As around 75 Delphi workers from the Detroit area protested Steve Miller’s speech at the Masonic Temple on Monday April 3, 2006 their co-workers in the factories after hearing last Friday that Delphi filed a motion to reject their contract began a series of reactions their first day back to work.
In Flint a handful of workers began a brief and inspirational mini sit-down strike. Coopersville workers concertedly walked off the job early in protest. A handful of Kokomo workers depleted a couple product lines crippling various departments on both Monday and Tuesday. All of these reactions took place without the approval of union officials and under the nose of disgruntled salary workers.
Meanwhile Delphi and the UAW misplace their grip on the workforce by trying to buy-out workers to mitigate resistance and by throwing money at their problem with mass overtime. Workers are starting to react in solidarity on their own free will and it is only going to proliferate. The rolling strikes and the wildcats are on the tip of the spear. Every worker will soon have no other choice but to fight back through even the most unconventional means to defend their jobs, their communities and their future.
At the same time outside the gates of the factory the David Cole’s of the world move into high gear to condition the public that times have changed and this isn’t the 1930’s and the 1950’s anymore. He and his masters at the Delphi Board of Directors wholesale to the public that autoworkers should now work for less while doing more work and without “restrictive“ safety rules. They toast in boardrooms with Big Three rivals while covering up that even paying half of what UAW workers make some of these trans-national companies are near the verge of or have already filed for bankruptcy too.
They make every attempt to spread their misinformation of auto workers making too much money while they suppress the fact that less than 6% of all vehicle sticker prices comes from the total labor cost. They pay big money to corporate media through advertising while orchestrating stillness on “restructuring“ the other 94%. Get a calculator and see what 6% of a $20,000 vehicle is then ask how much did auto makers spend on advertising individual models last year compared to the “uncompetitive” labor and legacy costs. The auto industry is not changing. Not unless the workers allow it. The time of high paying jobs is not over. Not unless the workers allow it. We make the products, we control the machines, we call the shots.
In other countries the GM-Delphi Latin American operations broadcast solidarity with U.S. autoworkers. We have received several e-mails from various labor leaders of the Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT) in Brazil who represent GM-Delphi workers in South America. They are ready to support the American UAW workers by any means necessary, they simply wait for the signal to roll it out. Miller has claimed that Delphi’s Board Of Directors took an insurance policy out by filing motions in bankruptcy court to toss out our contact. Now it is time for the International UAW to also take out an insurance policy and call a strike vote by the membership.
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