INTERNATIONAL WORKERS STRUGGLE AGAINST CORPORATE BOSSES (NOT)
As you know last week Ford announced it would cut 10% of its work force, or 35,000 jobs while closing seven North American Plants. CEOs whenever making these announcements always talk about "hardships," "difficulties," and "making sacrifices." Of course they are never the ones who suffer these hardships, difficulties and sacrifices. So who really cares what they have to say about it. But one can only be disappointed by the response of the UAW which stated, "Because of our contract, Ford has been required to plan its restructuring in a way that respects the seniority rights – including job placement rights, income, pension, health care, and many other protections of UAW-Ford members… The UAW’s history of using constructive relationships with employers to get through tough times has been proven many times over… Despite its current problems, Ford is a fundamentally healthy company, and we are confident that it will be around for a long time to come." That’s about it folks. No defense of the workers themselves. So much for the vaunted "militancy" of the United Auto Workers (leadership). The UAW looks to Ford.
In Canada, there was less talk of collaboration and more talk of anger. Now, we’re not saying the Canadian Auto Workers Union is hell bent on class struggle, but at least they sound like a trade union albeit one with a national bent. "There is no economic argument for Ford to close the Ontario truck plant in Oakville and throw a lot of people out of work . . . We are willing to fight over the Oakville question. You got only one way to fight and that is to strike…Today, I am angry and frustrated," said Canadian Auto Workers union president Buzz Hargrove. "I don't accept the logic of Ford Motor Company…our members have met the test of quality, productivity, cost and relationship, but they won't win the mad rat race called competitiveness." The CAW accused Ford of attacking Canadian workers as a part of the overwhelming "nationalist attitude in the USA today". CAW Ford Master Bargaining Committee chairperson, Alex Keeney, supported Hargrove's comments adding, "If this restructuring is supposed to be about Ford's profitability, then why close a profit-making plant? The answer has to be U.S. nationalism." However, did CAW president Buzz Hargrove call for an international struggle against Ford and US nationalism. Hardly. He said instead, "The Ford Motor Company is an American company. The U.S. company made a decision in the interest of its workers." Hargrove also said that there has been intense lobbying in recent weeks by U.S. politicians and civic leaders to save plants there. "But from the business case, we should be staying open," Hargrove said. ``Each one of our plants here are more productive, have better quality. And we have a huge cost advantage because of a weak Canadian dollar. It's not fair…In Canada, no business or government leadership is working in the interest of Canadian workers," said Hargrove. Hargrove blasted the Canadian government for not working hard enough to protect the country's workers and controlling the number of import cars flowing into the country. Instead of reaching out to workers in the US and Canada he looks for an ally in the Canadian government.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Sources: UAW News, Reuters, Canadian Auto Workers Union, Detroit Free Press, Toronto Star
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