Trade unions

What UAW President Rory Gamble is really thankful for this Thanksgiving

By Jerry White and Tom Hall, 26 November 2020

Few, if any, workers will read the trite and clichéd Thanksgiving message from United Auto Workers President Rory Gamble, published Wednesday on the UAW's web site. But it is worth mentioning for its sheer hypocrisy.

Australian university union blocks opposition as cuts to jobs and conditions intensify

By Mike Head, 24 November 2020

Every week brings new announcements of retrenchments as the managements exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate pro-business restructuring.

Backed by the union, Mercedes plans to close its oldest factory in Berlin

By Ludwig Weller, 23 November 2020

For many decades, every corporate decision affecting the workforce made at Marienfelde and all other Mercedes factories has been discussed beforehand with the works councils, which then develop strategies for their implementation.

Former UAW VP Joe Ashton gets wrist-slap prison term as workers confront rampant COVID-19 in auto plants

By Shannon Jones, 21 November 2020

Ashton, who pocketed $250,000 in kickbacks, is being sent to a country club prison with a seven-month delay for COVID-19 while workers are forced to confront the exploding pandemic every day in the factories.

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp destroys another 5,000 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 November 2020

The IG Metall union has already agreed to a cut of 6,000 jobs, meaning that some 11,000 workers now face the scrap heap.

Swallowing camels and straining on gnats—Canada’s pseudo-left Fightback group “discovers” top union leader practices “class collaboration”

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 20 November 2020

Echoing the complaints of a section of the trade union bureaucracy, Fightback has denounced Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff for nominating former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to head the OECD.

Situation critical as COVID-19 spreads through US auto plants

By Shannon Jones, 18 November 2020

Workers are daily reporting the spread of COVID-19 cases in auto plants, with an apparent major outbreak now reported at the Ford Avon Lake, Ohio facility.

Socialist Party’s Moe Manir expels London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee leader from Facebook group

By By Laura Tiernan, 18 November 2020

The Socialist Party promotes the dangerous illusion that mass pressure from below can transform the unions into fighting organisations. But in every country the trade unions respond to mass pressure from workers by deepening their collusion with the companies and the state, and by stamping out any semblance of democracy.

German unions offer Lufthansa up to 50 percent compensation reduction

By Ulrich Rippert, 18 November 2020

According to their own statements, the unons are offering the Lufthansa board of directors a 1.2 billion euro cut in the income of union members.

Biden recruits unions to keep workplaces open as pandemic surges

By Jerry White, 18 November 2020

Biden held an online discussion Monday with top executives from GM, Microsoft and other corporations, along with the leaders of the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers and other unions.

New Zealand government rejects calls to increase welfare payments

By John Braddock, 18 November 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern again repudiates her promise to eliminate child poverty and the housing affordability crisis.

Unifor sells out militant Newfoundland Dominion grocery strike

By Carl Bronski, 17 November 2020

Unifor softened up the strikers by isolating their struggle against Canada’s largest retailer; then begged the Weston-owned Loblaws to present workers essentially the same offer they voted down 12 weeks earlier.

Truck drivers at United Natural Foods vote to strike over lack of pandemic safety measures

By Philip Guelpa, 10 November 2020

UNFI delivers groceries to a number of major retailers in New York City, New Jersey, upstate New York and Connecticut, including Whole Foods Market and Stop & Shop, from its distribution center in Montgomery, New York

German public service union ensures smooth operation of public transport despite resurgence of coronavirus pandemic

By Andy Niklaus, 9 November 2020

Last week, Verdi dropped its demand for a uniform nationwide contract and signed separate agreements in two German states.

Canadian autoworkers’ union announces tentative agreement with General Motors

By Carl Bronski, 7 November 2020

Unifor President Jerry Dias touted GM’s commitment to restart assembly production in Oshawa, but avoided mentioning that the new jobs will be filled almost entirely by low-wage, second-tier workers with vastly inferior rights.

UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, corporatist body at the center of union corruption scandal, sold for $34 million

By Shannon Jones, 6 November 2020

The Center for Human Resources and other joint program centers, funded with millions of dollars in corporate cash, epitomized the role of the UAW as a corporatist appendage of the auto companies.

National Education Union belatedly begs Johnson government to close UK schools during lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 3 November 2020

The NEU itself envisages only a temporary closure of schools, calling for “rotas to be introduced at the end of the lockdown period.”

Metroline bus ballot shows massive strike mandate as Unite runs to ACAS

By Miles Driver, 2 November 2020

Unite’s response to the overwhelming strike mandate was to scurry without delay into the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

As social anger mounts, Quebec unions issue craven appeal to Premier Legault to forego austerity

By Laurent Lafrance, 31 October 2020

Quebec’s major unions issued a joint open letter to the province’s right-wing premier earlier this month in which they put forward a series of lies to confuse workers at a time when class tensions are reaching the boiling point.

