Auto Workers Issues

German engineering workers protest job cuts in Berlin

By our reporters, 30 November 2016

The IG Metall trade union and works council intend to present a business plan to management under which job cuts will supposedly be a “last resort.”

After six-month lockout, workers reject UAW-Honeywell ultimatum

By Jerry White, 26 November 2016

Honeywell workers in the US are waging a courageous struggle against corporate management and the UAW, which is backing the company’s demands for health care concessions.

The lessons of the Canadian autoworkers’ contract struggle

By Roger Jordan and Carl Bronski, 19 November 2016

Unifor’s imposition of another round of concessions contracts underscores the urgency of autoworkers repudiating its nationalist, pro-company perspective and building new organizations of struggle.

“Workers are going to see Trump is not going to do anything for them”

Autoworkers react to the election of Trump

By Shannon Jones, 17 November 2016

Autoworkers contacted by the WSWS acknowledged that Trump had been able to tap into the deep social anger and alienation among workers towards the political establishment.

Volkswagen is charged with aiding Brazilian dictatorship in torturing workers

By Armando Cruz, 16 November 2016

Workers were seized on picket lines and brought into VW plants to be interrogated, beaten and tortured.

Further signs of auto slowdown as GM announces job cuts

By Shannon Jones, 10 November 2016

The layoffs, which will go into effect in January and will impact 2,000 workers, are set to hit the assembly plans in Lansing, Michigan and Warren, Ohio.

Canada: Unifor scuttles strike at Integram Seating plant in matter of hours

By Carl Bronski, 8 November 2016

Fearful that the Integram strike would cut into the profits of the Detroit Three and galvanize opposition to the low-wage two-tier system, Unifor went into overdrive to shut it down.

Auto parts workers launch strike at Integram facility in Windsor, Ontario

By Roger Jordan, 7 November 2016

If the strike remains under Unifor’s control, it will inevitably be isolated and betrayed.

Reject Ford Canada-Unifor sellout agreement

For a counteroffensive of North American autoworkers against wage and job cuts

By Roger Jordan, 5 November 2016

Ford Canada workers should combine a “no” vote on the concessions deal with an urgent appeal to autoworkers in the US and Mexico for a united struggle against the auto bosses and their union accomplices.

Unifor promotes concession contracts and big business Liberals

By Roger Jordan, 3 November 2016

Unifor works with the auto bosses to ensure their Canadian operations are “globally competitive,” while collaborating with the big business Liberals in pursuing austerity and war.

Unifor announces sell-out agreement with Ford Canada

By Carl Bronski, 1 November 2016

Unifor leaders acknowledged there are “bad things” in the proposed deal with Ford and elements they “don’t like,” but refused to say anything more about them.

Mexican and US autoworkers face Ford plant shutdowns

By Marc Wells, 28 October 2016

Ford is suspending production in the US and Mexico in the face of declining sales.

Unifor prepares pattern sellout for Ford Canada workers

By Carl Bronski, 27 October 2016

In advance of the approaching contract deadline at Ford, Unifor President Jerry Dias is defending the sellout agreements imposed at General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

Layoffs hit US auto industry as sales slow

By Shannon Jones, 25 October 2016

Sales for 2015 are set to come in well below the record levels of 2016, leading the major auto companies to carry out production cuts, with the support of the UAW.

Unifor’s Detroit Three “pattern” pact and the ruling class assault on pensions

By Roger Jordan, 25 October 2016

Big business representatives are applauding Unifor for giving up newly-hired autoworkers’ right to a guaranteed pension and are calling for this to become a new Canada-wide standard.

1937: When Canadian and US autoworkers fought together

By Roger Jordan, 20 October 2016

Coming just weeks after the Flint sit-down strike, the 1937 strike at GM’s Oshawa facilities contains pivotal lessons for autoworkers fighting to defend their jobs and rights against the Detroit Three and the Unifor bureaucracy.

Unifor rams through another sellout deal at Fiat-Chrysler

By Carl Bronski, 17 October 2016

The large “no” vote for a concessionary agreement Unifor is touting as the best in years indicates mounting opposition not just to its terms, but to the pro-company Unifor.

“How can you have a fair election if you don’t have the full information?”

Windsor Fiat Chrysler workers denounce Unifor sellout deal

By a reporting team, 15 October 2016

A Word Socialist Web Site Newsletter reporting team encountered strong opposition to the tentative contract deal between Unifor and Fiat Chrysler, based on the scant details released by the union.

Vote “No” on FCA-Unifor sellout deal

Build rank-and-file committees to resist company-union concessions

By Roger Jordan, 15 October 2016

If the latest concessions deal is to be defeated, everything depends on the independent initiative of FCA workers.

