Financial Crisis

Romania: Protests against austerity measures grow, general strike planned

Areas of the Romanian capital Bucharest were paralysed today by 50,000 demonstrators protesting against the savage austerity measures currently being pursued by the Romanian government. Meanwhile, unions have threatened a general strike on the 31st of May.

Video: Sit-in strike Ssangyong Motors' Union

This video shows only a part of the struggle of the workers of Ssangyong Motors' Union in Korea, who have fought out the sit-in strike for 77 days from May 22 to Aug. 6, and this fight shall be recorded as a great victory of working class in its history.

An Interview with auto worker activist Dianne Feeley

The restructuring of GM has cost 27,000 jobs in the United States, reducing its total U.S. workforce to 62,000. (Thirty years ago the company employed over 466,000 in the U.S.)  An additional 15 plants will be closed. GM is also shutting plants in Canada. As part of a deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, workers who retain their jobs will have their wages frozen. A no-strike pledge until 2015 was agreed by the UAW. How do you assess the restructuring plan? And what is the response of rank and file unionists to the plan and to UAW’s concession? If there is division of opinions among them, what is the debate about?

The Auto Crisis: Placing Our Own Alternative on the Table

Sam Gindin 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, corporations and governments have aggressively attacked auto workers and effectively ended their status as the trend-setters for working class gains; on the other, there has been virtually no work interruptions or effective political response from the auto unions.

An Open Letter to President Obama from America's Autoworkers

To: President Barack ObamaFrom: Concerned Autoworkers, Retirees And SupportersRe: Auto Industry Crisis & Global Climate ChangeDate: July 14, 2009 Dear President Obama, Your administration has reported that 400,000 jobs in the auto industry have been lost during the economic downturn. Though some jobs have been saved, many more will be lost through the bankruptcy restructuring implemented by the Auto Task Force at Chrysler and GM. Economists are predicting a slow recovery at best and, in any event, the market for autos and trucks will remain diminished for years to come.  We in Detroit and in the automobile and manufacturing centers throughout the Midwest are faced with a major crisis for which a comprehensive solution is required. 

Car workers in Britain and Ireland show how to fight back

By Rachel Page On 31st March workers at Visteon plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon were told that they were being sacked. Visteon UK had been placed into administration and the workers, who had only been given a few minutes notice, were told to leave without the redundancy pay that they should have been entitled to. Angry at the news and the way they were being treated, workers at the Belfast plant, did not simply go home as was demanded, instead they took the decision to fight back and occupy their factory. News of action taken in Belfast provided inspiration for workers at the Enfield plant in North London to occupy the following day, while workers at Basildon, who attempted occupation but were driven away by riot police, set up 24 hour pickets at their factory in Essex. Over the course of the next few weeks through their resistance and determination, and despite legal challenges, workers forced Ford to give in and offer out thousands of pounds in redundancy payments.

The campaign against the closure of Ford in Bordeaux

A historyPhilippe Rouffigne Source: International Viewpoint Online magazine : IV413 - June 2009 The Ford factory in Bordeaux has been the subject of a long struggle between the managers, intent on closing the plant, and the CGT union. Successive actions mean the plat remains open, but there are hard lessons for workers in similar positions. 

"We must remain" - not Opel

Source: Germany. 16 July 2009. Gaston Cherry * In an interview with Wolfgang Schaumberg Opel will be saved, Arcandor not - is interesting not only what the company called "real economy" by the federal government guarantees, loans or subsidies to support and what not, but also why the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left hanging just at Opel. The dilemma of the Federal Government is reproduced in the debates of the Left: Why not Porsche, Daimler, Fiat or just Arcandor? And why even a clue? On good advice for the federal government and certainly no shortage Opelaner: From the "nationalization of public scrutiny" (The Left) on a "pan-European occupation of the farms" (Winfried Wolf), the creation of a "global automobile workers grouping" (Karl-Heinz Roth), the conversion of the Astra, Omega, Zafira and Insignia production (ATTAC) to the slogan "Capitalism has gone" (The Left in the left) does the range.
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