More letters on the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee
15 October 2010
The World Socialist Web Site encourages workers and other readers to send letters of support and solidarity to the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee. The committee was established to organize workers independently of and in opposition to the United Auto Workers union to fight the wage and job cuts being demanded by the corporations, the government and the UAW. (See “An open letter from the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee.”)
To the workers of the Indianapolis GM Stamping Rank-and-File Committee,
We write to acknowledge the courageous and principled stand you have taken in the face of the active hostility of the company, government, corporate media and official union bureaucracy.
Your actions forge a path for those workers everywhere facing a political impasse and provide hope for future progress. Despite the demoralized apologies for the unions put forward by various pseudo-left tendencies, the committee formed during this struggle is a concrete demonstration of the possibility of breaking with the bankrupt existing workers organisations.
In the coming period, such a break will not just be a possibility but a necessity for millions facing a fight for their livelihoods, and your actions, regardless of the outcome of this specific dispute, will stand out clearly as a significant expression of a turning point in the world class struggle.
While GM workers in Indiana are in conflict with powerful, wealthy individuals like JD Norman and the GM board, these individuals merely epitomise the aristocratic American ruling class, who have repeatedly displayed their brutality when their profits are threatened, fighting with all the methods at their disposal.
You uphold the militant traditions of auto workers in the Great Lakes, Factory Belt and beyond, and are taking the forefront in the working class struggle against capitalism, with all the burden and responsibility that brings.
However, in common struggle we can be sure of victory. Workers and students stand shoulder-to-shoulder for the right to a job, the defence of public education and health care and in opposition to militarism and war.
Our sincerest support to you and your families.
In international solidarity,
International Students for Social Equality society
University of Manchester, England
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I'm writing to congratulate the workers at the Indianapolis Stamping Plant. The founding of the Rank and File Committee is a decisive step forward of international significance. It will inspire workers to make the steps forward against the treachery of corporatist trade unions that has infected the labor movement in every corner of the world. Indeed it gives me hope in England that your example will be met with similar progress. This is the answer. The struggle before us is an international struggle, historically assigned to the working class because the working class has no country and is the international class. We face the same obstacles and are met with the same enemy, which is a globally organised enemy. That has been its secret weapon; now the secret is out and there is hope again, indeed confidence. The coming struggle will remember its beginning in Indianapolis. Success to all of us.
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Keep up the fight. Don't give up! The unions have long ago left us behind. It’s time to unite and stand up for ourselves since our elected officials are not doing anything to help. I may only be one man, but you all have my support here in Kansas City. The working class is America and it’s time to take it back.
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I read the open letter from the Indianapolis GM Stamping workers and was proud and inspired by your intelligent, moral stance against capitalist bosses and their collaborators among the established union bureaucracy.
I was particularly heartened by your collective responsibility towards future generations and other workers. It is especially heartening that after all the defeats, setbacks, betrayals and propaganda that workers like you in the US are discerning the truth and determined to fight for workers' rights.
Your fraternity and deep human decency is the key to your victory and I wish you solidarity and strength to hold true to the aim of justice and equality.
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Dear brothers and sisters of Indianapolis rank and file,
Let it be known that you are not alone. There are so many more of us out here that fully support you and the stand that you brothers and sisters have made. We are ready to follow you in the direction that you have made for the rest of us who still find ourselves under the whipsaw of the corporate greedy fat cats who have clearly highjacked the whole of organized labor.
Your stand has cut a mark in the sand, and your resistance has awoken a sleeping giant. The die has been cast and our collective minds are made up and this war that has been waged against the men and woman of the UAW will not be a silent conflict hid away under the covers. The powers-that-be will come to learn that the working classes in this country have much more in common than we have differences and we will come together like we have never done before for one cause, one purpose and one distinct rallying call. That is we are at war and my brothers and sisters are in conflict and we need each other like we have never needed each other ever before and we have one common enemy and that is CORPORATE GREED. It smells the same coming from those who have been invested with representing our collective interest.
So know that we are at war together and we THANK all of you who took a stand, we owe you so very much and you are the reason why I am a proud member of the UAW.
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What a despicable betrayal by UAW to implement a wage cut on your behalf. “Welcome to your new bosses,” this is the role of trade union bureaucrats in all the trade unions around the world. As the economic crisis deepens, so do the betrayals of workers. Workers must organise independently of these unions. They do not and have never represented the interests of the working class, but serve well their CAPITALIST masters. The working class is the only international class, as you have witnessed with the support from workers around the world. This is where the strength of the working class lies and not in isolation.
This is the role that trade union leaders play to isolate working class struggles, so that, any dispute no matter what the content may be, will be defeated. The threat to close the GM plant is nothing more than Industrial Blackmail implemented by management and the trade union bureaucrats.
If I may, I’d like to quote from Leon Trotsky who just before he was murdered by the same Stalinist agencies who now reside within the realms of trade unions around the world, said, “There is one common feature in the development, or more correctly the degeneration, of modern trade union organisations in the entire world: it is there drawing closely to and growing together with the state power.” (Marxism and the Trade Unions). He also said in the same pamphlet, “Monopoly capitalism is less and less willing to reconcile itself to the independence of trade unions. It demands of the reformist bureaucracy and the labour aristocracy who pick the crumbs from its banquet table, that they become transformed into its political police before the eyes of the working class.”
This is so apt a quote as that transparency is showed by the treachery of the UAW bureaucracy. It is vitally important for workers to start and learn and understand the essence of what is transpiring politically and economically. Every worker in the eyes of the capitalist class must pay for this economic disaster that as been unfolding since 2008. No worker is responsible for this crisis, but the working class globally are being made to pay for this. Strike waves in Europe have vindicated this and despite the anger of the workers the bureaucrats are moving like they have never moved before, to betray workers no matter what country they are in. I urge you to use the wsws.org site as a guiding light in your struggle.