The Spark

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

History doesn’t have to repeat itself

Jul 23, 2007

At a UAW meeting on June 21 in Marion, OH, a GM retiree spoke up to Gettelfinger. The retiree said the UAW should preserve benefits.

Gettelfinger said to him: “Are you familiar with the steel industry? Are you familiar with the airline industry? Will you come back to me if they go bankrupt and you lose your health care and a portion of your pension? Will you come back to me and tell me what a great leader I was?”

What a rewrite of history! In the airline and steel industry, union leaders played it “safe.” Steel and airline unions gave up concessions. Guess what happened? Steel and airline companies honored the workers’ sacrifices by filing for bankruptcy after concessions! The only thing greedy corporations respect is a well organized fight.