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

Workers Should Not Pay for the Bosses’ Mess

Aug 22, 2011

In 2005, when the big push for concessions began, did these three companies have problems? Yes they did.

But if auto companies were running short of money, as they claimed, that’s because they gave so much away–to stockholders, to the banks, to executives. Between 1996 and 2007, Ford reported total profits of 23.8 billion dollars–BUT it gave away 29.2 billion in dividends or stock buy-backs, rewarding some of the wealthiest people in the country, including first of all, the Ford family. All three companies bought up other companies, including in countries around the world.

All three of these companies went into debt–even in the good years–in order to satisfy the greed of their biggest stockholders or owners. That debt came back to haunt them when the market for vehicle sales turned down.

None of this was the fault or the responsibility of the workers. And the workers should not have been the ones to pay for problems they didn’t create. The concessions of 2005, 2007 and 2009 were an outrageous rip-off–robbing the workers so these companies could keep on lavishing money on the wealthy class that owns them.

Now, in 2011, GM, Ford and Chrysler want to go on draining outrageous amounts of wealth from the workers’ labor for the benefit of wealthy stockholders and executives. That’s why concessions continue at the top of the companies’ agenda.