The following is a statement by the Warren Truck Rank-and-File Committee. To contact the committee, call or text 248-919-8448. To get updates from the Autoworkers Rank-and-File Committees Network text AUTO to (866) 847-1086.
We, the Warren Truck Rank-and-File Committee, are calling for an all-out strike by every Stellantis, GM and Ford worker to win our demands for 40 percent wage increases, the restoration of COLA (cost-of-living adjustments), the abolition of wage and benefit tiers, the defense of every job and the immediate rollover of every temporary worker to a full-time position.
We oppose the decision by UAW President Shawn Fain to keep 90 percent of the Big Three members on the job and call out only three plants. This has forced us to continue producing vehicles and profits for the company while our brothers and sisters at Toledo Jeep, along with Ford Michigan Assembly and GM Wentzville are walking the picket lines.
By forcing us to work under expired contracts, Fain and the UAW bureaucracy have also given management a free hand to wage a war against the workers at the non-striking facilities. We have heard that 10 Warren Truck workers were walked out by management Friday for petty issues such as using ear buds or not wearing safety glasses.
Management could care less about our health and safety. If they did, the factory would not be so filthy that it led to a recent outbreak of Legionnaires disease. Instead, management is using the decision by Fain to keep us on the job under an expired agreement to arbitrarily suspend and fire workers.
Every rank-and-file worker still working now has a target on their back. Without workers having the right to arbitrate against unfair disciplinary action, management feels it has complete control over us. They would like nothing more than to purge the plant of higher paid workers so they can replace them with low-paid SEs who can also be fired at will.
In other words, every worker who remains in the plants during this so-called “stand-up strike” is in imminent danger. That is why this phony “strike” must be ended, and a real one launched using the power of all 150,000 workers to shut down the industry and win our demands.
The Warren Truck Rank-and-File Committee calls on workers to demand that UAW Local 140 call an emergency membership meeting immediately, so we can pass a resolution demanding an all-out strike now!
We voted by 97 percent to strike and everyone one of us was ready to walk out together last Friday. But Fain sprung this self-defeating “stand-up strike” policy on us at the last minute and defied the will of the membership. Right now, we’re only helping Stellantis and the other companies stockpile their vehicles so they can continue to resist our demands.
Fain claims he could expand the strikes this Friday if management does not give us a good contract. But if he did not call us all out on September 15, why should we believe he is going to do it in the future?
The truth is, the UAW bureaucrats do not want us to expand the strike. That is why they sent out a letter to workers instructing us to follow management’s instructions and warning that we can be fired for refusing mandatory overtime, slowing down production or taking any other solidarity action with our brothers and sisters on strike.
Fain & Co. are meeting with Biden administration and company officials every day trying to figure out how they can wear us down and impose a pro-company contract that will continue to cut our real wages and attack our jobs and living standards. At the same time, UAW officials want to keep our money and pay out as little as possible from the strike fund.
We cannot sit back and allow our fight to be defeated. Workers must assert our strength. If Fain will not act, we, the rank and file, must. Therefore, we demand an emergency membership meeting of Local 140 to conduct a vote to countermand the destructive selective strike policy and call for an immediate walkout of all Big Three workers, which is what we voted for. There should be emergency membership meetings at every local to force an end to the stand-up strike and bring everyone out together.
We say to all our fellow autoworkers: an all-out strike is the only way for the auto companies to know that we’re not playing. We, the working class on the floor, have to say, “enough is enough,” and use our full power to win our demands.
To contact the Warren Truck Rank-and-File Committee, call or text 248-919-8448. To get updates from the Autoworkers Rank-and-File Committees Network text AUTO to (866) 847-1086.