Auto Workers Issues

Autopsy report refutes claims young Ford worker was on drugs at time of factory shooting

By Jerry White, 15 December 2017

UAW officials told police that Jacoby Hennings, who allegedly took his life on October 20 after confronting union officials with a gun, appeared “under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

Amid escalating corruption scandal, top UAW operatives step down

By Shannon Jones, 15 December 2017

The ongoing federal corruption investigation and growing worker anger and militancy are fueling an apparent crisis in the top echelons of the United Auto Workers union.

“Ford and big companies don’t care if you live or not”

Ford workers speak out on Kentucky Truck worker’s death

By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 14 December 2017

A coroner ruled that Ivan Bridgewater, 41, died of blunt force trauma under still unexplained circumstances.

Details of Kentucky Ford worker’s death still not revealed

By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 13 December 2017

The 41-year-old electrician was buried in his hometown of Seymour, Indiana Tuesday, while his family and Ford workers continue to be kept in the dark about the cause of this tragedy.

The death toll behind corporate America’s record profits

By Jerry White, 12 December 2017

A 41-year-old electrician at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant is the latest victim of the relentless drive for corporate profit in America.

Electrician, 41, killed at Ford Kentucky Truck Plant on Saturday

By Jessica Goldstein, 11 December 2017

Ivan Bridgewater III was killed while working the third shift at the Louisville Kentucky plant and leaves behind a wife and young son.

Near walkout at Detroit auto plant over unsafe conditions

By Jerry White, 7 December 2017

Autoworkers at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit threatened to walk out December 2 after company and UAW officials ignored their complaints about being sickened by fumes.

“Management tells the UAW what to do and they say, ‘Okay!’”

Chicago Ford workers speak out on death of Coby Hennings

By Marcus Day, 5 December 2017

Ford Chicago Assembly workers denounced the grueling working conditions of TPTs which had led to the death of 21-year-old Coby Hennings six weeks ago at Woodhaven Stamping near Detroit.

“Part-time work in the auto plants is modern day slavery”

Six weeks since the tragic death of US autoworker Jacoby Hennings

By Jerry White, 4 December 2017

Behind the still unexplained death of the young autoworker is the expansion of temporary part-time labor sanctioned by the UAW.

Woodhaven Ford workers speak on still unexplained death of Jacoby Hennings

By Jerry White, 29 November 2017

Ford workers at the Woodhaven Stamping plant spoke on the alleged suicide of the 21-year-old part-time worker at the plant on October 20 that has provoked widespread sympathy among autoworkers.

“It’s like organized crime”

Detroit Manufacturing Systems and the new face of auto parts production

By Nick Rodriguez, 17 November 2017

The profits of auto parts makers are based on the super-exploitation of a layer of low-wage workers, many of whom pay dues to the United Auto Workers.

“We have to make sure Jacoby Hennings didn’t die in vain”

Workers denounce scourge of suicides inside US auto plants

By Jerry White, 15 November 2017

The death of the 21-year-old Ford worker amid a rash of suicides in the industry is an indictment of the United Auto Workers union, which long ago abandoned the defense of workers’ interests.

Another decisive repudiation

Ohio auto glass workers vote 2-1 against the UAW

By Shannon Jones, 11 November 2017

The vote against the UAW took place in an area that was once noted for worker militancy and the scene of pitched class battles.

Tennessee auto parts workers and their families exposed to cancer-causing chemicals

By Warren Duzak, 10 November 2017

Tenneco officials told workers they had been exposed to hexavalent chromium and had likely carried the toxic waste home with them.

More revelations in UAW corruption scandal

Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne met with federal investigators last year

By Shannon Jones, 7 November 2017

The reports of Marchionne’s meeting with prosecutors follow reports that the investigation of the illegal diversion of funds from training centers has expanded to Ford and General Motors.

“We are treated like garbage, like we are disposable”

Detroit autoworkers condemn UAW in death of young Ford worker

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 November 2017

All workers confront stressful conditions at the factory, where the workday is 10 hours, and the UAW has long collaborated with the FCA bosses to cut wages and increase production.

