The Spark

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

Fired Chrysler Worker Gets Job Back

Apr 29, 2013

Alex Wassell, a welder repairman fired by Chrysler after he protested the 10-hour day, has got his job back.

Wassell and others at the Warren, Michigan stamping and assembly plant complex spoke out against the Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) at Chrysler. Wassell was fired on March 1, after a protest outside the stamping plant.

The workers don’t want to be forced back to work weeks straight out of the 19th Century: ten hours a day and weekend work without overtime pay; one crew out of three made to rotate two day shifts and two night shifts; only one crew out of three able to have a normal weekend and family life.

Inhuman work schedules are one more sign of the times, the relentless war on workers waged by corporations intent on reducing labor costs to the absolute lowest cent.

A more hopeful sign of the times is when some workers push back and refuse to take it lying down. Wassell’s discharge was a message sent by Chrysler to try to terrorize workers into submission. Wassell’s reinstatement on April 19 was a message sent by all those workers who let the company know, and let the union know, that they were paying close attention on his behalf.

The companies have no limit on how far they will push workers no limit, except the limits that will be set by workers themselves.