The Spark

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

Opposition to new auto contracts

Oct 6, 2003

Workers at two union locals of Delphi, the parts arm of General Motors, voted down the new auto contract. As well they might! The contract will impose a two-tier wage structure, a drastic wage cut for new hires. But UAW leaders refused to show the details, saying that the terms would be announced by a committee – 90 days after the workers' vote!

In other words, the workers were made to vote without knowing what they were voting on.

Delphi workers also discovered that their votes were not to be counted separately, but treated as part of the total GM vote. This may not have gone down well with workers who were indeed GM workers before the Delphi spin-off. They were told they had to be a separate company when it came to "competition" with other parts suppliers – but when they vote, suddenly they are not separate any more!

One unit of Chrysler workers also tried to let their anger be known when they were told, after they had already voted, that the contract included a side letter allowing the company to eliminate 400 of their jobs. Two years ago, these model makers had resisted management's outsourcing of their work in violation of their contract. The answer turned out to be simple: change the contract but don't let them know it!

A fraudulent contract is certainly not binding. There are more than enough frauds in this one for workers to declare it null and void – by their actions.