Auto Workers Issues

Union shuts down Serb auto strike

By Verena Nees, 22 July 2017

The unions shut down the strike after it had inspired workers at other factories to engage in job action and won widespread sympathy within the Serb population.

Five years since company-provoked incident used to frame up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Shannon Jones, 21 July 2017

Tuesday marked five years since a management-provoked incident that authorities used as a pretext to railroad 13 Indian autoworkers to life in prison.

Fiat workers in Serbia launch strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 July 2017

Around 2,000 workers at Fiat-Chrysler’s Kragujevac plant in Serbia have been on strike for two weeks against starvation wages and terrible working conditions.

GM Korea autoworkers vote to strike

By Ben McGrath, 14 July 2017

While autoworkers are determined to improve their wages and conditions, the unions, which are tied to the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), have no intention of conducting a genuine struggle.

Many questions in Detroit GM plant explosion

By Shannon Jones, 6 July 2017

A Wednesday morning explosion at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant has left three workers injured and one hospitalized.

The Maruti Suzuki frame-up and the history of international labor defense campaigns

By Shannon Jones, 5 July 2017

The ICFI’s worldwide campaign to free the Maruti Suzuki autoworkers rests on a long tradition of international workers’ action on behalf of the victims of capitalist “justice.”

US auto sales fall for sixth straight month

By Shannon Jones, 5 July 2017

US automakers have experienced a six-month decline in sales for the first time since 2009, the year of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies.

Support the strike by VW workers in Slovakia!

By Ulrich Rippert chairman of the SGP and SGP candidate in North Rhine Westphalia, 26 June 2017

The 8,000 striking Volkswagen workers in Slovakia deserve the support of VW and all autoworkers throughout Germany and the world.

US auto layoffs take toll on workers and their communities

By Shannon Jones, 24 June 2017

Autoworkers describe the impact of job cuts on struggling families and indict the United Auto Workers for facilitating layoffs.

Over 8,000 VW autoworkers launch unlimited strike in Slovakia

By Dietmar Henning, 22 June 2017

The autoworkers are engaged in the first strike since VW began operations in the Eastern European country in 1991.

GM announces 1,000 layoffs in Kansas amid warnings of a “swift and material downturn”

By Shannon Jones, 17 June 2017

All the US-based car companies face enormous pressure from Wall Street to drive up profits and cut costs.

After UAW claimed there was no money to end two-tier wages

John Deere plans $5.2 billion takeover of German road construction company

By George Gallanis, 7 June 2017

The vast cash hoard of the farm machinery maker explodes the myth that it could not afford to improve the pay and benefits of its 11,200 hourly workers in 2015.

GM announces more layoffs as US auto sales decline

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2017

General Motors announced 300 job cuts at its Warren, Michigan transmission plant amid continuing signs of a slowdown in US auto sales after a seven-year boom.

What we have said:

The World Socialist Web Site and the Maruti Suzuki workers

By Usman Khan, 3 June 2017

The WSWS has covered the struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers over many years, explaining its international significance and providing a political perspective to fight the workers’ persecution by Indian authorities.

Auto parts workers fired after “Day Without Immigrants” protest

By Nick Rodriguez, 26 May 2017

Over 20 immigrant workers have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against their former employer, EZ Industrial Solutions, after being fired for participating in the protest on February 16.

Caterpillar, Butterball to close factories in Montgomery, Illinois, laying off 1,400 workers

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

The dual factory closures in the far western suburbs of Chicago take place in an area already hard hit by decades of deindustrialization.

Wall Street engineers ouster of top Ford executives

By Jerry White, 23 May 2017

The management reshuffling at the number two US automaker, described in industry circles as a “coup,” underscores the complete domination of the banks and financial speculators.

Sri Lankan plantation workers support campaign to release framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By M. Thevarajah, 20 May 2017

Sri Lankan plantation workers in the hill country spoke to the WSWS, condemning the frame up of Maruti Suzuki workers and describing their own increasingly difficult working conditions.

US autoworkers discuss Ford job cuts, Washington political crisis

By Shannon Jones, 18 May 2017

The cutbacks are a further indication that the boom in auto sales is coming to an end.

Ford to cut as many as 20,000 jobs worldwide

By Jerry White, 17 May 2017

The job cuts explode the myth propagated by the Trump administration and the news media about the US economy reaching “full employment.”

