On September 16, Keaira Marsenburg, a Dana worker at Toledo Driveline, was improperly fired from her job. The circumstances behind her dismissal makes clear it was part of a conspiracy by Dana management and the United Auto Workers union to remove the most class-conscious and militant workers from the shop floor, to break the resistance of workers to a union-brokered sellout deal.
Dana and representatives from the UAW and United Steelworkers reconvene this week for new talks after workers voted down the last national agreement by a more than 9-1 margin. At Toledo, in a powerful show of unity, the vote against was unanimous, 435-0. As both the WSWS and the Dana Workers’ Rank-and-File Committee (DWRFC) have warned, these are not “negotiations” at all, but strategy sessions where the pro-company unions will plan out with Dana how to ram essentially the same deal down workers’ throats. Moreover, the timing of the talks is being deliberately dragged out as long as possible in order to get Dana through the critical period of the model changeovers, when the auto industry retools for next year’s vehicles.
The story on Keaira published by the WSWS last week has prompted an outpouring of support from fellow autoworkers. We are publishing a selection of these statements below.
The DWRFC is demanding her immediate reinstatement with full back pay for time lost. Send your statement in support of Keaira to the Dana Workers’ Rank-and-File Committee (DWRFC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I support reinstating Keaira. Dana workers should be able to exercise their right to a strike without the interference of overpaid union sellout bureaucrats who collaborate with the company.
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Hello from a worker in a related industry in the UK.
I work in a company that produces electrical units for the auto industry and I totally agree with your campaign to get Keaira reinstated.
So much about her experiences resonates with my own and that of my friends and family. My brother-in-law got fired after a lengthy disciplinary process, and his “union” played the critical role in making the accusations that allowed the managers to fire him. The woman who was responsible for doing it was both the union rep and acting supervisor at the time, so she could claim to be helping him while giving him the push.
I have seen similar things go on throughout my life. When the company I worked for got taken over and they brought in a new shift system, the only “advice” from the union was to “keep our heads down”! I ended up getting moved out to a different part of the company because I wasn’t prepared to go along with it.
So I say, stand up for your rights against both the managers and the UAW, build the DWRFC, and fight for Keaira’s full reinstatement.
There are millions of workers around the world who will follow your example.
With warmest greetings,
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Hello. I’m a UAW worker in Detroit. I just finished reading your story. That firing is unjustified and wrong. I am speechless as to why the union would allow this to take place. I hope everyone will join you and fight this injustice. You have my support in Michigan.
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Give her job back immediately., this is insane. These companies and unions need to be held accountable. Take care of the American workers and their families.
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As a UAW member from the [Stellantis] Toledo Assembly Complex in good standing at Local 12 Toledo, I personally have experienced hostile retaliatory acts by union officials identical to Keaira’s circumstances.
I had communicated safety hazards to company and union officials in which the union officials acted in a hostile manner towards me to prevent me from exposing those hazards, which resulted in multiple OSHA citations against FCA, including serious injuries to UAW-represented employees of FCA.
Furthermore, unit level, local level, and international level UAW officials, in coordination with FCA management, attempted to carry out retaliatory and hostile acts similar to Keaira’s circumstances, and unlawfully terminated my employment with FCA identical with the circumstances with Keaira at Dana.
A culture of corruption exists throughout the UAW at all levels and all units of the union.
The collusion with the corporations which the UAW maintains, implementing company-friendly policies that abuse workers, certainly is within the level of criminal conduct that violates collective bargaining agreements and labor laws which numerous UAW officials have been convicted of recently.
Keaira is just one example of numerous victims of UAW corruption, which continues. The select few who speak out against this unlawful conduct suffer continued abuse by the UAW as I have experienced as well … Keaira stay strong!
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I am a coworker in the Toledo plant. I agree that Keaira must be reinstated.
I haven’t been in my plant for very long, but long enough to see that there’s a lot of wrong-doing going on. I see that you can be a hard working individual or one of the greatest people in the world, but if someone that’s been in the plant for a while who doesn’t like you, they all will go against you. And that’s not fair at all.
I am a godly person that tries to treat everyone righteously no matter what. But somehow I believe there is a lot of evil in the automotive industry, they say where there is money, there is evil. And I really believe that the young lady should have her job back.
Working one month at Dana is really like working two months [due to the amount of mandatory overtime]. I have never worked at a place where people are so against you: team leads running around threatening people’s jobs, supervisor talking to you like you are their child. There’s people in there not getting trained at all on the lines they are on.
So by saying all that, Keaira has been at Dana since 2018, she has been through a lot, so hats off to her, she knows what’s going on there and I truly believe if they were to get more people like her on the jobs in Dana, that it would be a better place to work. As far as the union, I’ve only seen them in orientation, and through taking my money every week.
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Keaira is a victim of Dana-UAW pact against workers. All workers should fight to reinstate Keaira with back pay. The UAW clearly worked with Dana to fire her as they fear the independent mobilization of workers against the company. The union is a staunch defender of the company’s rights to oppress the workers and their action, while vile, is predictable.