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

They"re Back
– and Trying to Sugarcoat a Rotten Deal

Oct 12, 2009

Ever since GM and Chrysler exacted huge concessions from their workforces earlier this year, Ford Motor Co. executives have been chomping at the bit to get the same concessions from Ford workers. But they had a problem – it seemed Ford workers weren't eager to give in. So the company executives delayed. And now they seem poised to mount the attack.

UAW International leaders have called local union leaders to come to Detroit, saying that Ford is now ready to give something in return for some contract "changes."

B.S. There's a promise of a bonus – MAYBE, for MAYBE a few workers, at MAYBE a few plants. MAYBE. And then there's the promise that every plant would have a "product" this year. But Ford workers know well what such "promises' amounted to in the past: NOTHING.

The real deal is not this fake promise – it's the concessions being pushed behind them.

The most recent SPARK newsletter that came out at the Ford Rouge Truck plant just before the deal was announced addressed some of the issues behind any concessions. We"re reprinting this newsletter below.

We Knew What the Point of It Was

There were no surprises when it came to going to hear VP Joe Hinrich's speech. We all knew what the point of it was: "Blah, blah, blah, and by the way, we want more concessions from you."

A Waste of Their Time – and Ours

Does the company think they would get a different response if they brought one of their high-rollers in? We have already made it clear we"re saying NO concessions.

What part of "No" don't they understand?

How Much Propaganda They Can Afford

What did it cost the company, just to stop the line for Hinrich's talk on Sept. 24th? Well, if you figure 60 trucks per hour at roughly $25,000, that's 1.5 million dollars of lost production just at our plant alone. And they did this at almost every Ford plant.

They Can Give Us Back Our Time

If they can afford to stop production for one hour in all the plants, on all the shifts, they can certainly afford to give us back our break time.

Who's this WE, Rich Man?

Did you count how many times the man used the word, "We" as in "We are in this together."

Well, Joe, if "We" are in this together, WE wouldn't mind sharing in those millions in salary, bonuses and other perks you enjoy.

Statistics They Forgot to Show Us

  • Alan Mulally's total compensation of 63.6 million dollars between September 2006 and the end of 2008, (Wall St. Journal, March 25, 2009).
  • 2.3 billion dollars in profits last quarter.
  • Ford's most recent 490 million dollar investment to build another plant in China to add to their world-wide empire of 90 plants on six continents.

Funny they forgot to show those statistics.

Not Bad for 30 Minutes of "Work"

Alan Mulally was escorted through the DTP Final on Monday. Let's see, at his pay rate, he probably made about $6500 for his 30 minutes of shaking hands and smiling for the cameras.

Just Who Does He Represent?

When UAW President Ron Gettelfinger spoke at a Kiwanis Club meeting in Plymouth, he was asked about the discussions the UAW was having with the company on contract modifications. He was quoted in the September 24th Detroit Free Press as saying, "I don't want Ford to be disadvantaged."

What about Ford workers being disadvantaged?!