Autoworkers struggles

Tensions high at Chrysler Warren Stamping in wake of victimization

By Shannon Jones, 28 March 2013

Skilled trades worker Alex Wassell was fired for opposing the Alternative Work Schedule, recently implemented at the plant.

Detroit area worker killed in auto parts plant

By Bryan Dyne, 27 March 2013

A 42-year-old auto parts worker at Mollertech LLC in Shelby Township, Michigan was crushed to death last Thursday when a five-ton die fell on him.

Germany: IG Metall union stitches up the Opel Bochum workforce

By Dietmar Henning, 23 March 2013

At two staff meetings on Thursday, workers at the Opel plant in Bochum voted by a large majority (76.1 percent) against the so-called “master contract”.

Unions approve closure of PSA’s Aulnay plant in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 21 March 2013

On Monday, the unions voted to accept the closure the PSA Peugeot-Citroën factory at Aulnay, cutting 3,000 jobs directly and 11,214 jobs throughout France.

India: Victimized Maruti Suzuki workers file affidavits documenting their torture

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 20 March 2013

Thirteen of the jailed Maruti Suzuki workers have filed affidavits in court accusing Haryana state police and senior management personnel of colluding in their torture and threatening to kill them.

At mass meeting in Rüsselsheim

German auto union splits GM-Opel workforce

By our correspondent, 20 March 2013

Workers spoke of an atmosphere of intimidation at recent IG Metall meetings to discuss the future of GM-Opel.

The managed bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler: A model for the assault on Detroit

By Jerry White, 19 March 2013

Detroit’s new Emergency Financial Manager is considering a “managed bankruptcy” to slash jobs, wages and pensions.

Italy: Bridgestone wants to close plant in Bari

By Marianne Arens, 19 March 2013

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is responding to the declining European tyre market by cutting jobs in southern Italy.

Chrysler fires worker for protest

By Shannon Jones, 15 March 2013

Chrysler has fired a skilled trade worker at the Warren Stamping plant north of Detroit for involvement in a protest against the widely despised Alternative Work Schedule.

Auto workers denounce victimization of Chrysler worker

By Shannon Jones, 15 March 2013

Chrysler workers in the Detroit area are speaking out against the victimization of Warren Stamping skilled trades worker Alex Wassell.

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party of Germany (PSG) and the editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site

Opel workers: Vote no on the contract!

15 March 2013

The agreement reached between GM-Opel management, IG Metall and the joint works council is aimed at pitting workers at different plants against each other and carrying out the closure of the Bochum factory.

France: PSA car workers’ strike at an impasse

By Pierre Mabut, 14 March 2013

Some 100 PSA Citroën car workers from the Aulnay plant near Paris occupied the Engineering Employers Federation’s Paris offices to protest plans to close their plant.

Unions sign French automaker Renault’s plan to slash jobs, wages

By Kumaran Ira, 8 March 2013

Unions at Renault approved a cost-cutting plan allowing the carmaker to cut jobs, lengthen working hours and freeze wages in factories across France.

Chrysler victimizes Detroit-area auto worker

By Shannon Jones, 7 March 2013

The victimization of Alex Wassell is an attempt by Chrysler management to intimidate opposition to the new Alternative Work Schedule.

India: Chief Minister threatens victimized Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar and Jai Sharma, 2 March 2013

Haryana’s Chief Minister has threatened to order further arrests of victimized Maruti Suzuki workers.

UAW sanctions elimination of the eight-hour day at Chrysler

By Jerry White, 2 March 2013

With its support for the so-called Alternative Work Schedule, the UAW is overseeing the destruction of basic protections won by autoworkers 75 years ago.

Mass layoffs at Caterpillar in Belgium

By Christoph Dreier, 1 March 2013

On Thursday the management of the US construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar announced that it was laying off 1,400 workers at its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.

IG Metall union seeks to finalize closure of GM-Opel Bochum plant

By Dietmar Henning, 1 March 2013

In the next week, the IG Metall, the works council and management at Opel want to seal the final closure of the Bochum Opel plant. Opel workers must not let this happen.

CEO of US tire firm denounces French Goodyear workers

By Pierre Mabut and Antoine Lerougetel, 27 February 2013

In a letter pledging to exploit underpaid Asian workers, the CEO of Titan denounced workers at Goodyear’s embattled plant in Amiens-Nord, France.

The way forward in the fight against the closure of GM-Opel’s Bochum plant

By Ulrich Rippert, 26 February 2013

The following statement from the Socialist Equality Party (PSG) in Germany is being distributed to auto workers at the GM-Opel plant in Bochum who are facing the shutdown of their factory.

