Autoworkers struggles

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”.

Toyota Australia sacks 350 workers

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 April 2012

The sackings, amid a heavy security presence, have all the hallmarks of a calculated provocation, designed to intimidate the entire workforce ahead of further job losses and productivity speedups.

Bosses, media braying for new assault on Canadian auto workers

By Carl Bronski, 17 April 2012

The auto bosses and corporate media are trumpeting a think tank report that urges auto workers’ wages be cut by a further $10 per hour.

PSA, GM prepare further attacks against auto workers

By Francis Dubois, 7 April 2012

PSA is accelerating its downsizing measures, eliminating production capacity overlapping with that of GM in Europe.

US auto execs paid millions for slashing workers’ wages

By Jerry White, 4 April 2012

Three years after Obama’s restructuring of the US auto industry, top executives at the car companies are raking in huge salaries and bonuses.

Unions complicit in GM attack on European auto workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 31 March 2012

General Motors is determined to impose on European workers the brutal forms of exploitation already established at its American plants.

German and British GM plants threatened with closure

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 March 2012

The trade unions have done everything possible to prevent any united solidarity action by GM’s European workers.

Millions for Volkswagen CEO, no money for European migrants

By Dietmar Henning, 16 March 2012

While the upper crust of German society line their pockets, the Labour Ministry has declared that migrants from the rest of Europe will no longer to be entitled to welfare benefits.

Obama, UAW revel in auto workers’ impoverishment

By Shannon Jones, 1 March 2012

President Barack Obama’s speech before the United Auto Workers legislative conference Tuesday exposed the indifference of both the White House and the union officials to the social disaster facing auto workers.

French unions prepare to back cuts in PSA-GM tie-up

By Kumaran Ira, 28 February 2012

French unions are preparing to back attacks on jobs and wages in the corporate tie-up between GM-Opel and French automaker PSA.

GM and Peugeot Citroën conspire to sack thousands of auto workers

By Dietmar Henning, 27 February 2012

Plans are afoot to impose Obama’s General Motors “solution” on European auto workers and suppliers, who are to pay for the economic crisis with brutal wage cuts and mass layoffs.

Unite auto workers in Europe, North America and internationally against wage-cutting and layoffs!

By Jerry White and SEP candidate for US president, 25 February 2012

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White issued the following statement opposing GM’s plans to attack auto workers in Europe.

Opel and Vauxhall in Europe threatened with more job cuts

By our reporters, 20 February 2012

There are growing indications that the European subsidiaries of General Motors at Opel and Vauxhall are facing a new round of layoffs and wage cuts.

GM posts record profits, prepares more cuts

By Patrick Martin, 18 February 2012

The largest US automaker is relying on the United Auto Workers union to enforce cuts in both its North American and European operations.

Ford closes Minnesota truck assembly plant

By Ron Jorgenson, 9 January 2012

Ford Motor Company has permanently closed the St. Paul truck assembly plant, laying off 800 workers.

Union imposes real wage cut on Australian Toyota workers

By Peter Byrne and Patrick O’Connor, 6 January 2012

The agreement brokered by the union is part of the international restructuring of the auto industry, with the major corporations demanding poverty-level wages everywhere.

Obama’s “Car Czar” says workers should have taken deeper cuts

By Jerry White, 21 December 2011

In an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club last week, Steven Rattner said the government should have imposed even deeper concessions on United Auto Workers members in 2009.

Contract workers denounce low wages in US auto industry

By Jerry White, 14 December 2011

The modern automotive assembly plant in the US increasingly resembles, despite the vast differences in technology, the auto factory of the 1930s.

Italy’s Fiat terminates collective bargaining agreements

By Marc Wells, 2 December 2011

The decision by Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne to terminate collective bargaining agreements starting by January 2012 is an historic attack on basic rights won by workers over decades of bitter struggle.

