Trade Wars – RiotJs Thu, 22 Jul 2021 06:34:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UAW President hails ‘union-management’ partnership after Volvo strike is liquidated Thu, 22 Jul 2021 04:07:41 +0000

Less than a week after United Auto Workers chairman Ray Curry conspired with Volvo Trucks management to end the five-week strike in Virginia and pass a contract previously rejected by workers, he wrote a chronicle in the Detroit News Tuesday titled “UAW Works with Employers for Union Members”.

the Detroit News, a Republican-aligned newspaper and longtime spokesperson for auto bosses, regularly publishes articles from UAW President, Teamsters President James Hoffa, and other Michigan labor bureaucrats who made their proofs with large companies.

Ray Curry in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2015 (AP Photo / Erik Schelzig, File)

In his July 20 editorial, Curry drops any suggestion that unions should have a “confrontational” relationship with business and touts the UAW’s longstanding adherence to corporatism and labor-management “partnership”.

“[B]Beyond the conflict and headlines of member demands in collective bargaining and workplace issues like grievances, “says Curry, unions and employers” must always come together to drive the economic engine of this nation ”.

Nowhere in Curry’s column is a single mention of the months-long struggle of nearly 3,000 Volvo Trucks workers in Dublin, Va., The most important battle fought by members of the ‘UAW for years, if not decades. This is because the experience has demonstrated the irreconcilable conflict not only between Volvo workers and the Swedish-based multinational giant, but also between workers and the UAW.

As the director of the UAW’s heavy-duty truck department, Curry drafted the contract proposals that Volvo workers repeatedly rejected. The UAW-backed deals guaranteed “business success and profits” by forcing large increases in direct medical spending on workers, keeping the hated two-tiered wage system and offering a meager 2% annual pay rise for the best paid. workers. Under the current rate of inflation, the latter would result in a 20% drop in real wages on the six-year contract signed by Curry.

After workers decisively defeated the UAW’s pro-business proposals in May, June and July 9, the union colluded with management to impose its “last, best and final” offer. When Volvo threatened to reopen the plant with scabs, Curry ordered the local union to hold a vote on the latest rejected contract and make it clear to strikers that they would be fired on the terms of the job. company, regardless of the outcome of the vote. On July 14, the UAW announced that the deal had passed by 17 votes. Amid widespread accusations by grassroots workers that the UAW had manipulated the totals, Curry cynically asserted the “democratic process at Volvo Trucks” as he ended the strike.

The contract that Curry and the UAW imposed will ensure the further impoverishment of Volvo workers. And while the union and Volvo falsely claimed that each of the contracts was the “best they could do” and that the substantial improvement in wages and benefits was unaffordable, this week Volvo announced profits from the second. quarter of approximately $ 1.12 billion, bringing its total revenue in 2021 to $ 2.5 billion to date.