German Socialist Alternative group aids union sellout at Opel

By Christoph Dreier, 19 February 2013

The Socialist Alternative group is aiding IG Metall by attempting to sow illusions that the union can be transformed into a fighting organisation.

India: Thousands join protests to support victimised Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 19 February 2013

Thousands of workers participated in an “All-India Protest Day” to voice their support for victimized workers at Maruti Suzuki India’s car assembly plant in Manesar, Haryana.

Romanian auto workers face wage cuts and layoffs

By Markus Salzmann, 16 February 2013

Major auto companies have moved their production to Eastern Europe in order to profit from low wages and poor working conditions.

Unions suppress opposition to closure of Belgian Ford plant

By Dietmar Henning, 14 February 2013

In response to spontaneous walkouts by the workers, the unions intensified their cooperation with Ford.

Canadian Auto Workers union reopens CAMI-GM contract

By Carl Bronski, 13 February 2013

The Canadian Auto Workers union has pressured workers at the CAMI-GM assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, to reopen their contract so as to impose further concessions.

UK: Honda slashes nearly one third of jobs at Swindon

By Richard Duckworth, 8 February 2013

The announcement comes less than six months after British politicians, business circles and the media praised Honda to the skies and declared that Britain had “won the global car war”.

Germany: A new capitulation by the IG Metall union to Opel management

By Philipp Frisch, 4 February 2013

IG Metall union functionaries are betraying workers for the sake of their own advancement on Opel’s management board.

Profit bonanza for US auto companies

By Jerry White, 2 February 2013

The multi-billion-dollar profits announced by Chrysler and Ford are primarily the result of a reduction in labor costs and the heightening of the exploitation of auto workers.

India: Victimized Maruti Suzuki workers continue to protest

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 2 February 2013

Victimized Maruti Suzuki India workers staged a rally last Sunday to demand their reinstatement and the immediate release of 150 workers who have been jailed on frame-up charges.

French Renault and PSA unions try to block fight against plant closures

By Antoine Lerougetel, 31 January 2013

The CGT and other unions are negotiating with PSA and Peugeot-Citroen on arrangements for plant closures and new competitiveness deals.

Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroën workers in joint protest against factory closures

By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut, 29 January 2013

Striking workers from the PSA car factory in Aulnay near Paris—which have been occupying the plant slated to be shut in 2014—joined workers at the Renault plant in Flins that is also threatened with closure

Union limits Indian auto workers to “go-slow” campaign over wages

By Arun Kumar, 28 January 2013

Over one thousand workers at Hero MotoCorp’s (HMCL) Gurgaon and Dharuhera plants in the northern Indian state of Haryana carried out a “go-slow” job action on January 23.

Forced overtime at Dundee, Michigan Chrysler plant as layoffs hit

By Shannon Jones, 26 January 2013

Workers at the Chrysler Dundee Engine Plant continue to face forced overtime after narrowly ratifying a sellout local contact.

German trade unions reject action to defend GM-Opel plant

By Dietmar Henning, 25 January 2013

A “solidarity evening” in Bochum, organised by the German Left Party, was aimed at covering up the role of the trade unions in the closure of the city’s GM-Opel auto plant.

GM Brazil strike

By Jerry White, 23 January 2013

Thousands of auto workers in Brazil carried out a 24-hour strike Tuesday at General Motors’ São José dos Campos plant, 50 miles northeast of Sao Paulo.

Renault announces 7,500 job cuts in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 17 January 2013

On Tuesday French carmaker Renault announced large-scale job and pay cuts, as the auto industry slashes production.

Witch-hunt continues against Maruti Suzuki workers in India

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 10 January 2013

Police have arrested another Maruti Suzuki worker in India, bringing the total number of framed-up and jailed auto workers to 150.

French auto industry prepares assault on jobs, working conditions

By Pierre Mabut, 7 January 2013

Auto job cuts in 2013 threaten the 10 percent of France’s workforce employed, directly or indirectly, in the industry.

GM-Opel: German Left Party leader contacts US ambassador

By Dietmar Henning, 4 January 2013

The Left Party has offered its services to assist in stifling any opposition by workers to the closure of the Opel plant in Bochum.

Germany’s Left Party and the closure of GM-Opel’s Bochum plant

By Dietmar Henning, 19 December 2012

The Left Party has sprung into action to divert workers’ opposition into a dead end and provide support to the IG Metall trade union.

