demands under the fraudulent guise of giving them the “right” to choose.

Australia: SEP campaigns among Toyota workers

By a reporting team, 24 January 2014

Socialist Equality Party supporters interviewed workers at Toyota’s Altona plant in Melbourne about the destruction of jobs and conditions.

Australia: Car components workers speak on auto industry shutdown

By our reporters, 21 January 2014

Workers in the car components sector have been under relentless assault since the 2008 financial crash and global restructuring of the auto industry.

“The government, courts and police are all stacked against us”—spokesman for victimized Maruti Suzuki India workers

By Deepal Jayasekera and Arun Kumar, 21 January 2014

Vicitimized Maruti Suzuki India worker Mahabir Dhimm spoke with the WSWS about the government-company frame-up of 148 of his co-workers and the speed-up and repressive regime at the Manesar assembly plant .

Germany: Daimler works council pits contract workers against permanent staff

By Philipp Frisch, 20 January 2014

The IG Metall union and the Daimler works council are cooperating with management to increase the proportion of poorly paid employees on a contracted tenure.

Australia: Broadmeadows workers speak on car industry crisis

By our reporters, 15 January 2014

Ford’s planned shutdown in 2016 will see nearly 1,000 jobs destroyed in Broadmeadows.

Socialist Alliance and the destruction of Australian car industry jobs

By James Cogan, 15 January 2014

A prominent Socialist Alliance member, Tim Gooden, is actively assisting the closure of the Ford plant in Geelong.

India’s “judiciary acts on the agenda of the capitalists”

—says lawyer for Maruti Suzuki workers facing frame-up murder charges

By Deepal Jayasekera and Arun Kumar, 8 January 2014

The lawyer leading the legal defence of the 148 Maruti Suzuki India workers facing frame-up charges of murder and other grave crimes recently spoke with the WSWS.

Fiat’s $4.35 billion payoff to UAW, Inc.

By Jerry White, 4 January 2014

The payoff to the UAW is being financed out of the sweat and blood of Chrysler workers, who have been subjected to savage wage cuts and speedup over the last four years.

India: Protest denounces frame-up of Maruti Suzuki auto workers

An on-the-spot report

By Jai Sharma and Arun Kumar, 31 December 2013

Victimized workers from Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant staged a two-day protest in Gurgaon, Haryana earlier this month to denounce the witch hunt that the company, police and Congress Party state government have jointly mounted against them.

German IG Metall union refuses to present agreement to GM-Opel workers

By Dietmar Henning, 28 December 2013

The contract recently agreed by GM-Opel and German IG Metall union has sealed the fate of the plant in Bochum.

Elizabeth, South Australia: A city devastated by General Motors Holden

By Zac Hambides, 27 December 2013

The plant closure will destroy the last 1,600 car manufacturing jobs and hit a working-class community already suffering from decades of job shedding.

Australian government inquiry blames wage levels for car plant closures

By James Cogan, 23 December 2013

The primary purpose of the Productivity Commission’s interim report is to endorse the clamour by corporations and media commentators for cuts to wages and conditions.

Australia’s auto closures pose need for a global workers’ strategy

By Mike Head, 20 December 2013

The ending of production in an entire country is a concentrated expression of the ongoing, ruthless restructuring of the global auto industry.

Australia: Adelaide workers discuss Holden shutdown

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 December 2013

SEP assistant national secretary James Cogan, addressing workers outside the Elizabeth Plant, called for a unified international struggle to defend jobs, wages and conditions.

Australian auto workers condemn Holden plant closure

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 December 2013

WSWS reporters spoke to workers at the General Motors Holden assembly plant in Elizabeth in South Australia, slated for closure in 2017.

India: Frame-up trial of Maruti Suzuki auto workers continues

By Kranti Kumara, 19 December 2013

One hundred forty-seven Maruti Suzuki workers who face a long list of frame-up charges, including murder, are to appear for their next court hearing Friday, December 20.

Australian unions stage phony protest against GMH shutdown

By Margaret Rees, 17 December 2013

The unions used the rally as a platform to offer their services to the government and employers to police further cost-cutting.

Australia: Toyota exploits GM shutdown to bolster wage-cutting drive

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 December 2013

The company is threatening to end production in Australia unless costs are slashed by $3,800 per vehicle.

The role of Labor and the unions in the assault on car industry workers in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 December 2013

The demagogy against Abbott over GM Holden’s closure is orchestrated, staged, cynical and fake.

Australia: Toyota foreshadows closure in wake of Holden announcement

By James Cogan, 12 December 2013

Toyota has issued its threat partly to pressure its workforce to accept a revised workplace agreement that will slash their pay and conditions.

GM announces closure of Holden in Australia

By James Cogan, 11 December 2013

The closure signals a massive escalation in the assault on the living standards and social rights of the working class across Australia.

