The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Detroit News—Anti-Union Rag for the Bosses

Sep 30, 2019

In the face of the looming strike at GM and after the strike began, the Detroit News took every opportunity to exploit the so-called “corruption scandal” against UAW officials in an effort to turn UAW workers against their union and against the strike against GM.

They’ve run stories using inflammatory statements, like referring to trips union officials took as “junkets” to a “desert oasis” in Palm Springs, California, or saying one had “wads of cash” in his garage.

Since the strike began, their headlines alone make obvious their consistent efforts to convince UAW workers to oppose the strike. The News clearly hoped to undermine members’ trust in their leadership with headlines as follows:

• “UAW leadership’s credibility evaporating with new charges,”

• “Federal corruption probe, mistrust fuel UAW-GM strike,”

• “Accused UAW thief negotiates worker deal with GM.”

They’ve tried to claim the UAW rejected a really generous offer from GM with leads like, “A strike that shouldn’t have happened,” and said the “Union, not GM, is exploiting UAW strikers.” When that didn’t work, they turned to attempting to discourage striking workers and their supporters with headlines like

• “Strike will hurt rank-and-file workers before GM, experts say,” and

• “GM strike lasting more than a week could send Mich. into a recession.”

Even if the other papers ultimately take the side of the same corporate bosses, their tone was much more neutral—instead the Detroit News has outdone itself! What else can you call it, but a trained pit bull willing to be used for the attack on the union and its workers, by GM and the feds? It comes as no surprise, given that the News did its own union-busting when its workers went on strike in the mid-1990s.