More letters on the GM strike

31 July 1998

Dear WSWS,

I just wanted to say that , for one, am totally relieved that this strike appears to be over. My husband had 21 years in with the Trenton, NJ plant before it closed in June, all this BEFORE the strike. We had known it was coming for a while, and he has done everything that he could to ensure that we would have some sort of "future" still--perhaps in the form of a transfer. But here we still sit, and he sits, every day in a "transition center" with no help from anyone, union or otherwise, and we still don't know where we are going, or if we will have an income.

I sincerely hope all the strikers can see that there ARE NO guarantees, it may be too late, GM is very sneaky and I foresee lots more promises and then lots more plants closing in the next few years. Good luck. Hope things go better for all the UAW members around the country ... and hope that your plant is not next to close, like ours was. Thanks

Mrs. D


Dear WSWS,

I have been reading some of the comments about the GM strike from some of the people of this country and they are more concerned with what we have and they don't have than what the real issues of the strike are. They don't realize that GM is not in the business of giving, they are in the business of taking. If it wasn't for the UAW bargaining a contract, the economic impact could devastate the world. How do you sell a car to someone if they don't have money to pay for it. You can't get anyone to loan you the money if you can't pay it back.

UAW wants GM to stand by what they say and not go back on their word every time an issue arises that does not benefit them. Point: GM said in the bargaining negotiations that for every two people that retired one would be hired, not that we would make up the difference in manpower by offering overtime (sometimes up to 16 hours of work a day). GM forgets to mention that the wage of the workers in other GM facilities outside the US is a slave labor wage, (Delnosa, Mexico) 97 cents/hr., engineers $1.97/hr., but bring that part back across the border, it still sells for $250 for a new AM-FM CD radio.

People are not seeing the picture too clearly. They see what they want and blind themselves to what is real. GM is greedy, not the union member that works for them. I have been associated with the UAW since 1976 except for a seven-year layoff from 86-93 from GM, in which I was never offered a job or relocation to another GM facility.

I have hard feeling as well for the UAW, they pussyfoot around and don't take a stand for their members, they wait and see how their members react before they act. Hope that the International exec. don't see themselves as Walter Reuthers, they don't hold a candle to the MAN. The Bridge--the greatest stand for American organized labor--should always be the basis for which UAW stands. Glad to be an organized American auto worker none the less. United we stand, divided we fall.

Thank you

DR

UAW Local 292, Kokomo, IN

See Also:
US auto union ends strike on GM's terms
[30 July 1998]
The merger between Chrysler and Daimler-Benz:
what it means for workers
[8 May 1998]

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