Germany: Public service workers up in arms against Verdi contract

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 30 October 2020

While politicians from all main political parties and union officials spread the fairy tale that the contract deal reached last weekend represents a victory for public service workers, those affected, however, are outraged.

Germany’s Verdi union stabs public sector workers in the back

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 29 October 2020

The deal struck by Verdi is scandalous, involving a minimal increase from the provocative initial offer made by the employers.

Chicago officials plan to reopen schools for 20,000 students

By Michael Walters, 24 October 2020

The plan to shift from online learning to a daily in-person schedule was announced as Illinois’ seven-day average COVID-19 testing positivity rate surpassed five percent for the first time since early June.

Australian universities pseudo-left “network” postpones forum at NTEU’s behest

By Mike Head, 23 October 2020

The NHEAN is opposed to any action that would threaten the role of the unions that have presided over the destruction of 90,000 university jobs since March.

Service employees union shuts down nursing home strike in Detroit suburb

By James McDonald, 22 October 2020

While the details of the agreement have not been published as of this writing, the circumstances in which it was forced through shows it cannot be anything other than a sellout.

Australian unions offer to protect employers from “wage theft” penalties

By Max Boddy, 21 October 2020

The agreement would give a green light for companies to continue to underpay workers, a practice that is rampant throughout the country.

Unions trying to suppress workers’ opposition to pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2020

The unions are adopting a cynical posture of concern toward workers, while enforcing the “Alternative Delivery Model.”

Canadian autoworkers’ union rams through job-cutting agreement with Fiat-Chrysler despite strong worker opposition

By Roger Jordan, 21 October 2020

Behind all the hype about jobs “saved,” Unifor is conspiring with the automakers and Canadian and Ontario governments to once again restructure the auto industry at workers’ expense.

IG Metall union demands state involvement at German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 20 October 2020

The billions in state funds being called for are aimed not at saving jobs, but preserving the fortunes of the big shareholders.

Unifor deal gives FCA Canada green light to cut jobs

By Roger Jordan, 16 October 2020

The three-year deal accepts the shrinking of the workforce in Windsor and fails to secure jobs for 3,400 workers in Brampton beyond 2023.

Australian health union leader pleads guilty to corruption

By Cheryl Crisp, 15 October 2020

While they were imposing poverty-level wages and dire conditions on the workers they falsely claim to represent, several Health Services Union were looting the organisation’s treasury for their own purposes.

University and College Union moves to prevent strikes as COVID-19 cases surge on UK campuses

By E.P. Milligan, 10 October 2020

Northumbria University’s decision to move online prompted the University and College Union (UCU) leadership to call off strike action, while claiming a victory.

Anger as UAW rams through 12-hour, 7-day schedule for FCA Sterling Heights Assembly skilled trades workers

By Shannon Jones, 10 October 2020

Skilled trades workers at the Fiat Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant are livid over the move by the UAW to force them into an inhuman work schedule without the formality of a vote.

Canadian autoworkers union “rowing in the same direction” as Ford and political establishment

By Roger Jordan, 10 October 2020

While Unifor has demanded that hundreds of millions of dollars be handed over to Ford so it can continue to fund lavish payouts to its wealthy shareholders, the union is also supporting the restructuring of the auto sector at the expense of workers.

As Canada’s COVID-19 cases surge, unions and NDP expand their support for Trudeau’s reckless back-to-work campaign

By Roger Jordan, 9 October 2020

Quebec, Ontario and Canada as a whole have set new daily COVID-19 infection records this past week. Yet the entire political establishment is doubling down on its criminal back-to-work, back-to-school drive.

The way forward for NYU graduate students

Break with the unions and turn to the working class!

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality at New York University, 6 October 2020

The IYSSE at NYU fully supports the fight of graduate student workers for better living and working conditions. This struggle, however, has to be based on an understanding of the socioeconomic and political crisis unfolding in the US and around the world.

Transit union shuts down job action by Detroit bus drivers

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2020

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Amalgamated Transit Union does nothing to seriously address the needs of drivers, let alone resolve the deplorable state of public transit in the most impoverished big city in America.

Canadian autoworkers’ union, Unifor, hid major concessions in “pattern” contract with Ford

By Carl Bronski, 3 October 2020

The union deliberately avoided mentioning the introduction of the Alternative Work Schedule and an expansion of temporary part-time labour, because it feared if autoworkers were apprised of these concessions they would have rebelled against its deal with Ford Canada.

