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Mobilize Dana workers to vote “no” on second sweatshop contract! Build rank-and-file committees to prepare for a strike!

A Dana Inc. assembly technician wears a face mask as she assembles axles at the Dana plant in Toledo, Ohio, May 18, 2020 [Credit: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook]

Fellow Dana workers:

Every Dana worker must vote “no” on the second tentative agreement and campaign actively among our co-workers for the biggest “no” vote possible. With our “no” vote we must send a message loud and clear: Dana workers are united and we are ready to strike!

We have suffered a long train of abuses at the hands of the pro-company UAW and USW.

We voted “no” with near unanimity on the first contract, with Toledo Driveline workers courageously voting 435 to 0 against the contract. We voted with near unanimity to authorize a strike.

We made ourselves perfectly clear, but the UAW and USW went directly against our wishes, forcing us to keep working for two months by saying they were “negotiating” with Dana. In that time, workers got hurt or sick with COVID so the company could meet orders and make profit. The UAW and USW executives fed us a pack of lies and kept taking our dues money to pay their grotesque salaries.

Two months later, they come back with a second TA that is the same as the first. This an insult. The TA is a non-starter. It meets none of our demands. It is a blank check for five long years of unrestrained corporate domination over every aspect of our lives.

The TA gives Dana the power to mandate us as often as it wants and denies us the right to have a life outside of Dana, to spend time with our families and to watch our children grow. It gives Dana the power to work us 84 hours a week and denies us the right to an 8-hour day and 40-hour week. It gives Dana the power to mandate us on holidays, enforce speed-ups and alternative work schedules, and denies us the right to work without fear of death, serious injury or infection with COVID-19.

In exchange for sacrificing our rights and personal lives, Dana offers us $22.50 an hour in 2026. That’s $2 less than the current national average manufacturing wage. That’s about what McDonald’s pays new hires. With inflation, $22.50 in 2026 will be the equivalent of $17 in today’s dollars, not enough to meet the rising cost of rent, gas and food. The contract will throw Dana workers into ever greater financial hardship and will greatly enrich Dana’s shareholders and executives.

And these are the terms in the highlights. The UAW and USW won’t even let us see the full contract or the letters of understanding and side agreements. That won’t stop management from pointing to this hidden language to justify whatever future humiliations it has in store. They are also scheduling votes at times guaranteed to make it harder for us to vote.

We all know the UAW and USW work for the company and betray the workers to enrich themselves. That is why we formed the Dana Workers Rank-and-File Committee (DWRFC), to unleash our potential power.

The reality is Dana workers have never been in stronger position, and we can win massive gains if we unite. Even workers who voted “yes” or abstained in the first vote should know: our committee is fighting for you, too, and we have confidence that we can win our fight. The isolation that the UAW and USW rely upon to keep us weak is breaking down.

We Dana workers have begun to build lines of communication between plants to share information, democratically discuss our demands and plan common action.

There is a strike wave taking place involving millions of workers who are locking arms to demand massive wage increases, safe working conditions and effective measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our workplaces. All over the world, teachers, nurses, autoworkers, truckers, train conductors, film production workers and service workers are standing up to say “no,” not only to sellout contracts, but to obscene inequality.

In October, there have been 39 strikes in the US involving 24,000 workers, including 10,000 UAW members on strike at John Deere. For all its talk of “solidarity,” the UAW is making us produce farm equipment parts for scabs working behind picket lines. To join our struggles together, the Dana Workers Rank-and-File Committee has begun organizing critical meetings bringing together rank-and-file representatives from John Deere, the Big Three and other sections of the working class.

Dana workers occupy a critical bottleneck in global supply chains, and the profits of not only Dana but the entire auto industry depend on parts we produce. Without our parts, the auto, construction, farm equipment, mining and trucking industries cannot function.

We are ready to join the global strike wave and become a part of history. The working class is beginning to fight back against decades of attacks on jobs, wages and living standards, but our class allies need reinforcements.

Our strength lies in our unity. To unite, workers must form rank-and-file strike committees to organize a “no” vote and prepare a strike to win the following demands:

  • Massive wage increases with cost-of-living adjustments (COLA)
  • An 8-hour day and 40-hour week
  • Workers’ control over COVID safety, with full pay for any shutdowns
  • Workers’ control of line speed, with no speed-ups
  • New, clean machines, safety training and air quality
  • Adequate air conditioning in all plants
  • Reinstate wrongfully terminated workers like Keaira Marsenburg

Committees must be set up to link workers in every department, on every shift, in every plant. Committees at each plant must select representatives to join a national strike committee to ensure we are all be on the same page, that we all act as one, and that we act in unison with our allies in struggle, including at John Deere.

Dana workers: Mobilize the broadest possible “no” vote, organize rank-and-file committees and prepare for a victorious strike.

To get involved, email us at DanaWRFC@gmail.com or text (248)-602-0936.

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