VW trade union boss pockets €750,000 per year

By Dietmar Henning, 17 May 2017

It has just been revealed that the salary of Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the joint works council of the Volkswagen Group, totals around €750,000 per year.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

US auto profits soar as sales slowdown threatens more layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2017

Higher auto profits are being accompanied by job cuts as management intensifies its assault on autoworkers.

New evidence of UAW vote-rigging in 2015 Ford contract

Part Two

By Eric London, 11 May 2017

Documents provided to the World Socialist Web Site show a UAW conspiracy to silence autoworkers with access to evidence that the union committed election fraud to pass the 2015 contract with Ford.

New evidence of UAW vote-rigging in 2015 Ford contract

Part One

By Eric London, 9 May 2017

Information provided to the World Socialist Web Site shows a UAW conspiracy to silence autoworkers with evidence that the UAW committed election fraud to pass the 2015 Ford contract.

“They’re stuffing money into the pockets of the shareholders”

British autoworkers strike BMW to defend pensions

By our reporters, 20 April 2017

The strike is the first by the BMW’s British workforce, who could lose up to £160,000 each if pension cuts are enforced.

BMW autoworkers strike in Britain against decimation of pensions

By Robert Stevens, 19 April 2017

The introduction of an inferior pension scheme could see the retirement benefits of workers being slashed by up to £160,000.

“The only ones who gain from war are those in power, the upper one percent”

US autoworkers denounce drive to World War III, demand freedom for Maruti Suzuki workers

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 17 April 2017

Autoworkers at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) and at Fiat Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit denounced the threat of nuclear war and signed a petition to demand the freedom of the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

UAW executives get pay raises as worker pay tumbles

By Shannon Jones, 14 April 2017

An analysis of its 2016 US Labor Department filing makes clear the UAW is not a workers’ organization but a business largely funded by the auto bosses.

“It is a frame-up and war on the working class”

Support grows for Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

It has been nearly a month since an Indian judge condemned 13 autoworkers to life imprisonment.

Background to a labor frame-up:

What the Maruti Suzuki workers were fighting for

By Jerry White, 12 April 2017

The life sentences an Indian judge imposed on 13 autoworkers last month were an act of class retribution for the leading role of Maruti Suzuki workers in opposing the sweatshop conditions that prevail across India.

Subprime auto loans threaten new crisis

By J. Cooper, 11 April 2017

Wall Street is concerned at the surge in auto loan defaults, a further indication that the sales boom of recent years is winding down.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 3: The prosecution’s untenable “mob attack” narrative

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 11 April 2017

The prosecution’s narrative of the July 18, 2012 altercation is full of inconsistencies, contradictions and dubious claims, including concerning police investigative “lapses.”

Indian railway and transport workers denounce Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 11 April 2017

Workers in Chennai spoke out in defence of the jailed auto workers.

German trade unions at GM Opel hold secret talks with French auto boss

By Marianne Arens, 10 April 2017

The sale of Opel-Vauxhall to Peugeot Citroen PSA threatens at least 6,000 jobs and possibly several facilities.

German autoworkers support Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 10 April 2017

Workers at Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory expressed their support for an international struggle by autoworkers to defend jobs and basic rights.

Bob White, trade union bureaucrat who led Canadian split from UAW, dies aged 81

By Carl Bronski, 8 April 2017

White’s 1985 breakaway from the UAW was a nationalist maneuver, aimed at protecting the union bureaucracy and blocking a joint struggle of North American autoworkers against all concessions and job cuts.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 2: The factory fire and the death of Avineesh Dev

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 7 April 2017

The fire was the pivot of the prosecution’s case, but it provided not a shred of credible evidence tying any of the workers to the blaze.

Workers across India condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 7 April 2017

While there is enormous sympathy for the framed-up workers, this week’s protests were a pale reflection of the support that could be mobilized were it not for the sabotage of India’s Stalinist parties and affiliated unions.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 1: A travesty of justice

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 5 April 2017

Careful examination and systematic refutation of the state’s legal case has always been a critical part of international defense campaigns.

German auto workers oppose Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By K. Nesan, 5 April 2017

Many Daimler workers in Stuttgart agreed to sign the online petition demanding the release of their colleagues in India.