Detroit area auto workers speak on passage of Michigan right-to-work law

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 December 2012

Reporting teams interviewed workers at two auto plants on the significance of the reactionary legislation passing in Michigan.

India: Thousands join convention and protest to defend victimised Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 15 December 2012

The convention and march underscores growing militancy among auto workers in India who want to fight the slave labour conditions they are subjected to.

GM-Opel plant in Germany to be shut down

By Dietmar Henning, 12 December 2012

GM-Opel has announced the closure of the plant in Bochum, Germany, by 2016.

Behind the UAW’s “support” for the Maruti Suzuki workers

By Jerry White, 5 December 2012

The United Auto Workers union in the United States has issued a letter of protest against the firing and arrests of workers at a Maruti Suzuki India plant.

“The eight-hour day is a thing of the past”

UAW sanctions “alternative” work schedule at Chrysler

By Jerry White, 30 November 2012

In an effort to pump ever-greater productivity and profits out of auto workers, Chrysler is implementing a so-called Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) at its stamping, assembly and parts plants throughout the country.

India: Thousands protest victimization of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 14 November 2012

Victimized workers from Maruti-Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant staged a series of protests last week to demand their reinstatement and to fight for the release of 149 workers who have been beaten and tortured while in police custody.

Belgium: 20,000 protest against closure of Ford plant in Genk

By our reporters, 13 November 2012

The closure will throw 4,600 workers at the factory and more than 5,000 employees in related industries out of work.

“Many could have been tortured to death,” charges lawyer for jailed Maruti Suzuki India workers

By Arun Kumar, 13 November 2012

In an interview with the World Socialist Web Site, one of the lawyers who represents the 149 jailed Maruti Suzuki India workers described how many of them have been brutally tortured by police.

Germany: Opel auto plant on brink of closure

By Dietmar Henning, 5 November 2012

Works councils and the IG Metall trade union have deceived car workers about the closure of Opel’s Bochum plant.

SEP candidate Jerry White speaks to Chrysler workers in Detroit

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 November 2012

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White and a team of supporters spoke to Chrysler workers at a campaign rally Friday afternoon.

France’s New Anti-capitalist Party conceals plans for historic attack on European auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 30 October 2012

As European automakers and trade unions prepare job and wage cuts, the NPA is advancing justifications for their reactionary policies.

Ford Europe plant closures threaten thousands of jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 27 October 2012

Ford Europe announced the closure of three factories this week, threatening the jobs of tens of thousands of auto workers.

French government bails out automaker PSA

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 27 October 2012

On Thursday the French government announced a €5 to 7 billion bailout of carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën.

Auto workers and the 2012 elections

Statement by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US president

25 October 2012

The following statement addressed to auto workers was issued by Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president.

India: Jailed Maruti Suzuki workers subjected to torture

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 23 October 2012

Indian authorities have tortured militant Maruti Suzuki workers who were jailed as part of a corporate-government conspiracy to convict them on murder charges.

Trade unions and management negotiate on Opel “recovery plan”

By Dietmar Henning, 20 October 2012

Following a slump in European sales GM subsidiaries in Germany and Britain face further cuts and plant closures.

Germany: Union agrees to flexible working at BMW

By Dietmar Henning, 15 October 2012

The IG Metall union and works council at BMW have agreed to flexible working on an unprecedented scale.

Fiat truck subsidiary Iveco to close five plants in Europe

By Michael Regens, 13 October 2012

Iveco workers face the same problem as workers throughout Germany and internationally: the corporatist collusion between unions and management to suppress any serious struggle to defend jobs.

UAW pushes through contract ratification at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant

By Shannon Jones, 6 October 2012

The United Auto Workers reports that members of Local 723 at the Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant have ratified the same local contract agreement they rejected in August.

Global crisis hits German auto manufacturers

By Dietmar Henning, 28 September 2012

The effects of the global economic crisis are now being felt by leading top-end German auto manufacturers such as Daimler and Porsche, with their respective workforces expected to pay the price for declining profits.

UAW to hold revote at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan engine plant

By Shannon Jones, 26 September 2012

The UAW will hold a revote on the local contract agreement overwhelmingly voted down last month by workers at Chrysler’s Dundee Engine Plant.

Workers at French auto plant speak out against job cuts

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2012

PSA workers oppose management plans, backed by the government and the union bureaucracy, for job cuts and the closure of the Aulnay plant.

