September 24, 2007: The United Auto Workers strike at General Motors has 73,000 members on the picket lines. Lots more may be idled soon as the impact spreads to supplier plants, Canadian plants and to Teamster carhaulers and other truck drivers.
The auto workers are striking against huge concession demands and for preserving manufacturing jobs in North America, and deserve all of our support. They have already agreed to concessions and plant closings in recent years, and now GM is pushing to bust one of the best labor contracts anywhere.
GM wants to reduce the UAW’s top-quality retiree healthcare, the right to close more plants, subcontract out work, and introduce two-tier wages. The workers on the line are fighting to protect good jobs and good benefits.
The GM contract will set the pattern for Ford and Chrysler, and set a standard for other manufacturing contracts.
In the strike’s initial days, Teamster carhaulers are not heavily affected as there are full lots of cars and others coming off the rail. But those will start to dry up if the strike goes past a week, and many carhaulers may be laid off.
No Teamster should cross any picket line, a right protected in our contracts. Teamster locals near GM facilities should make contact and offer solidarity. The Teamsters Union should put our full weight behind this strike and this struggle.