In the background of the Maruti Suzuki frame-up

Portrait of the Suzuki corporation, a ruthless transnational employer

By Shannon Jones and Saman Gunadasa, 4 April 2017

Suzuki is typical of the transnational auto corporations that scour the world in search of the cheapest labor and lowest production costs.

Days after UAW claims contract ratification

Caterpillar confirms plans to close Aurora, Illinois plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 3 April 2017

There are reports of angry confrontations between workers and local UAW officials following the announcement.

Sri Lankan university students condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 3 April 2017

Students and workers in Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna denounced the heavy sentences imposed on framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

India: Stalinist-led unions call token protest against frame up of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 April 2017

The CPM and CPI and their respective labour federations, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the All India Trade Union Congress, have systematically isolated the Maruti Suzuki workers.

Australian workers and youth speak out against Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our reporters, 31 March 2017

Many of those who spoke to SEP campaigners signed the petition demanding the release of the victimised Indian car workers.

Allegations of vote fraud mount

The UAW betrayal at Caterpillar and the case for rank-and-file committees

By Jerry White, 31 March 2017

The alleged ratification of the UAW-backed deal has provoked widespread charges of vote rigging and fraud.

Ford warns of layoffs to cut inventories as Trump boasts of “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!”

By Shannon Jones, 30 March 2017

Ford’s warning follows a string of layoffs by GM, belying the claims of the Trump administration of a jobs revival in the auto industry.

Indian auto workers demand release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Moses Rajkumar and Yuvan Darwin, 30 March 2017

Indian auto workers voice their support for the ICFI campaign and demand release of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification

By Marcus Day, 29 March 2017

While the UAW has claimed that a new six-year contract with Caterpillar was approved by workers at ratification meetings Sunday, it has yet to release company-wide vote totals.

“This is nothing but class war”

International support grows for petition to free framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Jerry White, 29 March 2017

Workers and youth from 33 countries on five continents have signed the petition, with many denouncing the frame-up and expressing solidarity with the imprisoned Indian workers.

UK: Strikers at Fujitsu support release of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 29 March 2017

The pickets expressed their support for the campaign to release the Maruti Suzuki workers by applauding a Socialist Equality Party member who had appealed to them for support.

After unexplained delay, UAW claims ratification of Caterpillar deal

By Jerry White, 28 March 2017

Caterpillar workers expressed suspicion that the UAW had rigged the vote to push the deeply unpopular contract past the opposition of rank-and-file workers.

Sri Lankan workers support campaign to free framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 28 March 2017

Socialist Equality Party campaigners distributed the ICFI statement “Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers” in Sinhalese and Tamil.

UAW delays release of vote tally after Caterpillar workers oppose sellout deal

By Marcus Day, 27 March 2017

After announcing they would release the results of the vote Sunday night, UAW executives abruptly declared the tally would not be made public until sometime Monday.

“The way I look at it is, the UAW is Caterpillar”

Caterpillar workers in Peoria, Illinois denounce UAW sellout deal

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

Caterpillar workers voting in central Illinois Sunday spoke with the WSWS about the years of reversals they have suffered due to the treachery of the United Auto Workers union.

“We should be outraged by what is happening in India.”

US, Canadian autoworkers speak in defense of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By a reporting team, 25 March 2017

The campaign to defend 31 framed-up Maruti Suzuki autoworkers in India is winning support among autoworkers in North America.

Elect rank-and-file committees to oppose job cuts and end givebacks!

Vote “No” on the UAW-Caterpillar sellout agreement

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 25 March 2017

The UAW pro-company contract sanctions the closure of the Aurora, Illinois plant and continues decades of wage and benefit concessions

UAW-Caterpillar contract “highlights” reveal new attacks on jobs and wages

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2017

What little the UAW has revealed about its deal with Caterpillar points to an escalation of the union-backed corporate assault on workers.

Maruti Suzuki workers lead protest demanding freedom for 13 workers jailed for life

By a WSWS reporting team, 24 March 2017

Thousands of workers defied a ban on gatherings of five or more people to show their support for the 13 framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers.

“The union works against us”

With contract battle looming, Canadian autoworkers at GM CAMI plant speak out

By Carl Bronski, 23 March 2017

Unifor officials have expressed concern about growing support for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter as CAMI workers look to recoup years of union-backed wage and benefit concessions.

