Auto Workers Issues

“They’re stuffing money into the pockets of the shareholders”

British autoworkers strike BMW to defend pensions

By our reporters, 20 April 2017

The strike is the first by the BMW’s British workforce, who could lose up to £160,000 each if pension cuts are enforced.

BMW autoworkers strike in Britain against decimation of pensions

By Robert Stevens, 19 April 2017

The introduction of an inferior pension scheme could see the retirement benefits of workers being slashed by up to £160,000.

“The only ones who gain from war are those in power, the upper one percent”

US autoworkers denounce drive to World War III, demand freedom for Maruti Suzuki workers

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 17 April 2017

Autoworkers at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) and at Fiat Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit denounced the threat of nuclear war and signed a petition to demand the freedom of the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

UAW executives get pay raises as worker pay tumbles

By Shannon Jones, 14 April 2017

An analysis of its 2016 US Labor Department filing makes clear the UAW is not a workers’ organization but a business largely funded by the auto bosses.

“It is a frame-up and war on the working class”

Support grows for Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

It has been nearly a month since an Indian judge condemned 13 autoworkers to life imprisonment.

Background to a labor frame-up:

What the Maruti Suzuki workers were fighting for

By Jerry White, 12 April 2017

The life sentences an Indian judge imposed on 13 autoworkers last month were an act of class retribution for the leading role of Maruti Suzuki workers in opposing the sweatshop conditions that prevail across India.

Subprime auto loans threaten new crisis

By J. Cooper, 11 April 2017

Wall Street is concerned at the surge in auto loan defaults, a further indication that the sales boom of recent years is winding down.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 3: The prosecution’s untenable “mob attack” narrative

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 11 April 2017

The prosecution’s narrative of the July 18, 2012 altercation is full of inconsistencies, contradictions and dubious claims, including concerning police investigative “lapses.”

Indian railway and transport workers denounce Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 11 April 2017

Workers in Chennai spoke out in defence of the jailed auto workers.

German trade unions at GM Opel hold secret talks with French auto boss

By Marianne Arens, 10 April 2017

The sale of Opel-Vauxhall to Peugeot Citroen PSA threatens at least 6,000 jobs and possibly several facilities.

German autoworkers support Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 10 April 2017

Workers at Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory expressed their support for an international struggle by autoworkers to defend jobs and basic rights.

Bob White, trade union bureaucrat who led Canadian split from UAW, dies aged 81

By Carl Bronski, 8 April 2017

White’s 1985 breakaway from the UAW was a nationalist maneuver, aimed at protecting the union bureaucracy and blocking a joint struggle of North American autoworkers against all concessions and job cuts.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 2: The factory fire and the death of Avineesh Dev

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 7 April 2017

The fire was the pivot of the prosecution’s case, but it provided not a shred of credible evidence tying any of the workers to the blaze.

Workers across India condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 7 April 2017

While there is enormous sympathy for the framed-up workers, this week’s protests were a pale reflection of the support that could be mobilized were it not for the sabotage of India’s Stalinist parties and affiliated unions.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 1: A travesty of justice

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 5 April 2017

Careful examination and systematic refutation of the state’s legal case has always been a critical part of international defense campaigns.

German auto workers oppose Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By K. Nesan, 5 April 2017

Many Daimler workers in Stuttgart agreed to sign the online petition demanding the release of their colleagues in India.

In the background of the Maruti Suzuki frame-up

Portrait of the Suzuki corporation, a ruthless transnational employer

By Shannon Jones and Saman Gunadasa, 4 April 2017

Suzuki is typical of the transnational auto corporations that scour the world in search of the cheapest labor and lowest production costs.

Days after UAW claims contract ratification

Caterpillar confirms plans to close Aurora, Illinois plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 3 April 2017

There are reports of angry confrontations between workers and local UAW officials following the announcement.

Sri Lankan university students condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 3 April 2017

Students and workers in Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna denounced the heavy sentences imposed on framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

India: Stalinist-led unions call token protest against frame up of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 April 2017

The CPM and CPI and their respective labour federations, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the All India Trade Union Congress, have systematically isolated the Maruti Suzuki workers.

Australian workers and youth speak out against Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our reporters, 31 March 2017

Many of those who spoke to SEP campaigners signed the petition demanding the release of the victimised Indian car workers.