Former owner GM blocks Saab takeover

By Jordan Shilton, 28 November 2011

The future of Swedish automaker Saab remains undecided following a decision by former owner General Motors to block a proposed takeover by two Chinese firms.

UAW-run trust fund to cut retiree health benefits

By Jerry White, 17 November 2011

The medical benefits of approximately 820,000 retired auto workers and their spouses in the US are in danger of being sharply reduced or eliminated outright, as the retiree health care trust fund, run by the United Auto Workers union, is in danger of insolvency.

India: Maruti Suzuki union leaders given huge payouts after ending strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 November 2011

Within days of the October 21 deal between the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union and the company, MSEU President Sonu Gujjar and Secretary Shiv Kumar received large cash payments from Maruti Suzuki for resigning their jobs.

“We need a revolution to get rid of the UAW”

UAW contracts set stage for global attack on auto workers

By Jerry White, 10 November 2011

Two weeks after the United Auto Workers signed a new round of labor agreements with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, it is becoming clear that the deals only set the stage for a further offensive against workers in the global auto industry.

US automakers to cash in from new UAW contracts

By Jerry White, 1 November 2011

Wall Street analysts and the news media say Detroit’s Big Three automakers—General Motors, Ford and Chrysler—will see a boost in profits from the four-year labor agreements just signed by the United Auto Workers union.

The UAW and the “reincarnation” of the US auto industry

By Jerry White, 28 October 2011

The new four-year labor agreements signed by the UAW with GM, Ford and Chrysler will lead to a rollback in the wages and conditions of workers throughout the global auto industry.

Germany: Kickbacks for union bureaucrats at Opel

By Dietmar Henning, 28 October 2011

A recent report in a German newspaper reveals the extent of the bribery of trade union officials at the Opel auto company.

Video: Warren, Michigan Chrysler workers speak on contract vote

27 October 2011

Chrysler workers voting on the proposed contract Wednesday spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.

UAW imposes contract on Chrysler workers

By Jerry White, 27 October 2011

The United Auto Workers International Executive Board voted to impose a new-four year labor agreement on 26,000 Chrysler workers Wednesday, despite a 56 percent ‘no’ vote by skilled trades workers and widespread opposition from production workers.

India: Maruti and Suzuki workers discuss their two-week strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 October 2011

Maruti workers described the brutal conditions prevailing in India’s new industrial zones, which are triggering explosive struggles.

Saab nears bankruptcy as restructuring plan collapses

By Jordan Shilton, 26 October 2011

Saab faces the prospect of bankruptcy after its plans to restructure fell apart last week.

“Workers are facing the same thing all over the world”

Widespread opposition as voting on UAW-Chrysler deal concludes

By Jerry White, 25 October 2011

Workers at the Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit denounced the sellout by the UAW Monday afternoon.

UAW seeks to push through Chrysler contract over worker opposition

By Joseph Kishore, 24 October 2011

The UAW is using the prospect of binding arbitration to pressure auto workers to accept a contract that paves the way for a vast increase in the exploitation of workers.

India: Unions scuttle Maruti Suzuki strike again

By our correspondents, 24 October 2011

The unions at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar, Haryana car assembly plant and other nearby Suzuki plants ordered an end to a militant two-week-long strike last Friday, after the newly formed independent union at the Manesar plant made a rotten deal with management and Haryana state Labour Department officials.

Abolish two-tier wage and restore all pay and benefit concessions!

Reject UAW sellout at Chrysler! Establish rank-and-file committees to prepare strike action!

By Socialist Equality Party (US), 21 October 2011

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party are distributing this statement to Chrysler workers calling for a rejection of the new four-year agreement being pushed by the UAW. We urge workers to download the statement and circulate it.

Widespread opposition to Chrysler-UAW contract

By Joseph Kishore, 21 October 2011

Several locals have voted down a sellout contract pushed by the United Auto Workers, in close collaboration with Chrysler management.

