Jan 30, 2006
Chrysler and the UAW International are discussing how to bring the concession contract to the Chrysler workers. But they have a big problem.
What happened at Ford showed that most Ford workers are against this concession contract, no matter what the vote was reported to be. And will Chrysler workers vote for this contract after what happened at Ford? Not likely.
Ford workers, GM workers, Chrysler workers – none of us want these concessions. We"ve already started to stand up against them. If we continue, we won't have to take them.
A lot of workers do not believe that the contract really passed. The way the vote was done in some places was suspicious.
In the Final building of the Truck plant, the vote was done in a proper manner and the vote came out overwhelmingly "No."
But in some plants at the Rouge, they carried buckets around to collect ballots. In some instances, there was no control over who voted; or whose name got marked off, or if your name got marked off, or how many times someone voted. And those units reported great big "Yes' votes.
Workers have every reason to demand that this vote is overturned.
For weeks before workers voted on the concessions contract all the newspapers were reporting doom and gloom about Ford Motor Co. and GM losing money and market share. Even the top UAW leadership wrote a letter within the contract Highlights saying the same thing.
But after we voted, they admitted the truth.
On January 8th, Bill Ford gave a speech at the Detroit Auto Show in which he said, "We"re going to be solidly profitable in 2005 when we close the books." He also said that Ford Motor Co. losing market share was something they chose to do because they were concentrating on selling the higher profit vehicles.
In other words, talk about Ford's crisis is a trick to get us to stab ourselves in the back.
V.P. Mark Fields said it directly: our plan is being launched by a profitable company. They made $2 billion in profits in 2005.The Chief Financial officer said the company was working with nearly $38 billion in cash! That their liquid assets far outstrip their debt.
They try to make it seem that they are making money everywhere else in the world except their North American Automotive operations. They use this in order to scare us.
Hogwash. It's an accounting trick. They shift these profits into their finance arm, Ford Motor Credit. They have been doing this for years, to avoid paying us our profit-sharing.
Ford said they had to close plants because they lost market share. But whose fault is that? A lot of the market share Ford gave up deliberately by deciding to concentrate on higher profit trucks and SUVs and deliberately cutting back sales to rental car companies.
The people who made these decisions should be held accountable.