Australian postal workers support striking Volvo workers in the US

The latest meeting of the Australian Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee unanimously passed a resolution in solidarity with striking Volvo workers in Dublin, Virginia. The committee has been closely following the struggle in the plant and stands in solidarity with the Volvo Workers Rank-and-File Committee.

Postal workers also gave comments in support of the strike, remarking on how they see the fight by the Volvo workers as an inspiration for their own struggle against a major restructure of the postal service in Australia, through the imposition of a so-called new delivery model, overseen by the corporatist unions.

The meeting passed the following resolution:

The Australian Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee (PWRFC) extends its international solidarity and support to the 3,000 striking Volvo workers at the New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia and the Volvo rank-and-file committee you have established. Your struggle is the spearhead of a resurgence of militant working-class struggle internationally.

The stand you have taken is a beacon of light for all workers seeking to break out of the isolation imposed by the United Auto Workers union [UAW], the AFL-CIO and the unions everywhere that try to strangle the struggles of workers.

Your exposure of the role of the UAW is a highlight of this fight against the union-backed company contract. The union is doing everything in its power to isolate you and force you to accept the company’s rotten deal. The UAW’s refusal to even put out a notice of the dispute on its Facebook page, and inform its members, only exposes how far these “unions” have degenerated into pro-company organisations, staffed with pro-company hacks.

The real strength of the Volvo workers lies with the unity and support of their brothers and sisters internationally. We join with you in the struggle to win the support of workers in the US, and around the world, to win this fight! It is these workers who will provide you with the support you need to win, not the rotten, decrepit, corrupt and outlived unions who have sold out their members for bribes.

We are with you!!

Jim Franklin, Australia Post worker and member of the PWRFC said:

I support the important stand the Volvo workers have taken, in rejecting the union backed company sell-out contract, and your determined fight for decent conditions.

Your struggle goes much further than your immediate factory in Virginia. Your rejection of the attempts by the union to force you to accept their pro-company deal has established a line in the sand, and shows workers everywhere what they must do.

I support all the demands of the Volvo workers rank-and-file committee and its exposure of the rotten role of the UAW. Your decision to form this rank-and-file committee and its principled fight against the pro-company UAW is an important lesson for all workers to follow.

Everywhere, the unions do the same as the UAW, and seek to sell workers out. This means for workers to advance their struggle even one inch requires new organisations, through which we can fight and defeat the conspiracy of the unions and the employers.

This is why workers at Australia Post have also created a rank-and-file committee, because we confront the same problems. The unions in no way represent the interests of workers. Instead they work with the employers to impose the dictates of management. We are in solidarity with you, brothers and sisters, your strength is in the unity of all workers, reach out to them. We say workers of the world unite and fight for victory!!

John, Australia Post worker and member the PWRFC, said:

I am in full support of the striking workers at the New River Valley Volvo plant in Dublin, Virginia. What they face is a common experience of workers here, in Australia. The unions work with management to force through enterprise agreements, like the contracts in the United States. These enterprise agreements are always give-backs to the companies, that undermine the workers.

In my workplace the wage tier system takes a different form. Workers are placed on rolling contracts. They are doing the same work as the permanent employees next to them, without the same benefits. The unions not only agreed to this, but implemented it. Just as with the UAW, they divide and separate workers from workplace to workplace, keeping workers in the dark about what is happening.

The stand Volvo workers and the Volvo Workers Rank-and-File Committee have taken is inspiring. The UAW attempts to intimidate workers with the threat of compulsory arbitration, but as the Rank-and-File statement says, “We will not be bullied into accepting an agreement that does not meet our needs!”

The building of the Volvo Workers Rank-and-File Committee is so important as a way forward for the striking Volvo workers, the working class across the US, and around the world. For the working class to be able to fight against these global corporations, workers require their own independent organs of struggle, connected through an International Workers Alliance.