Nov 21, 2005
The UAW GM Department announced that 61% of General Motors workers voted for the new concession contract. Even if we believe this figure, this means that almost 40% of the workers voted “No.” It shows that a lot of GM workers were opposed to these concessions.
And the GM retirees, who had the most to lose, were not allowed to vote at all.
But workers have some reason to be suspicious of the count. There were no “challengers” to observe the vote or the count – in contrast to what happens in regular union elections. And very few locals even announced their own vote totals, where workers could more easily know whether the figures accorded with what they knew.
So we have to trust the same union officials who wanted to see this contract passed to make an accurate count!
It’s a warning to workers at Ford and Chrysler, where the bosses have already said they want the same concessions.
Workers at Ford and Chrysler can organize right now to monitor their vote. Even more important, they can begin to organize meetings, demonstrations and other ways to make their opinion clearly known.
No one should ever depend on a piece of paper, or a vote on that piece of paper, to protect them.