Fiat-Chrysler workers must demand to see Unifor-FCA sellout deal in full

By Roger Jordan, 14 October 2016

FCA workers must reject the attempt to stampede them into another rotten concessions agreement and assert their democratic right to see the proposed contract in full.

“It’s not a union anymore, it’s a business”

Canadian autoworkers react to Fiat Chrysler sellout

By our reporters, 13 October 2016

Canadian autoworkers reacted strongly to the announcement of a concession-laden deal Tuesday between Unifor and Fiat Chrysler.

Form rank-and-file committees to unite workers in the US and Canada

Vote “no” on the Unifor-FCA agreement!

By Carl Bronski, 12 October 2016

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter calls on Fiat-Chrysler workers in Canada to reject the sell-out agreement and form rank-and-file factory committees to mobilize autoworkers north and south of the border.

Unifor thwarts strike by Canadian Fiat-Chrysler autoworkers

By Roger Jordan, 11 October 2016

Unifor announced just before midnight Monday it had reached a rotten concessions agreement with Fiat-Chrysler modelled on the contract that it recently rammed through at GM.

As autoworkers mobilize against concession demands

Unifor President Dias attempts to “whipsaw” Canadian auto plants

By Carl Bronski, 8 October 2016

Militant opposition to the miserable GM pattern settlement is growing at Fiat Chrysler and Ford Canada auto plants.

Political lessons from the Canadian auto “bailout”

By Roger Jordan, 7 October 2016

A successful autoworker counter-offensive requires not only a political and organizational break with the pro-company Unifor, but a political struggle against the entire ruling class and their political hirelings.

Ford Australia’s closure demonstrates need for a global auto workers’ strategy

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 October 2016

Ford’s shutdown of its Australian production tomorrow is one of the final nails in the coffin of an entire industry, at the hands of the transnational auto companies.

Opposition grows to GM Canada pattern contract

By Carl Bronski, 5 October 2016

Fearing mass rank-and-file opposition to the rotten “pattern” agreement Unifor reached at GM Canada, the local leadership at Ford’s Oakville assembly plant now claim to oppose it.

“If they bring back the same contract as GM we are going to reject it”

Unifor sets stage for Fiat-Chrysler sellout

By Carl Bronski, 4 October 2016

Unifor’s bargaining team at Fiat-Chrysler in Canada is putting the finishing touches on the “pattern” agreement initially negotiated at GM late last month.

UAW lines up behind Trump’s call for trade war

By Shannon Jones, 4 October 2016

The nationalist ravings of Trump dovetail with the UAW’s corporatist program based on the subordination of the working class to the interests of the American auto companies.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White visits Windsor

Growing opposition from Canadian autoworkers to Unifor-backed sellout contracts

By a WSWS reporting team, 4 October 2016

FCA Canada workers warmly greeted White and stopped to discuss their contract battle as well as the broader political questions raised by the US elections.

Canadian autoworkers denounce contract sellout

By Carl Bronski, 29 September 2016

Workers at Canadian plants operated by the Detroit Three auto companies spoke to the WSWS Autoworkers Newsletter of their opposition to contract concessions and the pro-company policies of Unifor.

Workers’ strikes spreading throughout South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2016

The South Korean working class is fighting against government-led attempts to cut wages in public and private businesses.

Unifor’s big lie exposed

Ontario Liberal government reveals GM investments are not finalized

By Carl Bronski, 27 September 2016

A minister has let slip that Unifor’s much-trumpeted investment “guarantees” at General Motors Canada—“guarantees” it “won” through further concessions—are not a done deal.

Unifor president jeered by hundreds at Oshawa meeting

GM Canada workers narrowly approve sellout deal

By Carl Bronski, 26 September 2016

Having rammed through a concessionary 4-year “pattern agreement” at GM, Unifor will now try to impose it on workers employed at Ford’s and Fiat-Chrysler’s Canadian operations.

GM autoworkers denounce Unifor at ratification meeting

By our reporters, 26 September 2016

Workers at the ratification vote decried the union’s refusal to release the full contract and its collusion with GM management.

“I’d say it’s the worst election ever”

US autoworkers speak out on war, inequality and the 2016 elections

By Eric London and Thomas Gaist, 26 September 2016

In working class cities, suburbs and rural towns across the United States, the hatred for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is palpable.

Vote “No” on GM Canada contract

Build rank-and-file committees to resist Unifor sellout!

