The Spark

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

NPG:
Workers Refuse Blackmail

Jun 8, 2009

UAW workers at New Process Gear, a Syracuse area parts plant owned by Magna International, voted down a concessionary contract for the third time in a row – even though the company threatened to close the plant if they did.

The contract included work-rule concessions, and pay cuts to $16 an hour or even a plant closing – unless the company declares a profit in the fall.

The workers rejected the contract – by 68% – even though the local president and the International tried to pressure them into it, and even though the company laid them off for two months between the second and third votes. The No vote was actually higher the third time around!

Workers felt insulted when the union and the company told them they had no other choice.

As one worker put it, “I don’t want to lose my job.... But I don’t want to be treated like a nobody.”

Workers said they’d rather be laid off at their old wage of $20 an hour, than be blackmailed into a pay cut that guaranteed nothing.