The entire car industry in Australia has been slated for destruction by Ford, General Motors Holden and Toyota. At least 7,000 workers in five assembly and engine plants will lose their jobs. Many of the 44,000 workers employed by components manufacturers and supporting businesses will be sacked. As the impact is felt across the economy, up to 150,000 more workers will be thrown into unemployment. Working class suburbs in Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide will be reduced to the deindustrialisation and impoverishment that exists in American cities such as Detroit, once the centre of the US auto industry.
The devastation is the outcome of the onslaught waged against the conditions of car workers around the world since the global breakdown of capitalism emerged in 2008. All the auto conglomerates have boosted profits, amid ferocious competition for markets, through relentless cost-cutting at the expense of the working class. The role of the trade unions in every country has been to pressure and intimidate workers into accepting the attacks of the companies, via the false assertion that being “internationally competitive” against workers everywhere else will protect jobs.
New organisations and a global political strategy are needed. The Socialist Equality Party public meeting will present a socialist perspective and explain how car industry workers and the entire working class can fight—independent of the pro-capitalist and corporatist trade unions—to unite with workers internationally and defend jobs, wages and working conditions.
Sunday, March 16, 2.30 p.m.
Northcote Town Hall, Roof Top Room
189 High Street, Northcote