UAW-corporate corruption scandal spreads to Ford and GM

By Eric London, 4 November 2017

Workers need workplace and neighborhood committees to advance their interests against the massive corporations that dictate the policies of the government and control the unions.

Federal UAW corruption probe turns to GM and Ford

By Shannon Jones, 3 November 2017

In the wake of the indictment of United Auto Workers officials in relation to the theft of funds from the UAW-Chrysler training center, federal investigators are looking at joint programs funded by General Motors and Ford.

Young Ford worker sought UAW help before apparent suicide

By Jerry White, 3 November 2017

According to a police report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, 21-year-old Jacoby Hennings spoke with UAW officials for more than an hour before pulling out a gun.

Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew in Detroit: A drama about the working class

By David Walsh, 3 November 2017

Skeleton Crew takes place in the breakroom of a Detroit stamping plant threatened with closure “somewhere around year 2008.”

Death of Jacoby Hennings highlights UAW collusion with auto companies

By Jerry White, 1 November 2017

The apparent suicide of the 21-year-old Ford worker has revealed the oppressive conditions facing temporary part-time employees in the auto industry.

US auto profits beat expectations despite softening sales

By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2017

Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors all posted higher-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, boosted by savage cost-cutting facilitated by the collaboration of the unions.

Autoworkers take to social media to defend young Ford worker killed in apparent suicide

By Jerry White, 31 October 2017

Hundreds of autoworkers have shared and commented on WSWS articles about the death of 21-year-old Jacoby Marquis Hennings.

Hundreds mourn death of young Ford worker in Detroit

By Jerry White, 30 October 2017

According to coworkers, Jacoby was a hard-working young man who wanted to be hired into a full-time position.

Memorial in Detroit for young autoworker who died in Ford plant

By Jerry White, 28 October 2017

The alleged suicide of Jacoby Hennings at Ford’s Woodhaven Stamping plant has generated widespread sympathy along with anger over the cruel conditions facing young workers.

Lessons of the CAMI autoworkers’ strike in Canada

By Carl Bronski, 28 October 2017

The strike did not fail to achieve its goals due to a lack of readiness among GM workers to fight, but because it was sabotaged by Unifor with its pro-corporate and nationalist agenda.

Worker killed in Indiana auto parts plant

By Jessica Goldstein, 26 October 2017

Melissa Stephens, a mother of four, was killed at a plant owned by Autoneum, which has repeatedly been fined for unsafe conditions.

Autoworkers speak on suicide of young Ford worker at Detroit area plant

By Shannon Jones, 25 October 2017

Low wages, overwork, unsure hours and the lack of job security are all part of the daily routine of part-time temporary workers in the auto industry.

Detroit area Ford worker dies in apparent suicide at stamping factory

By Shannon Jones, 21 October 2017

A young part-time temporary worker at Ford’s Woodhaven Stamping Plant who was facing disciplinary charges apparently took his own life Friday.

Political lessons of the Australian car industry closure

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 October 2017

The shutdowns are the end product of a decades-long restructuring of car manufacturing, spearheaded by Labor and the trade unions.

The Canadian split from the UAW—Lessons for today

By Carl Bronski, 20 October 2017

The defeat of the CAMI strike attests to the failure of the nationalist strategy that Unifor and its predecessor, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, have pursued since splitting from the United Auto Workers in 1985.

Unifor imposes new round of concessions

CAMI strike in Canada ends

“We struck for a month and got nothing”

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 17 October 2017

Lacking any confidence that Unifor would oppose GM’s job threats, workers reluctantly accepted another concessionary contract.

No to Unifor-GM blackmail!

Before any ratification vote, CAMI workers must see the full contract and have time to study it

Statement of the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 October 2017

CAMI workers have not stood out on the picket lines for a month to accept yet another concessionary contract from an auto giant that made $11 billion in profits last year.

Unifor announces deal to end CAMI strike

Reject Unifor-GM blackmail! No vote until CAMI workers have full contract and time to study it!