By Roger Jordan, 24 September 2016

A “No” vote is an important first step in galvanizing the opposition of autoworkers throughout North America to concessions and givebacks enforced by Unifor and the UAW.

Opposition mounts among GM Canada workers

Unifor refuses to release “contract” before Sunday vote

By Carl Bronski, 23 September 2016

Opposition is growing to Unifor’s attempt to ram through a sell-out deal without even providing the supposed “agreement” to General Motors Canada workers.

Unifor touts collaboration with big business Liberals after blocking strike at GM Canada

By Roger Jordan, 23 September 2016

The mutual backslapping between Unifor and the Liberals over the latest sell-out deal must be taken as a warning by workers.

Demand release of full details and two weeks to vote

Contract “framework” at GM Canada continues attack on autoworkers

By Carl Bronski, 21 September 2016

Unifor is trying to rush through a sell-out agreement before GM Canada workers have a chance to study the full details of the still uncompleted deal.

Unifor blocks strike at GM Canada

By Roger Jordan, 20 September 2016

Past promises of “job security,” along with union-backed concessions, have done nothing to stop the destruction of jobs.

Strike deadline looms at GM Canada

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2016

The aim of the automaker and Unifor is to use the threat of job losses to push through another corporate-friendly agreement to set the pattern at Ford and Fiat-Chrysler.

Auto companies continue assault on jobs, working conditions

One year since 2015 US auto contract battle

By Shannon Jones, 17 September 2016

The warning raised by the SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about the rotten nature of the contracts negotiated by the UAW is being borne out.

UAW balks at solidarity action as Canadian auto talks continue

By Carl Bronski, 15 September 2016

In remarks to the press, UAW President Dennis Williams refused to commit to any specific solidarity action in the event of a strike by autoworkers in Canada.

For a counteroffensive against the auto bosses!

A socialist-internationalist strategy for Canadian Detroit Three workers

By Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 15 September 2016

To prevent Unifor from sabotaging their struggle, auto workers must build new organizations of struggle, democratically controlled by the rank-and-file.

Opposition grows to skilled trades reorganization at Fiat Chrysler

By Shannon Jones, 12 September 2016

The changes are correctly seen as a means of eliminating skilled trades jobs, which traditionally require more training and are paid at a higher rate.

Unifor selects General Motors Canada as pattern bargaining target

By Carl Bronski, 8 September 2016

The selection of GM is a signal to the Detroit automakers that Unifor is set to negotiate deals that attack the wages and benefits of autoworkers and bolster corporate profits.

“The union is letting the company do what it wants”

Fiat Chrysler CEO issues threat to Detroit jeep workers

By Shannon Jones, 1 September 2016

In a not so veiled warning, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchione told Jefferson North workers last week that the status of their facility is up in the air.

“It’s our turn to reap some of the rewards of record profits”

Canadian autoworkers overwhelmingly approve strike action

By Carl Bronski, 31 August 2016

Voter turnout at many of the union locals was extremely high, reflecting a determined mood of militancy, but the Unifor union has no intention of waging a serious struggle.

Trudeau given hero’s welcome by Unifor bureaucrats

By Roger Jordan, 27 August 2016

Unifor President Jerry Dias lauded the actions of the pro-austerity, pro-war Trudeau government as “a pinnacle start for working people.”

“There is going to be a civil war in this country”

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White campaigns at Detroit auto factory

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 August 2016

An SEP campaign team encountered widespread hostility to the establishment candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and openness to a socialist alternative.

Signs of slowdown in US auto industry

By Shannon Jones, 13 August 2016

Ford, General Motors and Toyota recorded sales declines in July.

As Canadian auto talks begin, Unifor promotes nationalism and corporatism

By Carl Bronski, 13 August 2016

Leading Unifor officials were effusive in their praise for Detroit Three management, demonstrating again their utter servility to corporate bosses.

Farm equipment giant John Deere lays off 120 workers as sales plummet

By George Gallanis, 1 August 2016

The third round of layoffs in 2016 raises the total number of workers cut by Deere in the US to 2,000 over the last two years.

As profits rise, Chrysler to end US passenger car production

By Shannon Jones, 29 July 2016

The ending of passenger car production puts a continued question mark over the fate of workers at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and Belvidere, Illinois Assembly.

Unifor and Detroit Three use job threats to beat back demands of Canadian autoworkers

By Carl Bronski, 26 July 2016

With labour agreements covering 23,500 Canadian autoworkers expiring on September 19, Unifor and the Big Three are preparing to exchange proposals for a new four-year deal.

US government investigates allegations Fiat-Chrysler falsified sales figures

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2016

The auto company confirmed that it is under investigation by both the SEC and the FBI for an alleged scheme to pad its monthly sales totals.