Allegations of vote fraud mount

The UAW betrayal at Caterpillar and the case for rank-and-file committees

By Jerry White, 31 March 2017

The alleged ratification of the UAW-backed deal has provoked widespread charges of vote rigging and fraud.

Ford warns of layoffs to cut inventories as Trump boasts of “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!”

By Shannon Jones, 30 March 2017

Ford’s warning follows a string of layoffs by GM, belying the claims of the Trump administration of a jobs revival in the auto industry.

Indian auto workers demand release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Moses Rajkumar and Yuvan Darwin, 30 March 2017

Indian auto workers voice their support for the ICFI campaign and demand release of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification

By Marcus Day, 29 March 2017

While the UAW has claimed that a new six-year contract with Caterpillar was approved by workers at ratification meetings Sunday, it has yet to release company-wide vote totals.

“This is nothing but class war”

International support grows for petition to free framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Jerry White, 29 March 2017

Workers and youth from 33 countries on five continents have signed the petition, with many denouncing the frame-up and expressing solidarity with the imprisoned Indian workers.

UK: Strikers at Fujitsu support release of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 29 March 2017

The pickets expressed their support for the campaign to release the Maruti Suzuki workers by applauding a Socialist Equality Party member who had appealed to them for support.

After unexplained delay, UAW claims ratification of Caterpillar deal

By Jerry White, 28 March 2017

Caterpillar workers expressed suspicion that the UAW had rigged the vote to push the deeply unpopular contract past the opposition of rank-and-file workers.

Sri Lankan workers support campaign to free framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 28 March 2017

Socialist Equality Party campaigners distributed the ICFI statement “Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers” in Sinhalese and Tamil.

UAW delays release of vote tally after Caterpillar workers oppose sellout deal

By Marcus Day, 27 March 2017

After announcing they would release the results of the vote Sunday night, UAW executives abruptly declared the tally would not be made public until sometime Monday.

“The way I look at it is, the UAW is Caterpillar”

Caterpillar workers in Peoria, Illinois denounce UAW sellout deal

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

Caterpillar workers voting in central Illinois Sunday spoke with the WSWS about the years of reversals they have suffered due to the treachery of the United Auto Workers union.

“We should be outraged by what is happening in India.”

US, Canadian autoworkers speak in defense of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By a reporting team, 25 March 2017

The campaign to defend 31 framed-up Maruti Suzuki autoworkers in India is winning support among autoworkers in North America.

Elect rank-and-file committees to oppose job cuts and end givebacks!

Vote “No” on the UAW-Caterpillar sellout agreement

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 25 March 2017

The UAW pro-company contract sanctions the closure of the Aurora, Illinois plant and continues decades of wage and benefit concessions

UAW-Caterpillar contract “highlights” reveal new attacks on jobs and wages

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2017

What little the UAW has revealed about its deal with Caterpillar points to an escalation of the union-backed corporate assault on workers.

Maruti Suzuki workers lead protest demanding freedom for 13 workers jailed for life

By a WSWS reporting team, 24 March 2017

Thousands of workers defied a ban on gatherings of five or more people to show their support for the 13 framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers.

“The union works against us”

With contract battle looming, Canadian autoworkers at GM CAMI plant speak out

By Carl Bronski, 23 March 2017

Unifor officials have expressed concern about growing support for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter as CAMI workers look to recoup years of union-backed wage and benefit concessions.

Campaign for release of Maruti Suzuki workers wins support in India and Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 23 March 2017

South Asian workers denounce the frame-up of innocent workers.

Sham character of Maruti Suzuki workers’ trial further exposed

By Keith Jones, 23 March 2017

The presiding judge had to admit police colluded with Maruti Suzuki and fabricated evidence, but even as he did so, he downplayed the significance of these crimes.

The key facts of the Maruti Suzuki workers’ case

22 March 2017

There is not a shred of evidence against any of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers sentenced to life in prison.

“Don’t believe what they’re going to tell you”

As Caterpillar-UAW contract vote nears, Deere workers warn of union betrayal

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 22 March 2017

With just four days left before voting, workers at agricultural equipment giant Deere & Co. spoke on the lessons of their 2015 contract struggle.

Support grows for framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

By Jerry White, 21 March 2017

Opposition to the brutal life sentences meted out to 13 Maruti Suzuki workers is growing in India and around the world.