Former UAW President Dennis Williams pleads guilty to embezzlement, facing slap-on-the-wrist sentence

By Shannon Jones, 2 October 2020

The charges Dennis Williams pled guilty to are mild considering the pervasive nature of the corruption and swindling that he oversaw during his long tenure as UAW secretary treasurer and later president.

Australian waterfront union shuts down industrial action at Patrick Terminals

By Patrick Davies, 2 October 2020

The Maritime Union of Australia is determined to contain and isolate the dispute while signalling its willingness to negotiate and impose company demands.

Protest strikes in German public sector and local transport

By Marianne Arens and Andy Niklaus, 1 October 2020

As part of the collective bargaining round for 2.3 million public sector workers, protest strikes are currently taking place in day-care centres and hospitals, town halls, government offices, savings banks, refuse companies and elsewhere.

Australian unions plead for continued secretive talks with government and employers

By Mike Head, 1 October 2020

Behind closed doors, the union chiefs have been discussing how to keep suppressing working class opposition to the destruction of jobs, wages and basic conditions.

New bailout for UK corporations as COVID-19 infections rocket

By Robert Stevens, 26 September 2020

Chancellor Sunak’s announcement was unveiled outside his office in Downing Street, flanked by Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O'Grady and Confederation of British Industry Director General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn.

Lessons of the University of Michigan graduate student strike

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US), 26 September 2020

Throughout the course of the strike, many students admirably asserted that their fight was not only about the health and safety of themselves, but of the community as a whole.

Germany’s IG Metall trade union establishes fund to eliminate “overcapacity” in auto parts industry

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 25 September 2020

IG Metall established its own private equity fund earlier this summer to finance the restructuring of Germany’s auto industry.

Why is Unifor hiding details of the Ford Canada “pattern” contract?

Autoworkers must demand full disclosure prior to any ratification vote!

By Carl Bronski, 25 September 2020

If Unifor get its way, the 6,300 Ford Canada workers will not be allowed to even lay eyes on a copy of the proposed contract before being herded onto the electronic voting page at this Sunday’s online ratification meeting.

Hollywood unions ratify return to work agreement dictated by giant corporations

By Marc Wells, 25 September 2020

After months of negotiations behind closed doors, the Hollywood unions reached a return-to-work agreement that will expose entertainment industry workers to the COVID-19 contagion as television and film production resumes.

SEIU and Illinois Nurses Association announce tentative agreements with University of Illinois at Chicago

By James Martin and Marcus Day, 25 September 2020

Simultaneously with the announcement of the deal, SEIU 73 shut down the 10-day strike by 4,000 university workers without releasing the full details of the agreement.

After ordering Ford Canada workers to ignore strike deadline, Unifor announces job-cutting agreement

By Roger Jordan, 23 September 2020

The Unifor president refused to provide any details about the contract—signalling that the union has accepted further concessions and job cuts.

“NTEU Fightback” aims to replace the discredited Australian university union leadership

By Jack Turner, 22 September 2020

These supposed “socialists” are seeking to keep workers trapped within the industrial and political straitjacket of the trade unions.

UK unions use “consultative” strike ballots to suppress class struggle

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 21 September 2020

The consultative ballot never implies action being taken, even if a massive vote in favour is returned.

Hospital merger between Beaumont and Advocate-Aurora Health faces internal opposition

By Kevin Reed, 15 September 2020

The merger plans have been slowed down by opposition from Beaumont staff and a group of donors who are calling on the Board of Directors to fire the management team.

Trade unions confer with big business Liberals on how to revive Canadian capitalism

By Roger Jordan, 12 September 2020

The government’s real agenda is for a rapid return to work, higher corporate profitability and “competitiveness,” and to advance Canadian imperialism’s predatory interests internationally.

Unions enforce pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 11 September 2020

The unions are integrating themselves into management and enforcing a no-strike pledge, amid a major assault on the conditions of postal workers.

Speaking before auto union bureaucrats in Michigan, Biden makes nationalist appeal

By Patrick Martin, 10 September 2020

The Democratic nominee sought to maintain one of the most pernicious fictions of capitalist politics—that the union executives represent the working class, rather than serving as a corporate police force.

Australian Education Union endorses re-opening of schools in Melbourne

By Sue Phillips, 9 September 2020

The union functions as the willing and active accomplice of the government and the education department.

Quebec teachers denounce unions for their complicity in reckless school reopening

By Louis Girard, 4 September 2020

Across the province, workers, parents and medical experts have expressed deep concern about the government’s school reopening plans.

Teachers union and Democrats agree to resume in-person learning in New York City schools

By Jerry White, 2 September 2020

The deal that delays the opening by a week is aimed at countering the growing demands by teachers in the city and around the country for a nationwide work stoppage.

