Solidarity: Teamsters and John Edwards Supports UAW Strikers
by TomP, Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 05:09:17 PM EDT
Today, 73,000 employees of General Motors represented by the United Auto Workers went on strike:
Thousands of workers at General Motors automobile plants in the United States are on strike, as negotiators continue to try to reach agreement on health insurance payments and other issues.
Some of the United Auto Worker union's 73,000 GM employees left work and began picketing Monday morning after a union deadline for an agreement expired.
John Edwards is supporting this strike and these women and men:
"I offer my strong support to the striking auto workers and look forward to a fair and speedy settlement that will improve the lives of these hard-working UAW members."
Earlier today, the UAW announced an 11:00 deadline. They now are on strike:
"We're shocked and disappointed that General Motors has failed to recognize and appreciate what our membership has contributed during the past four years," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "Since 2003 our members have made extraordinary efforts every time the company came to us with a problem: the corporate restructuring, the attrition plan, the Delphi bankruptcy, the 2005 health care agreement. In every case, our members went the extra mile to find reasonable solutions.
"Throughout this time period," said Gettelfinger, "it has been the dedication of UAW members that has helped GM set new standards for safety, quality and productivity in their manufacturing facilities. And in this current round of bargaining, we did everything possible to negotiate a new contract, including an unprecedented agreement to stay at the bargaining table nine days past the expiration of the previous agreement."
Go here to hear Opening remarks from UAW press conference
According to msnbc, it's about American jobs:
UAW officials said the 73,000 UAW members who work at about 80 U.S. facilities for the nation's largest automaker didn't strike Monday over what many thought would trip up the talks: A plan to shift the retiree health care burden from the company to the union. They said they also didn't strike over wages.
They said union members walked out because they want GM to promise that future cars and trucks such as the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt small car or the still-on-the-drawing board Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.
The UAW has long been one of the more progressive unions:
As impressive as it is, the UAW's success record at the bargaining table is only part of the story. From our earliest days, the UAW has been a leader in the struggle to secure economic and social justice for all people. The UAW has been actively involved in every civil rights legislative battle since the 1950s, including the campaigns to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 and legislation to prohibit discrimination against women, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The UAW also has played a vital role in passing such landmark legislation as Medicare and Medicaid, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Employee Retirement Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. In Washington and state capitols, the UAW is fighting for better schools for kids, secure health care and pensions for retirees, clean air and water, tougher workplace health and safety standards, stronger worker's compensation and unemployment insurance laws and fairer taxes.
John Edwards is in full support of the UAW and this strike:
"I offer my strong support to the striking auto workers and look forward to a fair and speedy settlement that will improve the lives of these hard-working UAW members. And I call on General Motors to do what is right and realize that it has a responsibility to negotiate fairly and move quickly to settle a contract that respects the health, safety and economic security of the auto workers and their families. I also salute the courage of the auto workers to go on strike. Their fight for fair wages, safe workplaces, affordable health care and a secure retirement helps raise standards for workers all across America.
"Sadly, the issues on the bargaining table between General Motors and the United Auto Workers are not unique to Detroit - they represent the larger failures of Washington and public policies that have weakened unions and the middle class. The truth is now, more than ever, it's time for America to go in a new direction and start doing much more to strengthen America's unions and protect the rights of working Americans."
We need to show solidarity with the striking workers.
Solidarity is the UAW paper Check it out.
Teamsters will not drive through picket line.
Official Statement of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa
September 24, 2007
The Teamsters, the largest transportation union in North America, will stand with our 73,000 UAW brothers and sisters in their fight with General Motors. Teamsters will not cross or work behind a UAW picket line.
It is time to put a stop to corporate America's attack on the security of hardworking men and women in the United States.
Workers should not solely bear the brunt of decades of bad business decisions by GM management. By outsourcing good jobs and creating a growing environment of economic and job insecurity, GM has failed its workers and its customers.
This struggle highlights the ever-growing crisis in our nation's health care system and corporate America's continued pursuit of unfair trade deals. This approach has failed the American worker and is destroying the middle class.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million workers in North America and nearly 10,000 drivers in the automobile transport industry.
Way to go Teamsters!!! We broke bread with Teamsters and Mr. Hoffa at their barbecue at Yearly Kos. Damn good people!!
SUPPORT THE STRIKE!