“I think it’s a set-up with the union and Caterpillar”

Caterpillar-UAW deal: Workers denounce information blackout

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 21 March 2017

Less than a week before they are set to vote on a six-year contract proposal, workers have still not received any details on the content of the deal.

Thirteen sentenced to life imprisonment in India

Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

By International Committee of the Fourth International, 20 March 2017

Thirteen Maruti Suzuki workers have been condemned to life in prison as the result of a monstrous frame-up mounted by the automaker, the police and judicial authorities, with the full complicity of India’s principal political parties.

India: Framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers sentenced to life imprisonment

By Keith Jones, 18 March 2017

India’s ruling elite has imposed savage sentences on the Maruti Suzuki workers to intimidate the working class and reassure investors that it will ruthlessly enforce sweatshop conditions.

Workers have the right to study the full contract!

Caterpillar-UAW deal: An anti-worker conspiracy

By Marcus Day, 18 March 2017

In an attempt to overcome worker opposition to further concessions, the UAW and Caterpillar are coordinating an information blackout over details of a proposed six-year contract announced Wednesday.

The UAW’s corporatist alliance with Trump

By Niles Niemuth, 17 March 2017

UAW President Dennis Williams’ appearance Wednesday with President Donald Trump and the Big Three auto bosses to promote “American First” nationalism is further confirmation of the anti-working class character of the unions.

Indian court to hear sentencing arguments against framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Shannon Jones, 17 March 2017

Thirteen autoworkers could face the death penalty in a case that has seen blatant collusion between company management, police and Indian state officials

India: 31 victimized Maruti Suzuki workers convicted on frame-up charges

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 14 March 2017

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for 13 car assembly workers, including the leadership of an independent union formed in opposition to a company-stooge union.

As backdoor UAW-Caterpillar negotiations and tax fraud investigation continue

Former Caterpillar worker speaks on 2012 Joliet, Illinois strike betrayal

By Marcus Day, 13 March 2017

Caterpillar is in the midst of a worldwide restructuring, laying off tens of thousands and closing multiple plants.

GM spin-off of Opel-Vauxhall poses need for international fight to defend auto jobs

By Jerry White, 9 March 2017

GM’s move is part of a restructuring of the global auto industry that threatens the jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers around the world.

“They want to cut thousands of jobs.”

PSA purchases Opel-Vauxhall from General Motors

By Marianne Arens, 8 March 2017

The works council and IG Metall union are covering up the danger facing the jobs and living standards of workers after the takeover of Opel and Vauxhall by the PSA Group.

“The corporations are our enemies, not immigrant workers”

General Motors announces 1,100 job cuts at Lansing, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Just three days after laying off 1,300 workers at its Detroit assembly plant, GM announced it was cutting another 1,100 workers at a factory near the Michigan state capital.

Sanders covers for UAW at Mississippi Nissan rally

By Ed Hightower and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Sanders was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s rally in Canton, Mississippi where the United Auto Workers is campaigning to win recognition at the Nissan auto factory.

As UAW maintains information blackout on contract negotiations

Federal agents raid Caterpillar headquarters in Illinois

By Marcus Day, 6 March 2017

The dramatic operation hints at the immense criminality and fraud that characterize the day-to-day workings of giant transnationals.

“They’re laying people off and scattering them to the winds to find employment”

GM layoffs of 1,300 workers at Detroit assembly plant

By a reporting team, 4 March 2017

The layoffs are a major blow to workers and to the city, which is already the poorest big city in America with an official unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.

“They are just here trying to make a living for themselves and their families”

US auto workers speak out in defense of immigrants

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 March 2017

While the unions are aligning with Trump and his “America First” nationalism, workers are reacting against attempts of the administration to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria.

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part one

By James Brewer, 3 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

UAW orders thousands of Caterpillar workers to stay on the job as contract expires

By Marcus Day, 2 March 2017

The UAW and Caterpillar have maintained a media blackout in the current negotiations as they prepare to demand further concessions from workers.

Nine-month lockout of Honeywell workers ends as UAW pushes through company’s demands

By Jessica Goldstein, 1 March 2017

The betrayal of Honeywell workers in South Bend, Indiana underscores the anti-working class character of the United Auto Workers union.