India: Maruti Suzuki workers’ struggle must spearhead working-class political offensive

By World Socialist Web Site, 20 October 2011

To defeat the combined assault of big business, the government, police and courts, the Maruti Suzuki workers must make their strike the spearhead of an industrial and political offensive of the entire working class against sweatshop conditions.

New wave of job cuts at Italian Fiat plants

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2011

Italian unions refuse to organize cross-border solidarity to defend jobs and conditions and back lower wages and poorer working conditions in Italy on condition that job cuts are carried out elsewhere.

UAW seeks to ram through Ford sellout

By Jerry White, 18 October 2011

The United Auto Workers apparatus has pulled out all the stops to defeat rank-and-file opposition and impose a new four-year labor agreement on Ford workers.

India: Maruti strike continues after occupation ends under police threat

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 October 2011

Striking workers at Manesar car assembly plant of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) ended their eight-day occupation of the plant Friday night, under threat of a police crackdown.

Obama touts South Korean trade deal at Michigan auto plant

By Andre Damon, 15 October 2011

US President Barack Obama touted a new trade deal with South Korea Friday at a Michigan auto plant where 40 percent of the workers, members of the UAW, earn $14.50 an hour.

Lockout at Bosch plant in Bangalore, India now two weeks old

By Arun Kumar and Sasi Kumar, 14 October 2011

German-based Bosch Limited has locked out 2,500 unionized workers at its plant at Adugodi in Bangalore, India, so as to break resistance to the contracting-out of jobs of workers employed in 19 different departments.

Chicago Ford workers vote down UAW sellout

By Shannon Jones, 14 October 2011

Workers at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant overwhelmingly voted down the sellout contract negotiated by the UAW, the latest group of workers to reject the agreement.

India: Maruti Suzuki and Congress government prepare police attack on occupation

By Arun Kumar, 13 October 2011

Maruti Suzuki India is plotting with the Congress Party-led Haryana state government to use police violence to smash the six day-old occupation of its Manesar car assembly plant.

UAW signs Chrysler pact as opposition to Ford deal grows

By Jerry White, 13 October 2011

The United Auto Workers announced a deal with Chrysler Wednesday at the same time auto workers at one of the largest Detroit area assembly plants voted down the agreement reached by the UAW with Ford.

Opposition to UAW-Ford deal

By Jerry White, 11 October 2011

Top officials from the United Auto Workers are fanning throughout the country in an effort to counter rank-and-file opposition and push through a new four-year labor agreement covering 40,500 Ford workers.

India: Wildcat strike erupts anew at Maruti-Suzuki plant, thousands walk out in sympathy

By Kranti Kumara, 11 October 2011

The 3,500 workers at the sprawling Maruti-Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) complex in Manesar, Haryana recommenced their 6-month-long agitation last Friday afternoon by occupying the car assembly plant. Eight thousand other workers at auto industry-related plants have since walked out in sympathy.

“People are tired of this … they’re getting to the breaking point”

Chicago auto workers denounce UAW-Ford deal

By Jerry White, 7 October 2011

At the Ford assembly plant in south Chicago, workers expressed disgust with the contract signed by the United Auto Workers.

Reject UAW sellout at Ford! Establish rank-and-file committees to prepare strike action!

Abolish two-tier wage and restore all pay and benefit concessions!

By Socialist Equality Party (US), 6 October 2011

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party are distributing the following statement to Ford workers calling for a rejection of the new four-year agreement being pushed by the UAW. We urge workers to download the statement and circulate it.

UAW reaches sellout agreement with Ford

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2011

The UAW on Tuesday announced a tentative agreement with Ford along the lines of the sellout contract agreed to last month with General Motors

UAW bars World Socialist Web Site from press conference

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2011

The United Auto Workers barred the World Socialist Web Site from its October 4 press conference announcing the Ford settlement

Unions, Stalinists force Maruti Suzuki India workers to accept company’s demands

By Rajesh Tyagi, 4 October 2011

Working in conjunction with state government officials, the unions have prevailed on the workers at the Maruti Suzuki India plant in Manesar, Haryana to return to work on the company’s terms, after a bitter month-long struggle.

