The Spark

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

Skilled trades on a chopping block

Oct 8, 2007

A large headline in the GM Highlights proclaims, “Skilled Trades Protections Strengthened.”

Exactly the opposite! No overtime pay for Saturday and Sunday work – is that what they call “strengthening”? Eliminating ten or more types of work for trades and contracting it out – is that “strengthening”?

Ten work “elements” to be “exited” – that is contracted out – are listed in the Letter of September 25, including building construction, painting and glazing, carpentry, building maintenance, specialty maintenance, certified welder maintenance, voltage electrical distribution, building mechanical, building electrical, and crane hoist repair and inspection.

Strengthening? No way! They want to further collapse skilled trades into as few classifications as possible, increasing work loads on each tradesperson far past the limits of training and safety.

The only one “protected’ is GM.