Government sources claim GM will shut Holden subsidiary in Australia

By James Cogan, 9 December 2013

Holden’s closure will be the death knell of the Australian auto manufacturing industry.

UAW considers dues hike

By Shannon Jones, 7 December 2013

Facing declining membership and falling wages, the outcome of its repeated betrayals, the United Auto Workers is eyeing a 25 percent rise in membership dues.

German union seals shutdown of GM-Opel’s Bochum plant

By Dietmar Henning, 22 November 2013

IG Metall has reached a deal with GM-Opel management confirming the shutdown of the Bochum plant by the end of 2014.

Australian car workers strike over treatment of sacked colleagues

By Chris Sadlier and James Cogan, 16 November 2013

The strike at Port Melbourne testifies to the immense frustration and anger among car workers across the entire industry.

Chrysler workers speak on inquiry into Detroit bankruptcy

By a WSWS reporting team, 11 November 2013

Workers at the Chrysler Warren Truck Assembly Plant voiced support for the proposal for a workers inquiry in the bankruptcy of Detroit.

Secret report foreshadows closure of Australian car industry

By James Cogan, 8 November 2013

The report predicts the destruction of tens of thousands of jobs, leading to the impoverishment of major working class suburbs.

UAW bids to set up company union at Tennessee Volkswagen plant

By Jerry White, 5 November 2013

The UAW is relying on VW management to establish a “union” at the Chattanooga plant, which would be a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

Australian car workers confront plant closures, job losses

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 November 2013

General Motors is preparing to follow Ford in shutting down production, while Toyota announced new moves to slash labour costs.

Ford, Chrysler and GM rack up profits from wage-cutting

By Tim Rivers, 31 October 2013

Ford, Chrysler and GM reported a total of nearly $4 billion in third quarter profits.

Toyota Australia slashes jobs, demands cost-cutting

By James Cogan, 16 October 2013

Company statements raised the spectre of the remaining 2,400 Toyota workers being confronted with a new General Motors-style industrial agreement, tearing up wages and conditions.

Video: Auto workers defend Detroit Institute of Arts

15 October 2013

Chrysler and Ford workers voice their opposition to the threatened sale of art from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Australia: Threat to shut GMH car plants grows

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 October 2013

In response to a threat by General Motors to shut down production unless additional subsidies are provided, powerful sections of the financial elite are demanding the Liberal-National government reject the ultimatum.

The UAW and “21st Century industrial relations”

By Jerry White, 9 October 2013

Five years into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, American workers, like their counter-parts throughout the world, are facing unprecedented conditions of social misery and exploitation.

Australian government meets General Motors executives amid closure threat

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2013

GMH threatens to follow Ford Australia in shutting down all production operations unless it receives further handouts.

SEP (Germany) campaign reaches GM-Opel workers

By Marianne Arens, 18 September 2013

Opel workers responded with interest to the Socialist Equality Party’s call for a struggle, independent from the trade unions, to defend jobs.

Volkswagen opens plant in Chinese province of Xinjiang

By Philipp Frisch, 16 September 2013

Concern is mounting in Germany about Volkswagen's over-reliance on the Chinese car market.

Germany: GM-Opel workers fear Bochum plant will close in 2014

By Dietmar Henning, 10 September 2013

Opel workers fear that General Motors intends to close its plant in Bochum, Germany sooner than previously announced.

South Korean trade unions hold partial auto strikes

By Ben McGrath, 5 September 2013

Hyundai and Kia are demanding lower wages and costs, threatening to move production overseas.

Ford Australia stands down production workers

By Peter Byrne and Patrick O’Connor, 29 August 2013

The car companies are keeping their options open for further threats and blackmail after the election, aimed at cutting costs at the expense of workers.

Video: SEP candidate Patrick O’Connor explains why car workers need a socialist strategy

By our reporter, 28 August 2013

The GM Holden cost-cutting agreement has set a new benchmark in the corporate onslaught on workers’ wages and conditions.

Detroit auto plant produces five-millionth Jeep

By Patrick Martin, 24 August 2013

The gross profits of Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant alone exceed the total debt of the city of Detroit.

30,000 South African autoworkers strike over wages and benefits

By Andrea Peters, 22 August 2013

Entering the fourth day of their nationwide strike, South African autoworkers are demanding a 14 percent wage increase.

D’Artagnan Collier holds rally at Detroit-area Chrysler plant

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 August 2013

Auto workers at a Detroit Chrysler plant gave a warm reception to D’Artagnan Collier, SEP candidate for mayor of Detroit.

Unions impose concessions contract on Portland Daimler Truck workers

By Katie Hughes and Hector Cordon, 23 July 2013

Despite considerable rank-and-file opposition, Daimler unions imposed another regressive contract on striking workers

Daimler Trucks uses strikebreakers at Portland, Oregon plant

By Katie Hughes and Hector Cordon, 16 July 2013

Striking Daimler Trucks workers face ruthless concession demands and unions functioning as accomplices in this attack

Portland, Oregon strikers defy concessions demands by Daimler Trucks

By Hector Cordon, 15 July 2013

Relying on the unions to isolate the strike, Daimler is pressing ahead with demands for sweeping givebacks.

