Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The UAW and USW are trying to pass a five-year contract only days after they have released any information about what is in it. They are trying to pull a fast one on us because they know we would reject it overwhelmingly if we had time to study it.
We have the right to adequately study the full global and local contracts, which are only just now being released less than 48 hours before voting begins at some plants. But based on the details that have been presented in piecemeal fashion at various plants, we know enough to call for a resounding and united “No!” with the highest possible turnout.
We will not be swindled into voting for a contract that was written by corporate management and rubber-stamped by the corrupt cronies in the UAW and USW. The union executives have shown which side they are on in this fight with Dana, and it’s not ours. Their decision to conceal the contract, which they agreed to months ago, proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The UAW and USW treat us like slaves who have no rights. In St. Clair, Michigan, the UAW stuck up a flyer Wednesday promising that a highlights package will “probably” be released on Monday right before the plant votes Wednesday. The plant chairman at the Fort Wayne, Indiana plant arrogantly told workers, “I’m not going to waste my Saturday having a meeting to discuss this, when we are having one Sunday” after voting starts. A USW official claimed the full contract could not be released because of a “printing problem.”
As for the vote, we know how these things go if the UAW and USW are in charge of the process. We weren’t born yesterday. They don’t want us to see their backroom ballot stuffing. The UAW got caught red handed stuffing ballots to pass the 2015 Ford contract. Volvo workers in Virginia don’t believe that a contract that had been voted down three times “passed” the fourth time by a 17-vote margin.
The unions are pulling out every dirty trick in the book in order to get this deal passed. They are trying to divide us up by plant, telling workers in one location that workers at another are sure to vote “yes” and vice versa.
To add insult to injury, we’re being told it will take two-thirds of the plants to vote “no” to reject the contract.
If that’s the case, who made that decision, which is completely undemocratic? Even if we pass this hurdle, they won’t go back and get a better deal but will just tell us to vote again—till we get it “right!”
In fact, the USW is even telling people that it has the so-called “right” to unilaterally impose the contract even if workers reject it, similar to what the Workers United union did earlier this year to Amcor workers in Terre Haute, Indiana. Do they think we live in a dictatorship where workers have no rights?
So frightened are the union bureaucrats that we will vote this down that they are holding the votes on days that we are working to minimize turnout and are conspiring to keep us from learning about the “no” votes at other plants.
Dana workers are fed up. As the saying goes, “We won’t be fooled again!” We are workers, who produce this company’s profits, and we will not let Dana and its union stooges dictate the conditions we will work under for the next five years.
To the UAW and USW, we demand the following:
- The immediate scheduling of informational meetings at plants where none have yet been announced, in order to give workers a forum to discuss what WE NEED, not what the company demands.
- Rank-and-file oversight of the voting process to prevent fraud in all locals. The UAW and USW must allow delegations of rank-and-file workers who do not and have not held union office to count the ballots and protect against fraud.
If these demands are not met, we the rank-and-file workers of Dana, will not accept that the agreement was legitimately ratified, no matter what the UAW and USW say. If a contract can be passed under such conditions, then democracy means nothing at all.
As for the content of the contract, we know, based on what has been presented so far, that it does not meet any of our needs. The UAW and USW are engaged in the long-standing process of accepting what the company demands and telling us that we must accept it.
Well, we say: This ends now! The following is the minimal basis of an agreement that all rank-and-file workers, of all ages and tiers, are prepared to accept:
- A guaranteed 8-hour day and 40-hour week.
- A 75 percent wage increase for all workers, which is required to make a livable income.
- The abolition of the multitier system, with all workers brought up to top tier: “Equal pay for equal work!”
- Workers’ control of line speed with no speedups.
- New, clean machines, safety training and air quality checks.
- No points system. Bonuses for those with good past attendance.
- Adequate air conditioning in all plants. If temperature reaches a certain point, work stops.
- Workers’ oversight of safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19. The right to halt production and close the plant for full cleaning, with guaranteed pay to workers for all missed time, if there are outbreaks.
We are telling the UAW and USW that we will not live the next five years of our lives according to what the company says it needs from us to make a profit. Sweat shop conditions must end! We have a right to spend time with our families and friends!
To all workers at Dana: we call on you to join and build the Dana Workers Rank-and-File Committee. We need every honest and self-respecting man and woman to unite and stand up for the working class. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and text us at (248) 602–0936.