New York City transit workers and the COVID-19 pandemic: A timeline of criminal inaction and union betrayal

By Daniel de Vries and Sam Dalton, 2 September 2020

As transit workers face the dual threat of a second wave of coronavirus and budget disaster, the lessons must be drawn from the death of 146 colleagues.

Australian “assembly” of university workers seeks to head off rebellion against NTEU

By our correspondents, 2 September 2020

The online event was an attempt to divert the growing rank and file disgust over the union’s role in volunteering unprecedented sacrifices of jobs, pay and conditions.

Trotsky’s Last Year

Part Five

By David North, 2 September 2020

An appraisal, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination, of the work of the great theoretician and strategist of World Socialist Revolution during the final year of his life.

Australian Labor Party and unions agree to slash income support and working conditions

By Mike Head, 26 August 2020

The government’s latest measures were again drafted in closed-door talks with the ACTU and then signed off by the Labor Party.

“These same conditions exist all over the world”

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee defends immigrant workers at Indiana parts plant, opposes back-to-school drive

By Tim Rivers, 26 August 2020

Workers at the plant are refusing leadership positions on the shop floor and others are leaving the factory in response to forced overtime and the disregard of medical work restrictions.

Feds propose 10-year oversight of UAW, Detroit News reports

By Jessica Goldstein and Marcus Day, 25 August 2020

The potential agreement would stop short of a full federal takeover of the UAW under the RICO Act, skirting the type of government trusteeship which the Teamsters union underwent following its prosecution in the late 1980s.

NTEU appeals for negotiations after Australia’s Macquarie University announces massive job cuts

By a correspondent, 25 August 2020

The trade union has signalled its willingness to enforce sweeping job destruction, in line with its role an industrial police force of management.

“They are killing people to save money”

Fiat Chrysler, UAW conspire to keep workers on the job after exposure to coronavirus

By Shannon Jones, 22 August 2020

In order to cut costs and boost profits, management and the UAW are seeking to eliminate the limited and inadequate safety protocols put in place in May.

Spanish unions agree to shut down Barcelona Nissan plants

By Alice Summers, 22 August 2020

The deal adds a further year to the ticking time-bomb of mass firings, postponing the approximately 25,000 job losses from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

Australian union cancels Sydney bus drivers’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2020

The calling off of the stoppage is in line with the role played by the unions throughout the pandemic, in seeking to suppress all working-class opposition.

CUPE union shuts down 12-day strike at Port of Montreal

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 August 2020

Yesterday’s truce agreement marks the final stage in the union’s efforts to end the strike as quickly as possible and betray the legitimate demands of the rank and file.

Germany’s IG Metall trade union preparing to enforce jobs massacre and deep wage cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 August 2020

Big business and the trade unions are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to secure the upper hand in the global trade war by imposing savage attacks on workers.

Canada and the United States resume aluminum tariff war

By Carl Bronski, 13 August 2020

An unholy alliance of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the federal Liberal government, and the United Steelworkers and Unifor trade unions is whipping up Canadian nationalism to justify retaliatory tariffs in answer to Trump’s “America First” protectionism.

Ex-UAW regional director forced to resign amid harassment investigation

By Jessica Goldstein, 8 August 2020

Region 2-B Director Richard Rankin presided over major attacks on workers, including the closure of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant in 2019.

Union prepares sellout of Renault strike in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 8 August 2020

The movement that involved thousands of workers and their families is under threat of being shutdown with an agreement that validates the destruction of 747 jobs.

The United Auto Workers: A criminal conspiracy against the working class

By Shannon Jones, 7 August 2020

From top executives to low-level functionaries, the entire UAW stands exposed as a criminal conspiracy directed against autoworkers.

NTEU enforces deep pay and job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 6 August 2020

In the latest outrage, the union is urging Adelaide University staff members to take wage cuts of up to 15 percent and still accept the elimination of 200 jobs.

As opposition mounts to reopening of schools, US teacher union opposes national strike

By David Brown, 30 July 2020

The American Federation of Teachers resolved to limit safety strikes to locals “on a case-by-case basis as a last resort.”

Vote “NO” to British Airways pilots’ contract! Form rank and file committees to oppose BALPA sell-out!

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2020

BALPA has been engaged in talks for three months with BA, which is preparing to lay off 12,000 of its 42,000 workforce.

The “Strike for Black Lives” protest stunt

By Tom Hall, 22 July 2020

The “strike” was a union-organized stunt endorsed by business, the corporate media and the Democratic Party to divert anger over police violence and unsafe working conditions along racial lines.

Dutch unions sell out three-week strike against steel layoffs

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 20 July 2020

Tata Steel has revived its long-standing “reorganisation plans,” exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to eliminate an estimated 1,250 to 3,000 jobs.