Oversaw 1979 Chrysler concessions

Former UAW official Marc Stepp dies

By Shannon Jones, 7 July 2016

The sweeping concessions Stepp and other union officials imposed on Chrysler workers were a milestone in the corporatist degeneration of the UAW and the American labor movement as a whole.

Volkswagen: 700 workers lose their jobs in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 5 July 2016

The VW board is using the company’s current crisis to make long-planned cuts in its workforce, relying heavily on the IG Metall trade union and its related works councils.

UAW exposes secret 2014 deal with Volkswagen to recognize union

By Shannon Jones, 28 June 2016

Behind the backs of workers who had voted to reject UAW affiliation, the union tops conspired with management to unilaterally impose the UAW on a recalcitrant workforce.

Canadian autoworkers face fight against threatened plant closings

By Carl Bronski, 22 June 2016

As in the US, the Detroit automakers and the Canadian unions are using the threat of plant closings to ram through concessionary contracts.

Canada: Unifor prepares to cede further concessions to Detroit Three automakers

By Carl Bronski, 15 June 2016

Faced with company threats to further slash auto production in Canada, Unifor is signaling its readiness to impose concession-filled contracts to fatten shareholder profits.

Two UAW officials injured in shooting near Ford Chicago Assembly Plant

By Marcus Day, 7 June 2016

Two United Auto Workers officials were shot in a dispute Friday night following the announcement of the union’s local election results.

UAW endorses Clinton, “Wall Street’s presidential darling”

By Jerry White, 27 May 2016

The UAW’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton underscores the immense chasm between the corporatist organization and the workers it claims to represent.

Socialist Equality Party candidates campaign at Fiat Chrysler Warren Truck plant

By WSWS reporting team, 27 May 2016

Many autoworkers expressed anger that the United Auto Workers is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton for US president.

Hedge fund buy-in heralds massive assault on Volkswagen workers

By Dietmar Henning, 14 May 2016

The British hedge fund TCI is planning to slash jobs, cut wages and impose speedup.

Volkswagen board pockets €63 million in 2015

By Dietmar Henning, 10 May 2016

Despite the exhaust emissions scandal and record losses, the nine members of the VW Executive Board were paid €10 million more in 2015 than the previous year.

Another expanded recall of airbags prone to deadly explosions

By Shannon Jones, 7 May 2016

The recall will still leave millions of vehicles with a potentially deadly airbag defect on the road.

General Motors posts record first-quarter profits

By Shannon Jones, 22 April 2016

The profit figures underscore the value of the 2015 GM-UAW contract to the giant automaker and its wealthiest investors, including the United Auto Workers bureaucracy.

Ford announces new small-vehicle plant in Mexico

By Marc Wells, 22 April 2016

Ford Motor Co. unveiled its plan to invest $1.6 billion to build a new small-vehicle plant in Mexico which will employ 2,800 workers.

Ex-car czar Steven Rattner touts Obama’s “pro-worker” record

By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2016

Investment banker and New York Times columnist Rattner, former head of Obama’s Auto Task force, cynically portrays Obama as a tireless advocate of the working man.

Anger mounts over hidden contract terms

Ford workers denounce UAW-backed poverty wages at Michigan stamping plant

By Tim Rivers, 14 April 2016

The UAW agreed to a “competitive wage structure” that will reduce wages to as low as $9 an hour at the Woodhaven Hot Metal Forming plant, just south of Detroit.

“I am certain the UAW knew about this. They sell us out all the time.”

Facing layoffs, Detroit area Fiat Chrysler workers denounce UAW

By Shannon Jones, 12 April 2016

A WSWS reporting team spoke to workers Monday at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) where 1,300 workers are set to be laid off July 5.

Nexteer Automotive workers report arbitrary firings, harassment

By Shannon Jones, 11 April 2016

Three months after the United Auto Workers rammed through a sellout deal, workers are being victimized and are discovering contract concessions not previously disclosed by the UAW.

Video: Detroit autoworkers speak on Fiat Chrysler layoffs

By Zac Corrigan and Shannon Jones, 9 April 2016

In this video, autoworkers react to the recent layoff of over 1,400 Fiat Chrysler workers in suburban Detroit.

Fiat Chrysler layoffs hit workers in suburban Detroit

By Jerry White, 8 April 2016

The announcement that Fiat Chrysler is cutting 1,420 jobs at its Sterling Heights assembly plant foreshadows a new wave of downsizing in the auto industry.

“When the UAW folks play golf with the Fiat folks, what do you expect?”

