Live Bait & Ammo # 67

“Because there’s a record of them screwing us.” [Shareholder Lashes Out... Detroit Free Press  3/17/06]

    After nine months in the back room Shoemaker and Gettelfinger came out with a buy-off that looks like Rosemary’s baby.  And they act so proud of it. 
    Is this what we pay union dues for? To sell our dignity, our UAW legacy, for a pittance? Isn’t it high time we demand a strike vote and a National Bargaining Council per Article 19 and 20 of the UAW Constitution?
    Where the heck is the fight back? Does the International intend to defend our jobs or not?
    After all this time only one thing is perfectly clear: the Shyster Sisters don’t have the cajones to stand up to Wagoner and Miller. We need a gang of Bull Buckers at the bargaining table to get the job done right.
    “The deal” is intended to reduce GM’s liability and decimate the union. “You can go, you can go, you can go, the rest of you get screwed to the fence post.”     
    The kiss-off is not a comprehensive, collective bargaining solution, it’s every man for himself and damn the rest. “The deal” is anti union to the core.  Trust yourself, trust your brothers and sisters, but never trust “the deal” — it was conceived in fraud and wrapped in deception.
    The buy-off is a boondoggle. Like the excitement of the gambler who doesn’t count his losses, the allure of the buy-off relies on poor math skills and weak impulse control. Before you decide to take the money and run, add up how much you will lose over the next thirty years. Make an informed decision, not an impulsive one. We deserve all the information, not just the “Highlights”.  We deserve adequate time to examine all the options.  After nine months of heavy back room breathing there’s no reason to treat the affair like a shotgun wedding. 
    The companies have complained for months that legacy costs are the reason for their failure. Now they propose that adding to the burden of the legacy costs is a solution. They can’t have it both ways. Were they lying in the first place or are they lying in the second place?  Honor and commitment don’t mean shit to GM-Delphi. The devil is in the details not the sales pitch.   
    Miller’s latest proposal belongs in the shredder with the rest of his threats and deadlines. He didn’t even take it seriously. It looked more like crib notes than a contract.
    The Concession Caucus didn’t distribute the first two proposals, but they are floating the third one like a back drop for the buy-offs. But where is the UAW’s counter proposal? Remember how the Concession Caucus said, “We have a plan,”?  Is this it?  A half baked buy-off?
    We can expect to hear — “Your plant is going to close! Cut and run! There’s no hope!”
    Take it in stride. The chicken dance is a time honored, concession bargaining tradition.
    When Miller petitions the court to void the contract, the clock will start ticking. If the judge nullifies the contract, the “no strike clause” will cease to exist. All bets are off then. No contract means “No Holds Barred.” Delphi workers will have the right to take matters into their own hands on the shop floor. We’ll be pushed back to a situation similar to the 1930’s. Without a contract workers have the right to defend their interests with “concerted activity.” Major disruptions will likely occur. Strike preparations will begin in earnest with or without a vote. We can tell the Shyster Sisters, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you, when we’re damn good and ready.”
    It’s self defeating to approve any deal that divides the union. Two tiers is too many. MIA’s are unacceptable. Solidarity isn’t idealistic, it’s common sense.  If we sell ourselves short with buy outs, buy downs, or buy offs, the debt will come due with a vengeance.
    Workers’ rights are defined by struggle not by contract or law. You get exactly what you are willing to fight for. Nothing more. If the Concession Caucus tries to give us the rush job, Vote NO. If they won’t show us anything but the Highlights, Vote NO. If Miller voids the contract, work to rule and be prepared to ratchet it up a notch. Delphi workers will have the opportunity to take solidarity and direct action to a new level. We may as well empty the arsenal. For most of us it will be the war to end all wars. Let’s leave a legacy we can be proud of, and ignore the chicken dance.

                                                              (sos, shotwell)

At the Detroit Economic Club

12 NOON 

500 Temple Avenue, Detroit, MI  48201

Join the Soldiers of Solidarity
on the sidewalk at the Masonic Temple of Detroit.
Bring your own signs and toy lawn mowers. Show support for working families whose livelihoods are under attack.



NO CONCESSIONS!