More letters to the Indianapolis rank-and-file committee

28 September 2010

These letters were sent to workers in Indianapolis who have formed the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and file Committee to fight against attempts by General Motors, JD Norman, and the UAW to force through a 50 percent wage cut. We encourage workers to send letters of solidarity to indygmworkers@gmail.com, and to send copies to the World Socialist Web Site. (See, “Support the Indianapolis GM workers!”)

Fraternal greetings from Ireland.

Your fight is our fight.

In Ireland we have the same snakes in the grass that you are battling.

There is a word in Irish, plamas (pronounced plawmoss), which means adopting an insincere friendliness or concern to fool someone into trusting you.

The trade unions have for many years plamased their members the world over.

The political parties that supposedly represent us do the same—the Irish Labour Party, Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein; the so called ‘lefts’ that say we should support the unions and support Sinn Fein; the Greens—they all are for the system and against us.

It is simply impossible to accept that the capitalist economic system should continue; and then also defend the rights of the mass of humanity who are day and daily exploited and brutalised by this same system. You are either for capitalism or against it.

The trade unions are part of the capitalist system, living off us and duping us into not taking on the bosses and ending capitalism once and for all. 

The ordinary people of the world must organise themselves to defend themselves.

No longer will we be plamased.

Mervyn C
Ireland
27 September 2010

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To the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee,

I’d like to share a word of strong support for you and your stand. The collapse of wages that we have seen in our country is going hand in hand with the collapse of retirement, health care, education, and infrastructure. Many of us have looked on in despair as each year brings another turn for the worse. Your stand against wage cuts shines as an example for all of us that things can and should be different. Your struggle is in fact a struggle for all of us, and your courage sets an example for others to follow. Your struggle is being watched closely by many supporters around the country and worldwide.

In Solidarity,

John N
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
27 September 2010

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I have worked at the AutoLiv car components factory in Melbourne for almost 18 years now. When I started there were almost 1,000 people working there. Now it’s down to only 35 and it’s soon to close. AutoLiv also operates in the Philippines where they pay workers 200 pesos a day, which is about $5 a day. The union just helps people looking for a new job. We knew before the elections here in Australia that the factory was going to close. Why didn’t the union do anything?

I took the package, as we know the company is closing and I was scared that there would be no money left. I will still not have enough to pay off my house as my superannuation was lost in the 2008 crash. I just wanted to be able to live in my own home when I was old. Now I cannot. I have to find another job somehow.

They tell us that if we want to stay we could work in an Autoliv factory in Thailand. The manager also told us that the workers here have a good reputation, so we may be able to find a job somewhere else. But where? At a workshop where they are training us to get jobs elsewhere I said, “We are in the auto-industry. Where are we going to work next?” The girl answered, “That’s a good question”.

I think it is good for someone to rise up like workers at GM. Hopefully they will listen to you. Hopefully this will help.

Elvie
Melbourne, Australia
24 September 2010

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My name is Zafer. I worked at Ford in Broadmeadows, Australia for 15 years, from 1981 to 1996. During my time there the union did not help the people. They just talked. They helped the company; they are yellow. That is what we call them in Turkey—yellow unions. They made themselves comfortable. The union always helped the company. It was very hard. I have trouble with a second language but the union never did anything about telling me my rights.

During the 1990s I was very upset. The foreman kept pushing up production. I needed to change the job that I was doing. I was injured and had seen a doctor. I complained many times but the union never helped. I ended up with a nervous breakdown.

I urge you to stick together. The capitalist system doesn’t care about anyone. One by one they can knock you off, but if you stick together you can win.

It’s very good in my opinion that you have set up a committee away from the union. If union doesn’t help you it is better to be out and stick together.

Zafer
Melbourne, Australia
24 September 2010

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I’ve been grateful to the World Socialist Web Site for providing continuous coverage of your hard-nosed stand against financial predation.

If financial types like JD Norman could simply occupy themselves with the bubbles of fictitious capital that they build up through all kinds of hyper-leveraging and just leave people alone it would be one thing—unfortunately they come to do dirty work in order to monetize their hollow paper capital with the blood, sweat, tears, and bone marrow of workers.

Your GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee in Indianapolis is an inspiring start to a revolutionary leftist like myself. All too many workers put up with nothing less than banditry from their business unions, and it’s rare to see a militant exception to this status quo. Your committee’s stand against naked corporate vampirism is a shining beacon for workers internationally, for any who may be unsure of what to do at their own positions and situations.

In the absence of a manufacturing- and productivity-oriented economy we all must not hesitate to be explicitly political in favor of our own collective interests. Individual labor achievement is a luxury for fools and dupes, if it ever was anything but a chimera to begin with.

I wish your rank-and-file organization the very best in continued struggle against all efforts at invasion. Please stay strong and continue to publicize and spread the struggle so that JD Norman and others will pause the next time they think about getting out of bed in the morning.

Sincerely yours,

Chris
Chicago, Illinois
25 September 2010

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I’m a worker in Marrickville, Sydney, Australia, and I have been reading about your courageous stand against the treacherous UAW.

I wish to express my admiration of and solidarity with you.

Regards

Virginia
25 September 2010

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Hail the Comrades of Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and file Committee!