Campaign for release of Maruti Suzuki workers wins support in India and Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 23 March 2017

South Asian workers denounce the frame-up of innocent workers.

Sham character of Maruti Suzuki workers’ trial further exposed

By Keith Jones, 23 March 2017

The presiding judge had to admit police colluded with Maruti Suzuki and fabricated evidence, but even as he did so, he downplayed the significance of these crimes.

The key facts of the Maruti Suzuki workers’ case

22 March 2017

There is not a shred of evidence against any of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers sentenced to life in prison.

“Don’t believe what they’re going to tell you”

As Caterpillar-UAW contract vote nears, Deere workers warn of union betrayal

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 22 March 2017

With just four days left before voting, workers at agricultural equipment giant Deere & Co. spoke on the lessons of their 2015 contract struggle.

Support grows for framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

By Jerry White, 21 March 2017

Opposition to the brutal life sentences meted out to 13 Maruti Suzuki workers is growing in India and around the world.

“I think it’s a set-up with the union and Caterpillar”

Caterpillar-UAW deal: Workers denounce information blackout

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 21 March 2017

Less than a week before they are set to vote on a six-year contract proposal, workers have still not received any details on the content of the deal.

Thirteen sentenced to life imprisonment in India

Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

By International Committee of the Fourth International, 20 March 2017

Thirteen Maruti Suzuki workers have been condemned to life in prison as the result of a monstrous frame-up mounted by the automaker, the police and judicial authorities, with the full complicity of India’s principal political parties.

India: Framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers sentenced to life imprisonment

By Keith Jones, 18 March 2017

India’s ruling elite has imposed savage sentences on the Maruti Suzuki workers to intimidate the working class and reassure investors that it will ruthlessly enforce sweatshop conditions.

Workers have the right to study the full contract!

Caterpillar-UAW deal: An anti-worker conspiracy

By Marcus Day, 18 March 2017

In an attempt to overcome worker opposition to further concessions, the UAW and Caterpillar are coordinating an information blackout over details of a proposed six-year contract announced Wednesday.

The UAW’s corporatist alliance with Trump

By Niles Niemuth, 17 March 2017

UAW President Dennis Williams’ appearance Wednesday with President Donald Trump and the Big Three auto bosses to promote “American First” nationalism is further confirmation of the anti-working class character of the unions.

Indian court to hear sentencing arguments against framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Shannon Jones, 17 March 2017

Thirteen autoworkers could face the death penalty in a case that has seen blatant collusion between company management, police and Indian state officials

India: 31 victimized Maruti Suzuki workers convicted on frame-up charges

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 14 March 2017

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for 13 car assembly workers, including the leadership of an independent union formed in opposition to a company-stooge union.

As backdoor UAW-Caterpillar negotiations and tax fraud investigation continue

Former Caterpillar worker speaks on 2012 Joliet, Illinois strike betrayal

By Marcus Day, 13 March 2017

Caterpillar is in the midst of a worldwide restructuring, laying off tens of thousands and closing multiple plants.

GM spin-off of Opel-Vauxhall poses need for international fight to defend auto jobs

By Jerry White, 9 March 2017

GM’s move is part of a restructuring of the global auto industry that threatens the jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers around the world.

“They want to cut thousands of jobs.”

PSA purchases Opel-Vauxhall from General Motors

By Marianne Arens, 8 March 2017

The works council and IG Metall union are covering up the danger facing the jobs and living standards of workers after the takeover of Opel and Vauxhall by the PSA Group.

“The corporations are our enemies, not immigrant workers”

General Motors announces 1,100 job cuts at Lansing, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Just three days after laying off 1,300 workers at its Detroit assembly plant, GM announced it was cutting another 1,100 workers at a factory near the Michigan state capital.

Sanders covers for UAW at Mississippi Nissan rally

By Ed Hightower and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Sanders was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s rally in Canton, Mississippi where the United Auto Workers is campaigning to win recognition at the Nissan auto factory.

As UAW maintains information blackout on contract negotiations

Federal agents raid Caterpillar headquarters in Illinois

By Marcus Day, 6 March 2017

The dramatic operation hints at the immense criminality and fraud that characterize the day-to-day workings of giant transnationals.

