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UAW Rallies Against UAW-Owned Chrysler

Fittingly, this is from the latest incarnation of the Communist Party USA’s Daily Worker, the People’s World:

United Auto Workers member Aziz Saleh holds a sign at a rally at the Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., Sept. 25, 2009.

Hundreds rally to stop Chrysler plant closing

By: John Rummel
October 2 2009

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – "Build them where they sell them" was the battle cry from hundreds of autoworkers and their supporters at a rally in front of Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) Sept. 25. The plant, eight miles north of Detroit, is scheduled to close in December 2010 but the union here is aggressively working to reverse that decision.

The plant, which makes the Chrysler Sebring and Avenger mid-sized sedans and the Sebring convertible, is one of eight Chrysler plants that are slated to close.

Since June, Chrysler has been run by Fiat under a U.S. government-aided bankruptcy reorganization. Upsetting many here is that while Chrysler/Fiat received $10 billion in U.S. taxpayer money (and 2.5 billion Canadian tax dollars) all of the plants that are scheduled to close are here in the U.S.

At the rally here, motorists and truckers traveling down Van Dyke Avenue honked, gave thumbs up and shouted encouragement to the assembled crowd.

Participants expressed concern not only about their own personal future but also about the well-being of the communities they live in if this and other plants close. Yolanda Mallett put it bluntly: "We need to keep SHAP open because SHAP feeds this community. I’m a production worker. I’m a worker and we want to work. Give us a product and we can make it."

She continued, "If these jobs are lost, we don’t have any income. There is a ripple jobs effect. Our money supports community businesses. If we lose our jobs, we can’t support those businesses and they can’t support the community by providing jobs."

Bill Parker, president of United Auto Workers Local 1700 at SHAP, said, "We want to make sure the plant stays open and jobs remain in Sterling Heights and this area. It’s not just Sterling Heights; it’s all the great industrial areas around like Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and St Louis that are being impacted. We need to keep these jobs here."

That fear of what life will be like without manufacturing jobs was brought up by John Ursul, a production worker since 1994. He wondered "What’s an economic recovery going to look like as a service economy?

That’s a thought Victoria Reyna found hard to bear. Reyna works in final assembly, doing such things as putting in moldings and checking to see seatbelts are in working order. "We all need these jobs," she said. "It’s what we depend on; what we need to survive."

Jobs with Justice coordinator Bill Bryce pointed out that Local 1700 has been a bastion of activist leadership and support for other unions and locals. "They have given generously and freely of time and money," he said. The demise of the local "would be a big blow."

General Baker, a retired UAW veteran who has been a part of many fights to keep plants open and jobs in the Detroit area, said that, at a minimum, "until we get a strong social safety net, these plants must remain open so people can survive." He also hoped the large turnout at the rally would be a spark to ignite a larger, united movement to save manufacturing jobs.

Indeed, the rally heard many declarations of support from other Chrysler and UAW locals. Some came from out of state, such as the greetings brought from Chrysler locals in Kenosha, Wis., and Kokomo, Ind., whose plants are also scheduled to close.

Also pledging assistance were a number of elected officials, and it was announced that on the previous day the Michigan House of Representatives had unanimously passed a resolution calling for keeping the plant open.

During the program, Parker told the crowd that men and women should not lose their jobs because workers elsewhere are paid much less to do the same work. More plant closings will worsen the state budget crisis, he noted. Businesses up and down Van Dyke Avenue and beyond depend on our spending, he said. Chrysler and Fiat must reverse their decision to close SHAP, the union leader declared.

This article, especially coming from the CPUSA, should supply us all with our minimum daily requirement for irony for quite some time.

Upsetting many here is that while Chrysler/Fiat received $10 billion in U.S. taxpayer money (and 2.5 billion Canadian tax dollars) all of the plants that are scheduled to close are here in the U.S.

Isn’t that hilarious?

As we understand it, Fiat only owns 35% of Chrysler. Mr. Obama and the federal government own 10%, and the United Auto Workers union has a 55% stake.

So why aren’t these loyal UAW members complaining to their thug bosses? Or to the man they put into the Presidency?

Still, we wish the CPUSA and their UAW cohorts good luck in convincing their comrade brothers, the communists in the Italian automakers unions, to let them keep their jobs – since they need them so.

Let’s see how far international solidarity really goes.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “UAW Rallies Against UAW-Owned Chrysler”

  1. Right of the People says:

    It’s great to see the union beast turn in on itself. At least they’ve still got the golden bennies for their retirees with their 55%. Since they own the majority of the company, why don’t they just vote to keep their plant open?????

  2. Confucius says:

    UAW people really are dumb.

  3. proreason says:

    Since they will probably lose their jobs anyway, they should give themselves really big raises, bonuses, and lots of free stuff, like cars and health care and stuff like that.

    You know, show em how business is supposed to work.

  4. VMAN says:

    Workers of the world unite!!! Rise up against “Da Man”!!! Oh wait we is Da Man. Nevermind

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    According to the picture above, it looks like Fab Four drummer, Ringo Starr has joined the picket line.

  6. Tater Salad says:

    Communism (Fiat) and the UAW will never mix. The UAW has a preamble written into their constitution that any member of a commumist party can not be a valid member of the UAW. Fiat is now going to laugh at this one. I give Chrysler 2 years, maybe a couple less before………….Chapter 7. The UAW will not be able to work for Fiat and the communists in Italy’s unions.

  7. GTBurns says:

    Chrysler is just screwed, under UAW control, their products are not getting any better. Even auto magazines are all commenting on how Chrysler’s car designs are just uninspired. This is becoming just like the USSR, keeping factories open to build junk no one wants just so workers can have a job because it is their “right”. We all know how the USSR ended up.

    UAW does not realize that in order to keep their jobs the company has to make products people want. No one cares to “look for the union label” anymore either.

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