Ford Canada workers ratify concessions deal

By Carl Bronski, 25 September 2012

After Ford’s campaign of plant closing and mass layoff threats, in partnership with the Canadian government and the Canadian Auto Workers union, CAW members in Ontario voted to ratify a concessions-laden contract.

Unions leading race to bottom for British car workers

By Trevor Johnson, 25 September 2012

Britain’s trade unions have enabled significant cuts to car workers’ pay at the same time as enormous hikes in productivity.

SEP presidential candidate speaks to Ford Canada workers

By Shannon Jones, 25 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White travelled to Windsor, Ontario Sunday with a campaign team to speak to Ford Canada workers voting on the concessions-laden contract negotiated by the Canadian Auto Workers. The four-year agreement accepted all of the major take-away demands of the auto companies including an expanded two-tier wage structure, cuts to pension, the elimination of cost of living allowances and a freeze on wages.

Oppose the Ford “pattern” of two-tier wages and concessions:

For a counteroffensive of Canadian and US auto workers!

By Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 22 September 2012

Workers at the Canadian operations of the Detroit Three should reject the sell-out contracts that the CAW has reached with Ford and GM, launch strike action and fight for the industrial and political mobilization of auto workers across North America.

European GM auto workers face US-style attacks

By Dietmar Henning, 20 September 2012

It is now virtually certain that Opel and Vauxhall workers will face the same sort of shock therapy administered to GM workers in the US.

CAW leadership bows to Ford Canada’s concessions demands

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2012

The tentative agreement the Canadian Auto Workers has reached with Ford locks in all the cuts agreed to in 2009 and contains major new concessions.

Sartorius report: French government backs mass layoffs at auto maker PSA

By Pierre Mabut, 15 September 2012

The Socialist Party government accepted a report backing PSA’s plans for mass layoffs and factory closures.

CAW moves to meet Detroit Three’s demands for two tier-wages, other givebacks

By Carl Bronski, 14 September 2012

The Canadian Auto Workers union has agreed to a major expansion of two-tier wages and other concessions in ongoing contract negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers.

UAW calls off Jeep contract vote

By Shannon Jones, 12 September 2012

In the wake of the vote by Chrysler Dundee Engine Plant workers to reject their local contract in Michigan the United Auto Workers called off a scheduled local contract vote at the Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio.

Detroit Three demand massive concessions from Canadian auto workers

By Carl Bronski, 12 September 2012

Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler are standing firm in their demand for sweeping contract concessions—including permanent two-tier wages and the scrapping of a defined pension benefits plan—from their more 20,000 Canadian workers.

Opposition to sellout contract by Chrysler workers wins support

By Shannon Jones, 3 September 2012

The stand taken by Chrysler Dundee Engine Plant workers, who overwhelmingly rejected a local contract last month, is winning broad support.

Support the Dundee, Michigan Chrysler workers

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2012

The Dundee workers’ rejection of a sellout UAW local contract is part of a growing national and international movement of workers against the old trade union organizations.

Dundee Engine Plant workers boycott special union meetings

By James Brewer, 25 August 2012

Workers at Chrysler’s Dundee Engine Plant in southeast Michigan largely boycotted special meetings called by union officials after the decisive rejection of a local contact.

The struggle at Dundee Engine: A fight for all workers

By Socialist Equality Party, 24 August 2012

In voting down the local contract pushed by Chrysler and the UAW, workers at Dundee Engine are giving voice to the anger and opposition of auto workers throughout the country against the attack waged by the corporations, supported by the unions, and spearheaded by the Obama administration.

Dundee, Michigan Chrysler workers denounce sellout agreement

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 August 2012

Workers at the Chrysler Dundee Engine plant in Michigan spoke to WSWS reporters about the sellout local contract they recently rejected by a decisive margin.

Michigan Chrysler workers reject union-backed local contract

By Lawrence Porter, 20 August 2012

Last week, workers at the Dundee Engine Plant, southwest of Detroit, voted by a resounding 73 percent against a new local contract agreement supported by the United Auto Workers.

Magna International closing its Syracuse, New York auto parts plant

By Eli Steven, 18 August 2012

Magna International is shuttering its auto parts plant in Syracuse, New York, after workers rejected a poverty wage offer.

Australian government intervenes to shut down DAIR strike

By Peter Byrne, 13 August 2012

The Labor government is playing the central role in orchestrating the wholesale restructuring of the car industry.

European car industry prepares mass redundancies

By Dietmar Henning, 13 August 2012

Auto manufacturers who produce almost exclusively for the European market are reporting massive losses and are preparing mass layoffs, plant closures and wage cuts.

