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

Vote at UAW Auto Plant in Saline, Michigan

Jul 20, 2015

On June 18, 2015, workers at UAW Local 892 in Saline, Michigan, voted NO! on a proposed new contract. Workers in skilled trades voted 81% NO! and production voted 63.9% NO!

Workers are fed up that their employer, Faurecia, cut wages by $3 to $4 an hour when it bought the company in 2012. Workers had in mind to get their money back. This contract failed to do that.

Workers say they are tired of working mandatory 7 days a week and 12 hours a day for meager pay and lousy conditions.

This tentative contract negotiated by the UAW International at Faurecia gives a preview of 2015 Big 3 auto talks.

The Saline “deal” bumped starting pay from $11.50 an hour to $12.50 an hour. Workers would top out at $17.50–up about $2 from the current top rate.

Skilled trades workers, starting at $26.00 an hour, would top out after 4 years at $30.00 an hour.

A sore point was workers losing their $900 Annual Christmas Bonus in 2015. They would get only $400 in future years. In other words, workers were told to give up $2,400 in Christmas bonuses to “get” a $2,500 signing bonus being dangled with the contract!

When it came time to vote, workers demanded and got the actual contract language–not the usual “highlights.” Looking it over at the union hall, they saw that “improvements in healthcare” was a scam! While the premiums went down, the co-pays and out-of-pocket costs went up!

Workers snapped pictures of their NO! ballots with their cell phones to ensure an accurate vote.

The local union recommended a yes vote. Workers pointed out that many “gains” were offset by “losses” in other areas.

After the no vote, a union official said to Faurecia workers: “You are not Ford.... You are supposed to be paid less.”

Seeing the mind set of this union “negotiator,” it is clear that the best hope for a better contract lies in the workers’ own hands.