Statement of the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 14 October 2017

Displaying the same contempt for rank-and-file workers it has since the CAMI strike began, Unifor announced it would release no details of the settlement until Monday’s ratification meeting where it expected to pass the deal.

Build rank-and-file committees! Unite Canadian, US and Mexican workers against job cuts!

GM threatens CAMI plant, demands Unifor end month-long strike

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 13 October 2017

Workers must break through the conspiracy of silence enforced by union and management and demand all details of the Unifor-GM secret negotiations.

Canadian Fiat Chrysler worker: “Stay strong, workers, and demand answers to your questions”

Talks resume in CAMI strike as Unifor continues to isolate embattled workers

By Shannon Jones, 12 October 2017

Canadian autoworkers expressed their solidarity with the striking CAMI workers and denounced last week’s physical assault on a WSWS reporter by a Unifor operative.

Canadian autoworkers warn CAMI strikers on role of Unifor, condemn attack on WSWS

By Shannon Jones, 10 October 2017

Ford and GM workers in Canada expressed their support for striking CAMI workers and denounced the treacherous role of Unifor.

Unifor operative assaults WSWS reporter at CAMI strike rally

By Jerry White, 9 October 2017

The physical attack is aimed not only at silencing the WSWS but at gagging and intimidating rank-and-file workers.

As CAMI strike ends third week, Unifor peddles Canadian nationalism at rally

By Jerry White, 7 October 2017

Unifor is using CAMI workers as pawns in their maneuvers with the Canadian and US governments over renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As CAMI strike continues, Unifor sheds crocodile tears for Mexican workers

By Carl Bronski, 5 October 2017

Dias does not explain how his supposed concern for the plight of Mexican workers squares with the union’s demand that GM lay off workers in Mexico before any workers at CAMI.

Toyota ends car production in Australia

By Will Marshall, 5 October 2017

Having imposed waves of sackings and cuts to conditions, the trade unions are enforcing the “orderly closure” of the Australian car industry.

Unifor, the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter and the politics of the CAMI strike

By Jerry White, 4 October 2017

The struggle to defend jobs and living standards demands politics: not the politics of Unifor—a close ally of the federal and Ontario Liberal governments—but socialist politics.

CAMI workers challenge further de-industrialization of southwestern Ontario

By Carl Bronski, 3 October 2017

To win secure and decent-paying jobs, workers will have to mount a global struggle to end the subordination of all socioeconomic life to capitalist profit.

Unifor president at CAMI picket line: A declaration of bankruptcy

By Jerry White and Carl Bronski, 2 October 2017

Far from advancing any strategy to win the two-week strike, Unifor officials promoted economic nationalism and illusions in Trudeau and Trump.

Unifor leaders plot with GM to beat back resistance of CAMI strikers

By Jerry White, 29 September 2017

The top leadership of the Canadian auto union met with GM executives in Detroit even as the strike by 2,800 CAMI workers continued.

“The contract should be null and void”

Fiat Chrysler workers react to UAW corruption investigation

By Shannon Jones, 29 September 2017

Workers at Fiat Chrysler in Detroit reacted angrily to revelations that top UAW officials received illegal payouts from management to keep them “fat, dumb and happy.”

As Unifor plots to end CAMI strike, corporate press hails union head

By Keith Jones, 27 September 2017

The union is maneuvering to shut the strike down and subordinating the struggle to Unifor’s alliance with the Trudeau Liberal government and its efforts to renegotiate NAFTA.

CAMI autoworkers strike against GM Canada at the crossroads

By Carl Bronski, 26 September 2017

While CAMI workers remained determined, officials from the Unifor union have presented GM Canada with an “olive branch” proposal to shut down the strike.

US autoworkers express support for CAMI strikers in Canada

“We should be out on strike with them”

By Jerry White, 25 September 2017

Despite the sabotage by the auto unions on both sides of the border there is a widespread sentiment for a common struggle against the global carmakers.

