Sep 14, 2015
In the months and weeks leading up to contract deadlines with the Detroit 3 auto companies, UAW workers received zero information from International Union negotiators.
While the news reported on general approaches put forward by the UAW, the workers, who are the union, were not a part of the conversation.
When workers questioned or complained about the lack of information, union officials and experts trotted out the same old line that it is better to negotiate in secret. They quoted workers, who were hand-picked, to say that they “trust the bargaining committee 100 percent.” This is the same song that has resulted in concession contracts for the past several decades.
The fact that workers have to ask what is being negotiated is the clear indication that workers are not organized and on their feet ready to fight for their rights. No doubt workers are fed up and want more. But unless the list of union demands, the negotiations and the decisions to engage in a fight come from the workers themselves, the companies will continue to dance around giving any real gains.