From the Labor Commission of the CPUSA, updates, information, news, analysis, and organizing materials in solidarity with workers of the world.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Autoworkers buoyed by solidarity

Tentative pact reached after nationwide strike

In an unprecedented show of solidarity across the country, labor got behind the nation’s autoworkers as they went out on strike against General Motors last week.

It started when 73,000 workers streamed out of their workplaces Sept. 24 at GM plants across the nation, forming picket lines and beginning the first nationwide auto strike in 37 years.

Almost immediately, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters honored the united picket lines put up by the United Auto Workers union. “This is a fight against corporate America’s attack on the workers,” Teamster President James Hoffa declared.

Visit the People's Weekly World for the full article:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Teamsters Honor UAW Picket

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has declared that they will honor UAW picketlines at GM facilities. Read the Press release here:

Local Coverage Highlight's Autoworker's Issues

The 73,000 autoworkers who went on strike this week work at 80 facilities around the country. The communities they live and work in will be affected by the outcome of the strike as well. Much local tv, radio and newspaper coverage has focused on the stories of autoworkers.

Workers Consider Impact of UAW Strike
Cincinnati, Ohio

Auto Workers Go On Strike Against GM
Indianapolis, IN

Workers Strike at GM's Only Chicagoland Facility
Bolingbrook, IL

Union Movement Solid behind UAW Members on Strike

The AFL-CIO's workers' blog featured a story on the support autoworkers are getting from throughout the trade union movement:

Community Rallies for Janesville GM Strikers

Striking Janesville General Motors workers have been overwhelmed by the community's support for their walkout, Mike Sheridan, president of United Auto Workers Local 905, said Tuesday.

"It's amazing," Sheridan said.

Local Pizza Hut restaurants have supplied picketers with pizzas, a nearby pub brought breakfast omelettes and a group of Chrysler employees in Belvidere, Ill., was on its way up Tuesday with a stack of Burger King sandwiches, Sheridan said.

Members of United Steelworkers Local 904 in Sun Prairie have been stopping by their union office and talking about going down to Janesville to join auto workers on the picket line, steelworkers vice president Greg Lueptow said.

When steelworkers were on strike against Goodyear in late 2006, "they came up and donated money toward our fund," Lueptow said.

Sheridan, who is also a state representative, said he's pleased that Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, is trying to organize a group of legislators to head to Janesville and show their support for the strikers.

— Judy Newman

Model Letter to the Editor

Here is a sample letter to the editor you can adapt and use locally to show support for striking GM workers in your local newspaper:

"Dear Editor,

The Big Three automakers are demanding 30% cuts in the wage and benefit package of UAW workers at GM, Chrysler and Ford. What happens in this year’s auto talks affects everybody, not just auto workers.

That’s been true since the 1940s. For five decades, raises and improvements won in auto industry bargaining set the standard for workers throughout our society. The power of the UAW and other unions created the middle class lifestyle people call the American Dream.

This year’s auto talks affect everybody as well. Only this time if the Big Three succeeds in further eliminating more good-paying jobs, cutting back workers’ health care benefits and pensions, and weakening organized labor, we will all pay the price.

America needs a strong, thriving manufacturing base to maintain a strong, thriving middle class and offer opportunity for the poor. Cutting back on workers’ health care benefits may help corporations’ bottom lines but will only worsen the economic well-being and health of Americans.

We need to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the UAW to demand a decent contract for them while we all agree to come together to fight for the common good. America’s workers need fair trade agreements that keep good paying jobs in the United States, new manufacturing jobs here that reduce our dependence on oil (building plug-in hybrid vehicles, wind turbines and solar cells) and expansion of Medicare to provide guaranteed health care for all.

Signed ___________"

73,000 GM Workers Go on Strike!

Monday, Sept 24 at 11:00 am eastern, the more than 70,000 members of the United Auto Workers union walked off the job when talk between the union and General Motors management reached an impasse. Wages, working conditions, job security and other issues are at stake.

We believe that the working conditions and wages for autoworkers sets a precedent for all working people. Their struggle is every worker's struggle. This webpage is put together by autoworkers, their supporters and friends of the auto workers and will feature, informations, thoughts and materials to show solidarity with struggling autoworkers.

More information soon!