Wall Street hails UAW-GM deal

By Jerry White, 1 October 2011

Under the new agreement, increases in hourly labor costs for GM’s 48,500 workers are limited to 1 percent, the smallest rise in four decades.

US becomes a center of poverty-wage manufacturing

By Andre Damon, 29 September 2011

With the full backing of the Obama administration, US and foreign-based corporations are transforming the US into a cheap labor platform in direct competition with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries.

Rolling strikes continue at Toyota Australia

By Peter Byrne and Patrick O’Connor, 27 September 2011

More than 3,000 Toyota Australia workers went on strike again last Thursday and Friday against the company’s attempt to cut real wages.

India: Stalinist union works to impose company demands on locked-out Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 27 September 2011

The Stalinist leadership of the All India Trade Union Congress is urging locked-out workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant to surrender to the company’s demand that they sign a “good conduct bond” that reinforces an oppressive, dictatorial work regime.

Widespread opposition and abstentions in UAW-GM contract vote

By Jerry White, 26 September 2011

While a few local unions have reported passage of the new four-year labor agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, large numbers of workers are voting "no" or abstaining from the vote.

Swedish court grants Saab bankruptcy protection

By Jordan Shilton, 26 September 2011

If Saab is able to survive beyond the end of the year, it will be on the basis of a cost-cutting offensive against the workforce by management and the state, facilitated by the unions.

Opposition to UAW-GM deal grows

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 23 September 2011

There is widespread hostility among workers towards the new four-year labor agreement accepted by United Auto Workers for 49,000 hourly workers at General Motors

Photo story: The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

By Andre Damon, 23 September 2011

The Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant employees almost 3,000 production workers and contractors, whose pay is among the lowest for auto workers in the US.

Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant sets new standard for low wages

By Andre Damon, 23 September 2011

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant, notorious for paying its entire production workforce $14.50 an hour, is now starting new-hires at $12.

Maruti Suzuki India workers challenge cheap-labor regime

“We are determined this time to fight to the end”

By Rajesh Tyagi, 22 September 2011

With the grass-root workers determined to win their rights, the carmaker MSI and the Congress Party government are looking to diffuse the crisis and subjugate the workers through the mediation of the Stalinist union leaders.

UAW: We’d “love to see” 40 percent of GM workers making tier-two wages

By Jerry White, 21 September 2011

UAW President Bob King held a press conference Tuesday morning to praise the deal reached with General Motors.

Toyota Australia executives threaten shutdown after strike

By Peter Byrne and Patrick O’Connor, 20 September 2011

Toyota is demanding that workers accept a new agreement that entrenches real wage cuts over the next three years.

Reject UAW sellout! Establish rank-and-file committees to prepare strike action!

Abolish two-tier wage and restore pay and benefit concessions!

By Socialist Equality Party, 20 September 2011

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party are distributing the following statement to General Motors workers calling for a rejection of the new four-year agreement signed by the UAW.

“There’s no way to raise a family on $15.06 an hour”

UAW-GM deal sanctions exploitation of temporary workers

By Jerry White, 20 September 2011

In addition to sharply increasing the numbers of low-paid “tier-two” workers in US auto factories, the tentative four-year deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers sanctions the continued use of thousands of temporary workers who have no job security, health care or workplace rights but are nevertheless compelled to pay dues to the UAW.

Maruti Suzuki India lockout: After talks fail, union leaders arrested

By Arun Kumar, 20 September 2011

Police arrested the leaders of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union late Sunday evening when they emerged from failed talks with representatives of the carmaker and the Haryana labour department. Maruti Suzuki has locked out 3,000 workers at its Manesar assembly plant since August 29.

