Auto and manufacturing workers
Auto workers are a principal target of the corporate-driven assault on the wages and benefits of the working class. The gains of auto workers, earned through bitter struggles, once served as a foundation for the gains of workers throughout the country. Over the past three decades, however, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been wiped out. Manufacturing cities such as Detroit have been devastated.
The Obama administration utilized the forced bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009 as an opening shot in a drive to impoverish workers. Wages for new hires were cut in half, and benefits for workers and retirees slashed. To the extent that the administration has any program for "jobs," it is on the basis of cheap labor and closing the gap between working class living standards in the United States and those of workers in China and Latin America.
The United Auto Workers, as with the official trade unions throughout the country, has played a critical role in enforcing the attack on auto workers. The role of the UAW is to convince workers to accept every concession demanded by the companies and the political establishment--and to force through agreements if the workers resist.
The Socialist Equality Party is spearheading the fight for the independent industrial and political organization of the working class. We call on auto workers to break with the UAW and set up rank-and-file committees to fight for a secure and good paying job for all workers. The “Buy American” nationalism of the UAW must be rejected and a struggle conducted to unify workers across all national boundaries to oppose the race to the bottom in wages and benefits.
The SEP fights for the nationalization of the auto companies under the democratic control and public ownership of the working class, as part of the socialist reorganization of economic life.
Click here for full coverage from the World Socialist Web Site on the struggle of auto workers around the world.