The Spark

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

Grand Theft Auto:
Make the Thieves Pay

Mar 9, 2009

Auto workers have no choice – so the auto companies and their flunkeys say – auto workers must give up concessions because the auto companies have no money.

What a bunch of bull. Auto workers didn’t create the crisis. Auto workers didn’t drain these companies of money.

The Ford family did, raking in nearly a billion dollars in eleven years – just in dividends.

Cerberus drained Chrysler of money – running highly productive factories into debt, so Cerberus could pay dividends to its investors.

And GMAC took profits GM made in auto to speculate in the financial markets.

The executives used these companies as their own private bank accounts. Ford paid out 196 million dollars to its top five executives from 2001 to 2007, when it said it lost 38 billion dollars. GM said it lost 21 billion from 2005 to 2007– but handed out 108 million to executives.

Auto workers didn’t take this money and squander it. Workers didn’t buy up companies. From 1997 to 2006, Ford spent 30 billion dollars buying up or investing in 22 companies and plants overseas. GM bought up more than 20 mortgage companies.

Don’t tell us GM, Ford & Cerberus have no money. GM keeps “subsidiaries” in eleven tax havens like the Cayman Islands, which lets GM get out of paying its taxes – and lets it hide how much money it has. Ford, too. Cerberus took Chrysler private so it doesn’t have to say what it does with the money.

The auto companies have money – they just want MORE. They want to go on speculating. They want to hand out millions more to their executives, bankers and major stockholders, all of whom live lives of luxury, stolen from the workers’ labor.

Stealing from the workers, these companies drain money out of their own production facilities – destroying them and the country’s economy along with it.

Don’t let these pigs pretend workers are paid too much – we aren’t paid enough. Make the thieves who caused this crisis pay its cost.