Canadian union seeks to shut down CAMI strike by offering concessions to GM

By Roger Jordan, 23 September 2017

Unifor has focused on bolstering its partnership with the big-business Liberal government and promoting reactionary Canadian nationalism.

General Motors and Ford announce thousands of US layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 23 September 2017

The layoffs come amid mounting signs that the seven-year boom in auto sales is collapsing.

Legal appeals of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers expose travesty of justice

By Saman Gunadasa, 23 September 2017

“The (legal) doubt,” declares one of the appeals, “is not only overwhelming, but in fact, there is hardly any aspect on which the prosecution’s case is at all believable.”

GM Canada strike in danger

Why is Unifor trying to gag CAMI strikers?

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 22 September 2017

Officials from the Unifor union said Wednesday that they have offered an “olive branch” to GM to end the strike.

“What these companies are doing is a new form of slavery”

CAMI strikers determined to resist GM Canada job and wage cuts

By Jerry White and Carl Bronski, 21 September 2017

CAMI workers are fighting to defend their jobs and living standards, while Unifor seeks to tie workers to the Liberal government and Trump's anti-Mexican trade war policies.

UAW officials laundered Fiat Chrysler bribes through fake charities

By Shannon Jones, 21 September 2017

The latest revelations in the scandal involving funds diverted from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center further underscore the anti-worker character of the UAW.

CAMI autoworkers locked in fight against GM Canada over jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 20 September 2017

Autoworkers at the General Motors CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario are locked in a critical battle that raises fundamental questions for autoworkers in Canada and around the world.

For an international strategy to win the CAMI workers strike

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 19 September 2017

To prevail in the struggle against GM, CAMI workers must fight to mobilize autoworkers across North America in a counter-offensive against all concessions and job cuts.

GM CAMI workers strike in Canada

By Carl Bronski, 18 September 2017

The walkout is part of a growing wave of struggles by autoworkers around the world, including in the US, Korea, Serbia and Slovakia.

IAM ends Chicago area mechanics strike

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 September 2017

After seven weeks of struggle, IAM Local 701 imposed a sellout deal on striking Chicago area mechanics.

Canadian auto union moves to ram through concessions deal on GM CAMI workers

By Carl Bronski, 15 September 2017

With contempt for workers, Unifor officials have called a “ratification/strike” meeting for Sunday without releasing any information about what workers are supposed to vote on.

“If the Internet shuts down, we wouldn’t know anything. The union isn’t going to tell us”

Autoworkers in Detroit support campaign against Google Internet censorship

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 September 2017

SEP campaign teams in the Detroit area collected scores of signatures last weekend for the petition opposing Google’s Internet censorship.

Suicide attempt by Renault Nissan worker reveals brutal conditions in India’s free trade zones

By Arun Kumar, 8 September 2017

State and central government authorities attract global corporations with sweatshop conditions like those at the Oragadam Renault Nissan plant outside of Chennai.

“We don’t know what kind of deal they’ve struck with the breakaway dealerships”

IAM isolates striking Chicago car mechanics, seeks separate agreements

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 September 2017

Striking Chicago-area auto mechanics remain militant during their fifth week of struggle while the union tries to shut down the strike by making deals with independent dealerships.

“They are trying to block out the truth”

US autoworkers denounce Google censorship of WSWS

By Shannon Jones, 31 August 2017

Detroit autoworkers support the campaign by the Socialist Equality Party against the attempt by tech giant Google to manipulate its searches to restrict access to the World Socialist Web Site.

GM CAMI workers authorize strike in Canada

By Carl Bronski, 30 August 2017

Workers voted by 99.8 percent to walk out if a new labour agreement is not reached by September 17.

Unions help Caterpillar restructure with closure of Belgian operations

By Ross Mitchell, 30 August 2017

The Caterpillar plant in Gosselies was the biggest industrial site in Wallonia, Belgium’s southern, primarily French-speaking region.

Ford workers speak out against sexual harassment, UAW corruption

By our reporters, 28 August 2017

Autoworkers in Michigan and Chicago reacted with disgust and anger to reports of widespread sexual abuse at Ford coming alongside indictments of UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials for corruption.