Fiat Chrysler workers react to Sterling Heights Assembly job cuts

By Shannon Jones, 8 April 2016

Workers who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant said the 2015 contract betrayal by the United Auto Workers helped set the stage for the latest layoffs

Fiat Chrysler axing 1,400 jobs at Sterling Heights, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones, 7 April 2016

The company is permanently eliminating one shift at the passenger car plant in suburban Detroit due to slumping sales.

Mexican Nissan workers in two-day strike

By Shannon Jones, 5 April 2016

The walkout by more than 5,000 workers brought production to a halt at the Nissan plant in the industrial City of the Valley of Cuernavaca.

GM found not liable in bellwether case over ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 4 April 2016

The case was chosen by GM because evidence of corporate malfeasance appeared weakest.

“They got away with murder for profit”

Michigan will not sanction GM attorneys involved in cover-up of ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 29 March 2016

To date, no top GM official has been held to account for the decade-long cover-up of an ignition defect responsible for at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Indian auto workers fight to defend wages and conditions

By Arun Kumar, 26 March 2016

Workers at major car makers including Maruti Suzuki, Honda Motors and Tata, as well as auto-related companies, have been involved in plant occupations, strikes, rallies and marches.

St. Louis autoworkers bar UAW vice president from their Facebook page

By Jerry White, 23 March 2016

GM workers in Wentzville, Missouri blocked Cindy Estrada from their page in order to prevent her from spying for the UAW International and the company.

India: Tata workers end strike after being isolated by the unions

By Arun Kumar, 23 March 2016

The trade unions, mainly those led by Stalinists, played a key role in pushing Tata auto workers to end the strike.

UAW seeks to ram through contract at Volvo

By Shelly Connor, 21 March 2016

The UAW reportedly reached a last-minute agreement with Volvo, but refused to provide workers with the full contract, following a pattern it has employed many times before.

UAW discussing lower pay rate at Lear in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 19 March 2016

The UAW is seeking a deal that will expand its dues income by creating a lower-paid tier of workers at the US-based automobile seat maker.

UAW pushes local deals past opposition at GM Lordstown plant

By Jerry White, 18 March 2016

Union officials made it clear that they would force workers to vote again and again until they approved a local contract.

Slumping car sales lead to extended layoff of Fiat Chrysler Sterling Heights workers

By Shannon Jones, 15 March 2016

Last week Fiat Chrysler announced that what had originally been scheduled as a six-week layoff would be extended for another three weeks.

Detroit autoworkers discuss Trump, US election campaign

By our reporters, 4 March 2016

One day before Trump’s rally in Warren, Michigan, Fiat Chrysler workers at the truck assembly plant in the suburban Detroit city spoke about the rise of the extreme right candidate.

Autoworkers support challenge to UAW-Ford 2015 contract vote

By Shannon Jones, 1 March 2016

An internal UAW Local 600 hearing on the challenge to the ratification vote by a Ford skilled trade worker is set for Thursday.

Michigan autoworker files challenge to UAW-Ford 2015 contract vote

By Eric London, 26 February 2016

A worker at Ford’s Dearborn Truck plant is continuing to pursue his allegations of fraud during the 2015 contract ratification vote in the face of stonewalling by the United Auto Workers.

India: Tata Nano auto workers strike over suspensions

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 25 February 2016

The Nano workers’ strike is a sign of the growing social unrest created by the deteriorating living and working conditions of workers throughout India.

Downsizing begins as Fiat Chrysler seeks merger partner

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2016

The plans by CEO Sergio Marchionne to eliminate small car production as part of a potential merger call into question the future of thousands of jobs at the company’s US operations.

In Detroit visit, Sanders promotes the UAW and economic nationalism

By Jerry White, 17 February 2016

Just months after the UAW rammed pro-company deals past the opposition of rank-and-file autoworkers, the self-described “democratic socialist” praised the discredited organization.

In wake of VW scandal European Parliament relaxes emissions regulations

By Jan Peters and Dietmar Henning, 16 February 2016

Last autumn, it was revealed that Volkswagen manipulated the emissions readings in 11 million diesel vehicles and hundreds of thousands of petrol models.

UAW President Dennis Williams denounces role of “outside groups” in 2015 auto contract negotiations

By Shannon Jones, 13 February 2016

The remarks expressed the concern of the UAW leadership over growing signs of militancy and social anger in the working class in Michigan and throughout the country.

More recalls of Takata exploding airbags

By Shannon Jones, 6 February 2016

Recalls have proceeded in a piecemeal fashion since 2008, when Honda first publicly reported the deadly defect.