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

Ford Contract Up for a Vote

Nov 9, 2015

“Ford Deal includes 10K bonus”–“bigger bonuses than GM or FCA, “shouted the headlines in Detroit papers when Ford Motor Company and the UAW announced a tentative agreement.

After weeks of hinting that Ford workers would get more–BAM! The UAW said they did!

Unfortunately, the $10,000 ratification bonus is really $8,500–just $500 more than GM–and, oh yeah, $1,500 BORROWED from a future profit-sharing bonus to make it LOOK LIKE 10,000 because, after all, $10,000 sounds so much better!

This sleight-of-hand, these tricks and outright lies, told by the International Union, have contributed to the high “NO” votes that have marked both the Chrysler and GM contract voting process. Clearly, auto workers across the Detroit 3 are not happy with this pattern agreement that fails to restore lost wages to senior workers after 10 years of wage freezes, and fails as well to eliminate Two-Tier.

Tens of thousands of workers at GM and Chrysler clearly had no confidence to follow the leadership of this International Union into a fight with the bosses–a leadership that threatens to get less, not more, if the workers fight.

Will Ford workers find a way past this problem? They are last to vote precisely because both the company and the Union recognized the potential for Ford workers to demand more and be fooled less. No one has forgotten the organized opposition of Ford workers to the 2009 contract. The “no” vote was so high and determined that the International didn’t even try to bring it back out for a second vote!

As a result of their determination, the Ford workers held the line on the hiring of new workers at lower wages and made the company move more than 800 workers to the higher pay rates.

Reprinted here are the most recent remarks of one of the organizers of the “No” vote at Ford, Gary Walkowicz.