“Everyone high up in the UAW must have known what was going on”

US autoworkers react to new UAW corruption indictments

By a WSWS reporting team, 25 August 2017

US autoworkers contacted by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter expressed disgust and anger over the results of a federal investigation into allegations of bribery of top United Auto Workers officials by Fiat Chrysler executives.

Pseudo-lefts lament United Auto Workers defeat in Nissan vote

By Shannon Jones, 23 August 2017

In their commentaries on the union recognition vote, the International Socialist Organization and Jacobin magazine seek to cover up the anti-working class character of the UAW.

“If you don’t stand up, nothing happens”

Union isolates Chicago-area auto mechanics strike in its fourth week

By Jessica Goldstein and George Marlowe, 22 August 2017

Rank-and-file mechanics of in the Chicago area spoke out against poverty wages and unfair labor practices, as the union attempts to shut down the strike.

More charges in Fiat Chrysler corruption scandal

UAW executives accepted bribes “to take company-friendly positions”

By Joseph Kishore, 21 August 2017

The multimillion-dollar bribery scheme exposes the UAW as a corrupt agent of corporate management, which has worked to impose massive concessions contracts at FCA, General Motors and Ford.

Company faces allegations of abuse by both management and UAW officials

Ford settles claims over sexual and racial harassment at Chicago auto plants for $10 million

By George Marlowe, 19 August 2017

For the second time in nearly 20 years, Ford Motor Company faces sexual harassment claims by female workers against supervisors and union officials.

German automaker VW collaborated with Brazilian dictatorship

By Ludwig Weller, 10 August 2017

Volkswagen not only offered its services to collaborate with the Brazilian military regime which ruled from 1964 to 1985, but was an independent actor in the repression.

UAW debacle at Mississippi Nissan plant

By Jerry White, 7 August 2017

Workers have drawn conclusions about the UAW after decades in which it has focused all of its efforts on suppressing the class struggle and partnering with the auto companies to destroy jobs and living standards.

A letter from a reader on social conditions and the Fiat workers’ strike in Serbia

5 August 2017

The WSWS received a letter from a reader describing the social situation facing workers and the rural population in Serbia today.

As worker anger over UAW corruption scandal grows, union president defends sellout contracts

By Jerry White, 3 August 2017

With the corruption scandal threatening to ensnare wider layers of the UAW bureaucracy, union president Dennis Williams is trying to contain the growing anger of autoworkers.

“This only verifies what so many of us thought was happening before and after our so-called contract negotiations”

Indiana Fiat Chrysler workers react to UAW bribery indictment

By Jerry White, 31 July 2017

Workers at the Kokomo casting plant spoke out on the charges that company officials handed more than $1 million to the United Auto Workers’ top negotiator between 2009 and 2014.

“Every contract we wonder how we are going to get shafted”

US autoworkers speak on bribing of UAW official

By Shannon Jones, 29 July 2017

A federal indictment Wednesday charged that a former vice president at Fiat Chrysler funneled more than $1 million in bribes to a UAW vice president between 2009 and 2014.

After sellout of Fiat-Chrysler Serbia walkout unions agree to three-year strike ban

By Markus Salzmann, 29 July 2017

The contract signed by the unions and backed by the Serbian government is designed to maintain the country as a cheap labour platform for transnational corporations like FCA.

Aisin Automotive workers in India’s Haryana state face a new company-government witchhunt

By Jai Sharma, 28 July 2017

The workers are being subjected to a joint company-government vendetta for fighting slave labor conditions in an attack similar to that faced by Maruti Suzuki workers.

Federal indictment charges Fiat Chrysler paid top UAW negotiator $1.2 million in bribes

By Jerry White, 27 July 2017

A federal indictment filed in US District Court in Detroit Wednesday charges that a former vice president of Fiat Chrysler funneled more than a million dollars in bribes to United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield between 2009 and 2014.