Further rollback for workers in UAW-GM deal

By Jerry White, 19 September 2011

The United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement Friday night on a new four-year labor agreement covering 49,000 hourly workers at General Motors.

German carmaker finds cheap labor platform in America

By Andre Damon in Spartanburg and South Carolina, 19 September 2011

Most of the workers who make the BMW X3 are casual laborers earning $15 per hour, less than half the wages of the European workers they replaced.

India: Maruti Suzuki struggle escalates as company hires more strikebreakers

By Arun Kumar, 17 September 2011

Big business, the Congress Party-led Haryana state government, and the police are all supporting Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) in its drive to subjugate the workforce at its Manesar car assembly plant.

For a united fight by all auto workers! No to job and wage cuts!

By Socialist Equality Party, 16 September 2011

Supporters of the SEP are distributing this statement to auto workers at the European and Asian-owned factories in the southern US states to fight for a unified struggle by all auto workers.

Maruti Suzuki India sacks workers, hires strike breakers

By Arun Kumar, 15 September 2011

Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Ltd., the country’s largest car maker, has intensified its threats against locked-out workers at the company’s Mansard plant, moving to replace them with strike breakers.

UAW plan for auto workers: back to sweatshop conditions

By Jerry White, 14 September 2011

The United Auto Workers is preparing to accept a deal that will replace regular hourly wage increases with a pay scheme that recalls the hated piecework system of the 1930s.

French NPA prepares international betrayal of auto workers’ struggles

By Anthony Torres, 14 September 2011

The meeting of European automobile industry trade unionists organised by the New Anti-capitalist Party is preparing a betrayal of workers’ struggles internationally.

“I was making more money as a door greeter at Wal-Mart than I am now”

Maintenance of low wages key to US auto profits

By Jerry White and Matthew Brennan, 13 September 2011

There is deep anger among US auto workers over the long-term erosion of wages and living standards and, in particular, the two-tier wage system and temporary employment, which condemn young workers to poverty wages.

India: Police support Maruti Suzuki lockout, occupy plant

By Sathish Simon, 10 September 2011

Haryana’s Congress Party-led state government is working in tandem with Maruti Suzuki to crush worker resistance at its Manesar plant.

US auto workers face historic struggle

By Jerry White, 8 September 2011

On September 14 the four-year labor agreements covering 114,000 US auto workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler expire.

A revealing episode

UAW president shares private jet with Ford CEO

By Andre Damon, 6 August 2011

Just hours before the start of negotiations between the UAW and Big Three automakers last month, UAW President Bob King stepped off the same chartered jet as multi-millionaire Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Swedish Saab workers go unpaid for second month

By Jordan Shilton, 3 August 2011

Crisis-hit automaker Saab announced last Tuesday for the second month in a row that part of its workforce would not receive their wages on time. The failure to pay employees confirms that the company is essentially bankrupt.

As contract negotiations open

UAW, Detroit carmakers prepare new attacks on US auto workers

By Jerry White, 26 July 2011

The United Auto Workers opened up formal negotiations Monday for a new labor contract with Chrysler, the first of the Big Three Detroit automakers whose four-year agreements expire on September 14.

UAW abandons wage increases

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 21 July 2011

On the eve of next week's opening of contract talks between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three auto companies, UAW President Bob King has proposed the elimination of annual wage increases in favor of directly tying any wage improvements to corporate profitability.

UAW president calls for elimination of pay increases

By Nikolai Barrickman and Andre Damon, 19 July 2011

Last week Bob King reaffirmed his support for cutting scheduled wage increases for US auto workers as part of 2011 contract negotiations with the big three automakers.

PSA auto workers protest plant closures in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 11 July 2011

Workers at the PSA Citroën-Peugeot car factory in the Nord-Pas de Calais region of northern France struck for one day on July 7 as 1,200 people demonstrated in Valenciennes against the planned closure of the plant in 2015.