“They’re laying people off and scattering them to the winds to find employment”

GM layoffs of 1,300 workers at Detroit assembly plant

By a reporting team, 4 March 2017

The layoffs are a major blow to workers and to the city, which is already the poorest big city in America with an official unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.

“They are just here trying to make a living for themselves and their families”

US auto workers speak out in defense of immigrants

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 March 2017

While the unions are aligning with Trump and his “America First” nationalism, workers are reacting against attempts of the administration to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria.

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part one

By James Brewer, 3 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

UAW orders thousands of Caterpillar workers to stay on the job as contract expires

By Marcus Day, 2 March 2017

The UAW and Caterpillar have maintained a media blackout in the current negotiations as they prepare to demand further concessions from workers.

Nine-month lockout of Honeywell workers ends as UAW pushes through company’s demands

By Jessica Goldstein, 1 March 2017

The betrayal of Honeywell workers in South Bend, Indiana underscores the anti-working class character of the United Auto Workers union.

UAW shuts down strike at Kansas City auto parts supplier plant

By Shannon Jones and Nick Rodriguez, 28 February 2017

The settlement maintains a low-wage regime at the factory that makes parts for the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant.

“They are leaving us basically to fend for ourselves”

Detroit GM workers speak on layoffs as deadline draws near

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2017

The layoffs will add to the already high unemployment rate in Detroit, which stands at close to 10 percent.

“The UAW smooths everything out for the company”

One week to GM layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 23 February 2017

The auto sales boom of the last six years is winding down as the threat to jobs mounts both in the US and internationally.

As Trump promotes America First nationalism at South Carolina Boeing plant

UAW to launch “Buy American” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2017

The UAW is ramping up its promotion of economic nationalism in line with the reactionary America First demagogy of the Trump administration.

On eve of GM Detroit layoffs

Jeep announces partial shutdown of Toledo, Ohio complex

By Shannon Jones, 17 February 2017

The UAW is collaborating with GM to lay off some 1,300 workers at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant while trying to divert anger with a reactionary “Buy American” campaign.

Caterpillar to move headquarters from Peoria to Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann and Owen Green, 14 February 2017

Caterpillar’s decision to move its headquarters to Chicago will contribute to the further economic decline of Peoria.

“It’s like we’re working for a temporary agency”

As deadline nears, autoworkers speak on General Motors layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 10 February 2017

With only weeks to go before 1,300 layoffs, opposition is mounting to the job cuts.

SEP meeting in Detroit Saturday to oppose GM layoffs

10 February 2017

The SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter have called this meeting to organize and mobilize opposition to the layoffs throughout the region.

GM makes $9.4 billion in global profits as it slashes thousands of jobs

By Jerry White, 8 February 2017

GM is doling out $14 billion in stock buybacks even as it lays off 3,300 workers in Michigan and Ohio.

GM Canada slashes CAMI workforce in Ontario

By Carl Bronski, 4 February 2017

The announcement exposes the lying claims of Unifor and its President Jerry Dias that the latest round of concessions contracts would secure the Detroit Three’s Canadian “footprint.”

“It’s not the fault of Mexican or Chinese workers”

1,200 GM workers laid off at Lordstown plant in Ohio

By Jerry White, 31 January 2017

More than 2,000 General Motors workers, including 1,245 in Lordstown, Ohio, were laid off the same day that Trump delivered his inaugural address.

“Sure he wants jobs in America—by lowering our wages”

GM autoworkers speak out on layoffs and Trump

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 26 January 2017

Amid all the claims about new investments and jobs, General Motors is pressing ahead with the destruction of 3,300 jobs in Michigan and Ohio.

Automakers announce US investments, anticipate big profits under Trump

By Jerry White, 20 January 2017

Over the past weeks major US- and foreign-based automakers have announced they will maintain or expand production in the US and, in some cases, trim back operations in Mexico.

Ford contract worker killed at Rouge complex outside of Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 14 January 2017

A contract worker, Ricky Mcintosh, died Wednesday morning after a fall from an overhead crane.

“The union is not for us”

Detroit autoworkers speak out against GM layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2017

With layoffs scheduled for March 5, workers are facing temporary plant closures that play havoc with their lives and finances.

Protest by Illinois auto parts workers wins broad support on Facebook

By Shannon Jones, 7 January 2017

In a confrontation recorded on video, plant management called police on protesting workers after robbing them of promised severance pay.