As Wall Street demands new auto job cuts, UAW rants against Mexico and China

By Jerry White, 26 July 2017

General Motors has announced plans to reduce production as US automakers prepare a new onslaught on jobs.

Harley Davidson to cut 180 jobs at Milwaukee and Kansas City plants

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 July 2017

Neither the International Association of Machinists nor the United Steelworkers have made even a pretense of fighting the threatened layoffs.

Union shuts down Serb auto strike

By Verena Nees, 22 July 2017

The unions shut down the strike after it had inspired workers at other factories to engage in job action and won widespread sympathy within the Serb population.

Five years since company-provoked incident used to frame up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Shannon Jones, 21 July 2017

Tuesday marked five years since a management-provoked incident that authorities used as a pretext to railroad 13 Indian autoworkers to life in prison.

Fiat workers in Serbia launch strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 July 2017

Around 2,000 workers at Fiat-Chrysler’s Kragujevac plant in Serbia have been on strike for two weeks against starvation wages and terrible working conditions.

GM Korea autoworkers vote to strike

By Ben McGrath, 14 July 2017

While autoworkers are determined to improve their wages and conditions, the unions, which are tied to the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), have no intention of conducting a genuine struggle.

Many questions in Detroit GM plant explosion

By Shannon Jones, 6 July 2017

A Wednesday morning explosion at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant has left three workers injured and one hospitalized.

The Maruti Suzuki frame-up and the history of international labor defense campaigns

By Shannon Jones, 5 July 2017

The ICFI’s worldwide campaign to free the Maruti Suzuki autoworkers rests on a long tradition of international workers’ action on behalf of the victims of capitalist “justice.”

US auto sales fall for sixth straight month

By Shannon Jones, 5 July 2017

US automakers have experienced a six-month decline in sales for the first time since 2009, the year of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies.

Support the strike by VW workers in Slovakia!

By Ulrich Rippert chairman of the SGP and SGP candidate in North Rhine Westphalia, 26 June 2017

The 8,000 striking Volkswagen workers in Slovakia deserve the support of VW and all autoworkers throughout Germany and the world.

US auto layoffs take toll on workers and their communities

By Shannon Jones, 24 June 2017

Autoworkers describe the impact of job cuts on struggling families and indict the United Auto Workers for facilitating layoffs.

Over 8,000 VW autoworkers launch unlimited strike in Slovakia

By Dietmar Henning, 22 June 2017

The autoworkers are engaged in the first strike since VW began operations in the Eastern European country in 1991.

GM announces 1,000 layoffs in Kansas amid warnings of a “swift and material downturn”

By Shannon Jones, 17 June 2017

All the US-based car companies face enormous pressure from Wall Street to drive up profits and cut costs.

After UAW claimed there was no money to end two-tier wages

John Deere plans $5.2 billion takeover of German road construction company

By George Gallanis, 7 June 2017

The vast cash hoard of the farm machinery maker explodes the myth that it could not afford to improve the pay and benefits of its 11,200 hourly workers in 2015.

GM announces more layoffs as US auto sales decline

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2017

General Motors announced 300 job cuts at its Warren, Michigan transmission plant amid continuing signs of a slowdown in US auto sales after a seven-year boom.

What we have said:

The World Socialist Web Site and the Maruti Suzuki workers

By Usman Khan, 3 June 2017

The WSWS has covered the struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers over many years, explaining its international significance and providing a political perspective to fight the workers’ persecution by Indian authorities.

Auto parts workers fired after “Day Without Immigrants” protest

By Nick Rodriguez, 26 May 2017

Over 20 immigrant workers have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against their former employer, EZ Industrial Solutions, after being fired for participating in the protest on February 16.

Caterpillar, Butterball to close factories in Montgomery, Illinois, laying off 1,400 workers

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

The dual factory closures in the far western suburbs of Chicago take place in an area already hard hit by decades of deindustrialization.

Wall Street engineers ouster of top Ford executives

By Jerry White, 23 May 2017

The management reshuffling at the number two US automaker, described in industry circles as a “coup,” underscores the complete domination of the banks and financial speculators.