Tag: Big3

  • The United Auto Workers and the Big Three Automakers: A Tale of Corruption

    What follows is a somewhat complex tale of what happens when a labor union, structured to be unaccountable to the rank-and-file membership, embraces a system of labor-management cooperation rather than a class-conscious understanding that workers and their employers are adversaries with fundamentally opposed goals and desires. Unfortunately, what is true of the United Auto Workers … Keep reading »

  • Taking on the GM Shutdown: Unifor, Oshawa and Community Control

    General Motor’s plan to end production at its Oshawa plant at the end of 2019 is a callous, cynical act by the U.S.-based multinational auto giant that needs to be challenged. After accepting $13.7-billion bailout offered by the Canadian public to the big automakers back in 2008 to keep GM and Chrysler alive (one third … Keep reading »

  • Misreading the Historical Moment

    A Response to Murnighan’s “Unifor and Big Three Bargaining” Deep economic crises, as opposed to the regular ups and downs of capitalism, have played a special role in the history of autoworkers. Since the auto industry emerged as a mass production industry about 100 years ago, there’ve been three such economic crises and each, in different … Keep reading »

  • Unifor, the union

    Unifor and Big Three Bargaining: A Response to Gindin’s ‘Different Ways of Making History’

    In his essay of October 17, 2016, “Big Three Bargaining: Different Ways of Making History,” Sam Gindin provides an intriguing analysis of current negotiations between Unifor and the Detroit Three automakers. Beyond agreeing with his points about tough pressure on auto workers, there is not much room for agreement on his portrayal of the issues, … Keep reading »

  • Big Three Bargaining: Different Ways of Making History

    Different Ways of Making History Canadian autoworkers have long been pace setters in the Canadian labour movement and as soon as its most recent agreement with General Motors was ratified, Unifor (the successor in 2013 after the merger of CAW and CEP) laid claim to that agreement’s ‘historic’ status. It has now also been ratified by … Keep reading »

  • The UAW at Volkswagen: Workers, Unions and the Left

    For a number of reasons, U.S. unions are on the defensive – from concerted attacks by employers, the political and cultural effects of 30 years of neoliberalism as well as their inability to build resistance in workplaces and communities. The unionization rate in the private sector is down to 6.7 per cent and a central … Keep reading »

  • Subsidies and Concessions: The Never-Ending Corporate Shake-Down

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first economic policy initiative of 2013, which took him to Oakville in early January to trumpet yet another $250-million in auto subsidies, ought to raise some very fundamental questions. The heady free market rhetoric of recent decades was often cast in terms of the economic benefits associated with multinational corporations escaping … Keep reading »

  • The Auto Crisis: Placing Our Own Alternative on the Table

    Deep economic crises violently interrupt daily lives and force more radical responses onto the public agenda. In the case of the North American auto industry however, that radicalism has been remarkably one-sided. Absent an alternative of their own, workers were (and remain) trapped by their dependency on ‘their’ corporations becoming stronger. On the one hand, … Keep reading »

  • Saving the Detroit Three, Finishing Off the UAW: Learning From the Auto Crisis

    At the end of 1979, President Carter offered loan guarantees to Chrysler to prevent the company’s imminent bankruptcy. The loans were conditional on wage concessions of some 10% and the outsourcing of half of Chrysler’s work. In August 1981 a newly elected President, Ronald Reagan, ended a strike of 13,000 air traffic controllers by firing … Keep reading »

  • Challenging the Framework for Concessions

    At an October 26th unit meeting, scheduled to discuss proposals for amending the collective agreement – up for renegotiations in December – about 225 workers from the Magna-owned Mississauga Seating unit of Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 1256 turned down efforts to get them to buy-in to the notorious Framework for Fairness Agreement (FFA). Accepting … Keep reading »

  • Two-tier Wages, Second-Class Workers

    When Autoworker President Buzz Hargrove makes new pronouncements, they carry weight within and beyond the labour movement – even when, as has recently been the case, they seem to undermine what Canadian unions have always stood for. What then are we to make of Hargrove’s defiant declaration, in response to the permanent two-tier system negotiated … Keep reading »

  • The UAW-Big Three Settlements: From Defeat to Rebellion

    The 2007 United Autoworkers (UAW) agreements with the Detroit Big Three represented – as many people inside and outside the union have noted – the greatest economic concessions in the history of the union. Yet, in the course of that defeat, a remarkable opposition arose. It was led by a small group of activists who … Keep reading »