IG Metall union sells out German contract workers

By Ernst Wolff, 7 August 2012

The betrayal of temporary agency workers is aimed at insulating metal and electrical industry profits from the effects of the worsening economic crisis.

India: Maruti Suzuki and Haryana government mount vendetta against auto workers

By Arun Kumar, 4 August 2012

Maruti Suzuki has locked out more than 3,000 workers at its Manesar car assembly plant and, at its behest, Haryana’s Congress Party state government has arrested more than 100 workers.

Hollande backs the destruction of auto jobs in the name of French competitiveness

By Anthony Torres, 1 August 2012

A plan to support the French auto industry, announced by President François Hollande on July 25, officially confirms the anti-working class industrial policy of the country’s new Socialist Party government.

French unions sign concession deal with automaker PSA

By Kumaran Ira, 30 July 2012

On July 26 trade unions accepted sweeping concessions proposed by the French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën at its Sevelnord plant.

India: Maruti Suzuki launches witch-hunt against workers

By Arun Kumar, 23 July 2012

It is clear that the plant management deliberately provoked the altercation to intimidate workers and suppress any opposition to slave labour conditions.

European auto crisis requires a socialist answer

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 July 2012

The crisis in the European car industry is not of a temporary or conjunctural nature, but is rather a direct result of the international economic crisis and the austerity measures imposed by European governments at the behest of the banks.

Opel CEO’s resignation heralds fresh round of cuts

By Dietmar Henning, 19 July 2012

The resignation of Opel boss Karl-Friedrich Stracke heralds a new round of plant closures and job losses in the European car industry.

Australia: Ford announces 440 job cuts in Victoria

By Oliver Campbell, 18 July 2012

The unions, which have presided over the devastation of manufacturing, will collaborate with Ford management in imposing this latest job shedding.

LO, NPA block struggle against PSA job cuts in France

By Kumaran Ira, 14 July 2012

The New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) and the Workers Struggle (LO) group have reacted to the announcement of 8,000 job cuts at French auto firm PSA by trying to block a working-class struggle against the cuts.

Canadian Auto Workers officials prepare 2012 contract surrender

By Carl Bronski, 10 July 2012

The Canadian Auto Workers union has signaled that it will again capitulate to the concessions demands of the Detroit Three in the contract negotiations to begin later this summer.

German Opel worker: “For nearly 10 years, it’s all been downhill”

By Dietmar Henning, 3 July 2012

If the management gets its way, the Opel plant in Bochum will close in two rather than four years.

Opposition to GM plan to dump white collar pensions

By Shannon Jones, 20 June 2012

GM white collar retirees have reacted angrily to plans by General Motors to convert its pension plan to an annuity and offer buyouts.

Oppose the Ford Australia shutdown

By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for Melbourne, 16 June 2012

The company is attempting to make workers bear the brunt of its sweeping restructuring as part of the ongoing reorganisation of the international auto industry.

Opel/Vauxhall workers need an international strategy

Statement by the Socialist Equality Parties of the UK and Germany

By Socialist Equality parties of the UK and Germany, 31 May 2012

The European head of General Motors, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, will put forward a restructuring plan involving annual savings of $1 billion (800 million euros) at GM’s supervisory board on June 28.

GM prepares to close German plant

By Dietmar Henning, 18 May 2012

General Motors and the company’s European trade unions are preparing the next round of cuts at its European subsidiaries—Opel and Vauxhall.

Obama, the UAW and the auto bailout

Statement by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US president

By Jerry White and SEP candidate for US president, 17 May 2012

In its campaign for his reelection, the UAW is portraying President Obama—who oversaw an historic attack on auto workers’ jobs and living standards—as a champion of the working class.

France: PSA Aulnay unions admit no solidarity action planned to defend jobs

By Antoine Lerougetel, 11 May 2012

Union officials at the Aulnay plant, which is threatened with closure, recently told a workers’ meeting that they had mounted no broader struggles to defend jobs because they had “not done enough.”

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White wins warm response from Chrysler autoworkers

By a WSWS reporting team, 5 May 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White campaigned Friday at the Detroit-area Chrysler Warren Truck plant, where there is widespread opposition to the multiple tier wage structure imposed by the Obama administration.

A lesson for autoworkers: The short lived Windsor, Ontario Dakkota strike

By Carl Bronski, 4 May 2012

Having quickly scuttled a strike at a Chrysler supplier, Canadian Auto Workers officials are pledging to do more to win Chrysler’s “confidence”.