UAW shuts down strike at Kansas City auto parts supplier plant

By Shannon Jones and Nick Rodriguez, 28 February 2017

The settlement maintains a low-wage regime at the factory that makes parts for the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant.

“They are leaving us basically to fend for ourselves”

Detroit GM workers speak on layoffs as deadline draws near

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2017

The layoffs will add to the already high unemployment rate in Detroit, which stands at close to 10 percent.

“The UAW smooths everything out for the company”

One week to GM layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 23 February 2017

The auto sales boom of the last six years is winding down as the threat to jobs mounts both in the US and internationally.

As Trump promotes America First nationalism at South Carolina Boeing plant

UAW to launch “Buy American” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2017

The UAW is ramping up its promotion of economic nationalism in line with the reactionary America First demagogy of the Trump administration.

On eve of GM Detroit layoffs

Jeep announces partial shutdown of Toledo, Ohio complex

By Shannon Jones, 17 February 2017

The UAW is collaborating with GM to lay off some 1,300 workers at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant while trying to divert anger with a reactionary “Buy American” campaign.

Caterpillar to move headquarters from Peoria to Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann and Owen Green, 14 February 2017

Caterpillar’s decision to move its headquarters to Chicago will contribute to the further economic decline of Peoria.

“It’s like we’re working for a temporary agency”

As deadline nears, autoworkers speak on General Motors layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 10 February 2017

With only weeks to go before 1,300 layoffs, opposition is mounting to the job cuts.

SEP meeting in Detroit Saturday to oppose GM layoffs

10 February 2017

The SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter have called this meeting to organize and mobilize opposition to the layoffs throughout the region.

GM makes $9.4 billion in global profits as it slashes thousands of jobs

By Jerry White, 8 February 2017

GM is doling out $14 billion in stock buybacks even as it lays off 3,300 workers in Michigan and Ohio.

GM Canada slashes CAMI workforce in Ontario

By Carl Bronski, 4 February 2017

The announcement exposes the lying claims of Unifor and its President Jerry Dias that the latest round of concessions contracts would secure the Detroit Three’s Canadian “footprint.”

“It’s not the fault of Mexican or Chinese workers”

1,200 GM workers laid off at Lordstown plant in Ohio

By Jerry White, 31 January 2017

More than 2,000 General Motors workers, including 1,245 in Lordstown, Ohio, were laid off the same day that Trump delivered his inaugural address.

“Sure he wants jobs in America—by lowering our wages”

GM autoworkers speak out on layoffs and Trump

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 26 January 2017

Amid all the claims about new investments and jobs, General Motors is pressing ahead with the destruction of 3,300 jobs in Michigan and Ohio.

Automakers announce US investments, anticipate big profits under Trump

By Jerry White, 20 January 2017

Over the past weeks major US- and foreign-based automakers have announced they will maintain or expand production in the US and, in some cases, trim back operations in Mexico.

Ford contract worker killed at Rouge complex outside of Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 14 January 2017

A contract worker, Ricky Mcintosh, died Wednesday morning after a fall from an overhead crane.

“The union is not for us”

Detroit autoworkers speak out against GM layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2017

With layoffs scheduled for March 5, workers are facing temporary plant closures that play havoc with their lives and finances.

Protest by Illinois auto parts workers wins broad support on Facebook

By Shannon Jones, 7 January 2017

In a confrontation recorded on video, plant management called police on protesting workers after robbing them of promised severance pay.

“People are working two to three Saturdays in a row and they are laying people off”

Anger mounting among US autoworkers in wake of GM layoff announcement

By Shannon Jones, 30 December 2016

Young workers and temporary workers will be hardest hit by the layoffs as many gave up other jobs to work at GM.

“They have no concern for workers. You are just a number”

US autoworkers express anger, opposition to GM layoffs

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 December 2016

Autoworkers reacted with anger and defiance in the face of the announcement by GM that it is cutting 1,192 jobs at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.

General Motors announces mass layoffs of workers in the US

By Jerry White, 21 December 2016

In its latest layoff announcement, the largest US automaker said it would eliminate the second shift at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, wiping out 1,200 jobs.

Volvo to lay off 500 workers at Virginia truck plant

By Ed Hightower, 17 December 2016

The company is requiring the very workers they will terminate in February to come in to work overtime shifts this Saturday.

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.