The vanguard move taken by you workers of the Indianapolis GM will strengthen the correct strategy that all workers around the world should follow. American capitalism has failed and it will bestow upon workers of the US with more misery. It is only workers like you who can save people of the US and internationally. Against all pro-capitalist, nationalist trade unions workers have to rise on their own with their own independent action committees. The function of trade unions throughout the world has nothing to do with the wellbeing of the workers any more. Therefore, workers must follow your initiative and your fight must direct not just to mere pressurizing or towards any deals with the big bosses of capital. Also the companies like General Motors should not be allowed to force closures and cut wages, because these are in fact the property of the workers.

In Sri Lanka we have much experience as to the betrayals of established trade union bureaucracies. The formation of Balmoral Estate Action Committee was one such initiative in this country by workers independent of trade unions that always have been functioning as the facilitators of pro-capitalist governments and top company owners. UAW (which is ironically known among workers as ‘Union Against Workers’) is doing the same thing in US. I applaud your initiative and your courage appreciated. You need leadership and perspective, which I state provides nothing but the only world party of the workers’ leadership, the ICFI.

In solidarity,

Sanjaya Wilson Jayasekera
Sri Lanka
25 September 2010

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Dear friends,

I am a long-time supporter of the World Socialist Web Site, and I wish to express my support and deep respect for the workers of the Indianapolis GM stamping plant who voted against the wage cut in the face of the divisive and treacherous behavior of the UAW leadership. Followers of bourgeois ideology tend to take it for granted that the working class will be permanently passive politically, that workers are little more than cattle in terms of their capacity for independent action. But it is only natural for people to fight for their real interests, and it gives me hope to follow the story of the courageous actions of the Indianapolis GM workers. This is only the beginning of much larger struggles.

Sincerely,

David R
25 September 2010

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We stand with you on these issues although we are from a different part of the world. We agree that this is an international issue and the first step to freeing the working class from the bureaucracy who dominate our lives and determine our livelihoods. The working class is the only social force that can free itself and reorganise society along truly democratic ways. In order to defend our jobs and earn a decent wage, society must take matters into their own hands. We must unite internationally if we are to accomplish a genuine alternative to the pressing problems faced by millions in the world.

Dolores M
Melbourne, Australia
26 September 2010

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I just want you guys to know that it really heartens me to see that there are workers in this country who are actively fighting the poverty-like conditions being thrust upon them by both the corporations and the unions. I am a teacher in Port Huron, Michigan and I see the same attacks upon the working class in public education. While the cuts have not been as draconian as the cuts being rammed down your throats, it is really just a matter of time before we see the same measures against us. At some point the working class must raise a bulwark against the profit system that runs this country and I see this happening in Indianapolis. What you are doing is very brave and inspirational and has an effect that goes well beyond your plant. You have my full support and I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Charlie B
26 September 2010

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I’m sending this letter of support and solidarity from the United Kingdom.

Having observed the dispute by GM workers and the betrayals of your own union UAW calling on GM workers to accept a 50 percent pay cut, this begs the question whose side are the UAW representing.

I was involved in strike action during the 1984-85 Miners strike in Britain, but despite a 12 months struggle we lost the strike. This then raises the question of working class leadership and the political positions of trade union bureaucrats. This is a question now facing millions of workers around the world, as capitalism has entered yet again a political and economic crisis.

Millions of workers are now being forced to pay for a crisis not of their making. But as a direct result of the financial system’s irresponsible wheelings and dealings by the stock markets, banks and financial establishments around the world. It’s a bit like giving someone your money to enter a casino, then losing it, then asking you to repay that loss.

Whilst the big businessmen bankers and politicians alike and factory owners like GM motors ask you to make cuts, these parasites continue to gorge themselves on the cuts they make from you. There’s one sure thing about these bureaucrats who are asking you to take a cut: this will never happen to there salaries.

Union leaders who are steeled in obsessive nationalism will tell you this is the result of foreign labour, they along with management will blame everyone including GM workers. They also have the full weight of the capitalist media at their disposal to blame you for their crisis.

Workers must act internationally and build independently from unions. They only serve to tie you to the nationalist flag of America. The working class is united in the same struggle globally. Your struggle is my struggle. I will observe with keen interest your struggle at GM. I extend my fraternal solidarity with you and you families at this time.

Malcolm B
UK
27 September 2010

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Larry Wells here from Oakville Ontario, Canada, and member and past

executive board officer of CAW local 707 (Ford Oakville Plant).

I cannot stress how important it is to stand together in solidarity with one another. Your fight is our fight if we allow the corporate agenda to succeed we will all lose. The UAW and the CAW has sipped the Corporate agenda Kool-aid and have given up huge concessions and layoffs or buyouts.

In my local our president is still talking how much Ford is still in debt and about the recession, when Ford brags about gaining huge market share and paying off their debt. In fact the other day they were asking members to work 12-hour production—they never did get the numbers, I expect to see more concessions and outsourcing in 2012. Our members have lost their respect and solidarity within our union and questionable election practices.

At the end of day if we don’t stand together we will fail the future of workers around the world, We have to elect strong no bullshit trade unionists, not the Kool-aid drinking shit we have today.

You have my full support.

In solidarity,

Larry Wells
CAW local 707 member
27 September 2010

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