The Spark

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

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Jobs bank no longer safe

May 19, 2008

Second-shift workers laid off from Chrysler’s Sterling Heights (Michigan) Assembly Plant got two letters in the mail. One was an offer of work in Belvidere, Illinois. One was an offer of work at Kenosha, Wisconsin. That is, two “offers” were made.

Under new rules set up by the 2007 contract, a worker who declines two offers can be removed from the Jobs Bank and put on a regular layoff with its limited benefits.

In the past, Jobs Bank workers could not be forced to take jobs far from their homes. The new rules mean that at any moment a worker might be required to pull their children from school, put their house up for sale (good luck!), and take their chances in a new far-off plant that might soon lay them off again. And then what?

But to Chrysler, the new rules are nothing but a way to push out seniority workers, making about $30 an hour, to replace them with “two-tier” workers – paid only $14.50 an hour and without any Job Bank claims.

It’s another way the 2007 contract was a gift to the bosses.