UAW to autoworkers: We will not tell you anything, but do not read World Socialist Web Site
September 7, 2019
With just less than a week before the expiration of contracts on Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler, the UAW is terrified that opposition among car workers will erupt out of their control.
Even as the UAW tells the workers nothing about the supposed "Negotiations," it has given a petition that they do not look at other sources of information, especially the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter . This is the essential content of a letter sent to Ford workers by UAW-Ford Vice President Rory Gamble on Thursday.
The letter begins by saying that its purpose is to "give you ̵[ads1]1; and especially our newer members for whom the negotiation process may be unknown – an update on negotiations and where we are in that process."
In fact, the letter contains no "update." It states that "many subcommittees have negotiated" and "most have reached preliminary agreements," but "major financial issues remain. "
What these" numerous "subcommittees have agreed on, even what these" numerous "subcommittees and women talked about, is not explained. When it comes to the "bigger financial problems" that "remain," workers are again guessing what they might be.
After submitting this "update" to autoworkers, Gamble continues to the main task. "Many units against us try to hide the perception," he writes. “I ask you to be careful about the sources you receive your information and the material you choose to share. It is crucial that we not be confused about these rumors negotiations, misinformation about outside influences. ”
Gamble is too shy to name, but he clearly refers to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter . In 2015, when WSWS was at the center of rank-and-file opposition among autoworkers, UAW President Dennis Williams – whose home was recently raided by the FBI – condemned "outside groups" who "like to stir people up," while top AFL-CIO lawyer Bruce Miller attacked WSWS as "vultures on the left dressed in red garb."
Let's look at Gamble's warning. Workers, he writes, should be wary of devices that try to "fragile perception" and "be careful about the sources from which you receive your information."
Absolute advice, no doubt. It should be used primarily on UAW itself. After all, the organization has been exposed as a criminal syndicate who has stolen money from autoworkers and accepted bribes from companies in exchange for pushing through pro-company contracts.
Gamble itself has not been named or implicated (yet) in federal investigation. He only started in the UAW top management at the organization's convention in June 2018, replacing Ford's incoming VP, Jimmy Settles.
Gamble, on the other hand, previously headed UAW Region 1, which includes the Detroit area. In that position, he worked closely with Settles in the infamous 2015 vote on Ford, leading to widespread accusations of rigging the ballots and ballot papers. Settles orchestrated a last-minute postponement of the local 600 reconciliation (which covers Ford operations in Dearborn) as the contract was on its way to defeat. The final vote on Local 600 ended up being just enough for UAW to demand a 51 percent ratification for the national contract.
In the above statement in 2015, AFL-CIO attacked attorney Miller WSWS to “accuse the UAW of selling its members with the contract settlement. “The fact that UAW sold its members – literally – has been amply proven. Everything WSWS said about the contracts in 2015 and about UAW was correct.
Four years later, the UAW enters into these contract negotiations under truly extraordinary circumstances. Top executives and officials have been charged or involved in an extended corruption scandal, and the current head of the organization, Gary Jones, has caused his house to be attacked.
The latest admission of guilt has come from Michael Grimes, a former top aide to Cindy Estrada, current UAW vice president at Fiat Chrysler. In 2015, Estrada was UAW VP of General Motors. Grimes pleaded guilty last week to taking more than $ 1.5 million in bribes and kickbacks over 12 years while serving on the board of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources.
It is not just the UAW who is terrified of what will come of it. Detroit News & # 39; Daniel Howes, in a column published on Thursday, notes that "the legal quagmire that strengthens current and past leadership, and the political context that encloses a process turbocharged by social media presents enormous challenges for UAW and all three automakers trying to sell a potential (and pure) deal to their hourly staff. "(Emphasis added)
The fear of" social media "is the fear that workers will be able to communicate and organize independently of UAW. The unions and the corporate elite have the experience not only of the auto contracts in 2015, but also the teachers 'strike last year, which largely developed beyond the control of the teachers' unions.
The New York Times noted in an article at the time that West Virginia teachers "found ways to organize and act outside of the usual parameters of traditional unionism," including through "a huge Facebook group."
Whatever Gamble and UAW might hope, autoworkers will not follow their advice. Employees are and will continue to share information online and organize resistance. The call from the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter for the formation of independent committees, rank-and-file, wins a powerful response.
A fight is looming, and puts autoworkers against the companies and their bought and paid for lackeys in the UAW. We encourage all workers to sign up for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter as an important source of news and perspective for the upcoming game.
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