General Motors closes Indianapolis stamping plant

By Andre Damon, 8 July 2011

On June 30, General Motors closed its the stamping plant in downtown Indianapolis, the scene of a fight by auto workers last year over efforts by the UAW and GM to cut their wages in half.

American Axle to close Detroit complex

By Shannon Jones, 7 July 2011

Auto parts maker American Axle said it will close its Detroit manufacturing complex in February following six months of talks with the UAW over massive new concessions.

Stalinist union ends occupation at Suzuki plant in India

By Arun Kumar, 1 July 2011

The All India Trade Union Congress shut down the nearly two-week sit-in strike by 2,500 workers at the Maruti Suzuki plant in northern India.

Carmaker Citroën-Peugeot to close plants in France and Spain

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 June 2011

Leaked internal documents reveal that PSA, the French Citroën-Peugeot car manufacturer, intends to close three of its plants.

US auto workers union to abandon hourly wage increases

By Jerry White, 24 June 2011

In the coming talks with Detroit automakers, the UAW is preparing to permanently throw overboard the principle of increases in hourly base pay.

GM threatens to sell off Opel

By Dietmar Henning, 15 June 2011

Sources close to General Motors told the Reuters news agency last week that GM Chief Executive Daniel Akerson was considering plans to sell off its European subsidiary Opel, which is based in Germany.

Video: No recovery for Toledo workers

By Andre Damon and Jerome White, 11 June 2011

Last week, Barack Obama came to Toledo, Ohio to proclaim the recovery of US auto industry. But more than two years since the wall street crash, living conditions for the working people of this city are getting worse every day.

Obama praises auto “resurgence” in the face of dismal jobs report

By Joseph Kishore, 4 June 2011

Amidst clear indications of a renewed economic downturn, President Obama used a speech at a Chrysler Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio to praise the supposed “resurgence” of the US auto industry.

Obama touts US auto industry “turnaround”

By Jerry White, 3 June 2011

In an appearance today at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, President Obama is expected to hail the return of the US auto industry two years after the restructuring of the Detroit automakers.

Union betrays nine-week Australian PPG paint workers’ strike

By Margaret Rees, 1 June 2011

The union delivered all the central demands of the US-based company, including the introduction of a two-tier wage system.

Behind Ford’s latest mass layoffs in Australia

By Will Marshall, 10 May 2011

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her senior ministers are collaborating with the car companies and trade unions to restructure the entire industry with the aim of boosting “international competitiveness”.

US carmakers profit from wage-cutting, speed-up

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 10 May 2011

GM, Chrysler and Ford all reported rising profits in the first quarter, the result of cost cutting measures aided and abetted by the UAW.

Saab deal with Chinese automaker paves way for job cuts, outsourcing

By Jordan Shilton, 9 May 2011

The deal provides no long-term security for Saab workers, and opens the door to a vast cost-cutting drive through the outsourcing of jobs to cheap labour locations in China.

Italian unions deal another blow to Fiat autoworkers

By Marc Wells, 7 May 2011

In a May 2-3 vote, Fiat workers at the historic Bertone plant voted for a company plan supported by unions to invest €550 million and restructure labor relations along the lines of previous contracts at Pomigliano D’Arco and Mirafiori.

Swedish automaker Saab nears collapse

By Jordan Shilton, 30 April 2011

Barely a year after being taken over by Dutch firm Spyker, Swedish automaker Saab is again in danger of shutdown, with the loss of thousands of jobs.

UAW sets benchmark for wage-cutting in global auto industry

By Jerry White, 25 April 2011

Having eliminated a quarter of a million jobs in the US over the past decade, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are now planning to hire 35,000 new workers for their American plants by 2015, a leading industry analyst recently reported.

Australia: Ford and Toyota announce job and wage cuts

By Will Marshall, 16 April 2011

The job losses at Ford are a direct result of the restructuring of the international auto industry, which has accelerated in response to the 2008 global financial crisis.