DHL workers supplying UK Jaguar Land Rover plants vote to strike

By Danny Richardson, 12 July 2013

A strike by workers employed by logistics firm, DHL, who supply three Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) car plants in England, could halt assembly production in Merseyside and the West Midlands.

Defying unions, Daimler Trucks strikers oppose years of wage givebacks

By Hector Cordon and Katie Hughes, 9 July 2013

Over 600 workers are on strike against concession demands by the largest truck manufacturer in the US.

Major slump in European auto industry

By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2013

2013 will be the worst year for the auto industry in Western Europe in three decades. A recent study estimates that car sales will fall another 5 percent this year to below 12 million vehicles.

Canada: CAW agrees to expansion of cheap labor at GM’s Oshawa plants

By Carl Bronski, 25 June 2013

The Canadian Auto Workers union is assisting GM in its drive to replace higher-paid veteran workers with workers earning cheap-labor wages.

General Motors demands wage cuts from Australian workforce

By James Cogan, 19 June 2013

GMH’s ultimatum signals a dramatic intensification of the corporate assault underway on the conditions of the working class.

The reality behind the “rebound” of the US auto industry

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 12 June 2013

Behind the rising profits of US automakers is a staggering decline in labor costs.

Germany: SEP election campaign wins support of Berlin Mercedes workers

By Clara Weiss, 10 June 2013

German trade unions are actively involved in providing Mercedes-Benz with low-paid workers from temporary work agencies.

Mass layoffs hit European auto parts suppliers

By Markus Salzmann, 8 June 2013

In the next five years, 75,000 jobs are to be eliminated at car parts suppliers in western Europe.

The Ford closures, the market and the fight for socialism

By Nick Beams—SEP Senate candidate for NSW, 7 June 2013

The market is not some “natural” form of socio-economic organisation, but the means by which finance capital exercises its dictatorship over the working class

Worker dies from extreme heat at Georgia auto parts plant

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 6 June 2013

Teresa Pickard, a 42-year-old Sewon auto parts worker, died May 29 after working on a weld line in the LaGrange plant.

Australian government announces bogus “assistance” for Ford workers

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 June 2013

As with the 2011 “transition” package for sacked Bluescope steel workers, the beneficiaries will be the unions, selected local businesses and private employment network providers.

An international political strategy for Ford Australia workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 25 May 2013

Ford’s plan to close its Australian plants by 2016 is part of a vast restructuring of the international auto industry that is devastating the jobs, wages and conditions of car workers around the world.

German Socialist Equality Party campaign wins support among Opel workers in Rüsselsheim

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2013

In the course of campaigning for ballot status for the September general election, reporters interviewed workers in Rüsselsheim for the World Socialist Web Site.

Works council in Bochum seeks to stifle opposition to GM-Opel plant closing

By Dietmar Henning, 24 May 2013

The chairman of the works council at the GM-Opel factory in Bochum called a meeting at the plant gate which halted production for several hours following the recent confirmation by management that it planned to close the plant.

UAW and Fiat battle over union’s multi-billion dollar stake in Chrysler

By Shannon Jones, 23 May 2013

The United Auto Workers is seeking billions of dollars for its holdings in Chrysler Corporation as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne prepares for a merger of the two automakers.

Germany: Opel Bochum workers denounce union sellout

By our correspondents, 11 May 2013

GM Opel workers are incensed over the betrayal carried out by the IG Metall trade union.

French unions back closure of PSA Aulnay auto factory

By Anthony Torres, 7 May 2013

On Monday, auto maker PSA’s central works council authorized a redundancy scheme to close PSA’s plant at Aulnay, near Paris.

UAW chief stabs German Opel workers in the back

By Jerry White, 2 May 2013

United Auto Workers President Bob King called on workers at General Motors’ Opel factory in Bochum, Germany to vote again on a concessions-laden contract.

American GM worker supports German Opel workers

By Jerry White, 2 May 2013

In August 2010, workers at General Motors stamping plant in Indianapolis, Indiana rebelled against the efforts of the United Auto Workers to push through a 50 percent wage cut to entice a new owner to buy the plant, which was being shuttered by GM. With the support of the World Socialist Web Site , workers organized a rank-and-file committee independent of the UAW to oppose the wage cut and threatened factory closure.

At Opel plant in Bochum, Germany, Maoists provide key support for union leadership

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 April 2013

The Maoist “Marxist–Leninist Party of Germany” (MLPD) has leapt to the side of the union bureaucracy to prevent a rebellion against the IG Metall trade union.

Victimized Detroit Chrysler worker reinstated

By Shannon Jones, 25 April 2013

Alex Wassell returned to work last week after more than one month off the job.