Tag: Big3

  • Rebirth of Auto? Unifor and the Detroit Three

    “HOME RUN!” was how an elated Jerry Dias, President of Unifor, summarized the mid-September outcome of the negotiations with Ford Motor Company, covering 6300 workers in Oakville and Windsor. Ford set the pattern in the closely watched and often trend-influencing negotiations at the ‘Detroit Three’ (formerly the ‘Big Three’ but the market penetration of Japan-based … Keep reading »

  • The Electric Car Comes to Oakville

    A Closer Look at a Feel-Good Story Major auto bargaining has long been one of the most-hyped events in Canada’s labour calendar; historically rich in drama and closely watched for shifts in the flow of class conflict. Opening the latest round this summer, Jerry Dias, the head of Unifor, worked again to rev up interest in … Keep reading »

  • Canadian Auto Workers Fight for Contract Transparency

    As bargaining at the Detroit Three automakers kicks off in Canada, union members are fighting back against a longstanding undemocratic contract ratification process. In an unprecedented development, the Solidarity Movement, a rank-and-file movement within Unifor, has launched a petition to demand full disclosure of the collective agreement before voting takes place. Since the launch in … Keep reading »

  • Make GM Government Motors Again

    Seven years ago, we owned General Motors (GM). With 49,000 autoworkers walking pickets to finally end the concessions, it’s mind-boggling to remember that the US Treasury owned GM for three years – and managed to do virtually nothing to benefit the working class with it. Keep reading »

  • 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 »