The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Chrysler Concessions:
Wringing out Every Drop of Blood

May 4, 2009

The contract concessions at Chrysler are a devastating attack on the workers’ lives and standard-of-living and include almost every aspect of wages, benefits, work rules and working conditions.

• Wages are frozen and the yearly bonuses, which were supposed to replace wage increases, are now eliminated.

• Christmas bonuses eliminated.

• One paid holiday every year is eliminated.

All this amounts to a loss of nearly $11,000 a year.

• Plus cost-of-living raises are eliminated.

• Overtime pay is reduced. Overtime will be paid only after 40 hours, regardless of how many hours are worked on any particular day.

• Two-tier new hires, who are brought in at about half the wage and benefits of current workers, will get no raises.

• All new hires will be at 2-tier wages. Previously, Chrysler was limited on how many people it could hire at the lower wage.

• Chrysler can use many more part-time workers and vacation replacement workers to work at regular positions throughout the year at low wages.

• The Jobs Bank is eliminated. Everyone who is laid off collects only SUB pay, which is much less, and they can soon lose their health care coverage.

• SUB pay will be reduced and then eliminated after a certain number of weeks on layoff.

• Laid off workers can be forced to move anywhere else in the country or lose their seniority and recall rights.

• Educational assistance is eliminated.

• Break time will be reduced from 46 minutes per day to 40 minutes per day for workers on the assembly line and to 24 minutes per day for jobs not directly on the assembly line.

• All clean-up or environmental relief time for workers is eliminated.

• Workers will be forced to use two weeks of their vacation time whenever the company chooses.

• The company can impose alternative work schedules, such as 12-hour days, whenever it wants.

• A new attendance policy means that workers will be fired after seven absences or lates in more than two years, even if you are sick or have a family emergency.

• Salaried workers can be put on some work that has previously been hourly work.

• Skilled trades classifications will be reduced, combined and eliminated.

All of these current concessions come on top of the concessions in the 2007 contract. Together, they take back many of the gains that auto workers fought for, struck for, sacrificed for and even died for during the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.