In a historic election, the rank-and-file caucus in the United Auto Workers has won several top positions, potentially even including international president. It’s a landmark victory that anyone who wants a fighting labor movement should celebrate.
Jane Slaughter is a former editor of Labor Notes, a co-author of Secrets of a Successful Organizer, and a member of the Detroit DSA chapter.
On Monday, ballots were sent to United Auto Workers members for the union’s first direct election of top officers. The vote gives rank-and-file members the chance to elect officers who will break with decades of corrupt, business-friendly union leadership.
The United Auto Workers has long been hobbled by two-tier contracts, corruption, and a lack of internal democracy. At its recent convention, rank-and-file reformers did their best to fight on all of those issues — but the old guard is still firmly in charge.
In the face of inadequate health and safety protections against coronavirus on public transit, Detroit bus drivers walked off the job Tuesday demanding management take action. They won.
Auto workers are three weeks into their strike against General Motors. One of their key demands: that the company make its temp workers permanent.
Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership.
General Motors workers are stuck between a greedy boss and corrupt union leaders. But neither have stopped them from striking against the auto giant — and demanding higher wages and an end to the two-tier contract system that hurts and divides autoworkers.
United Auto Workers members recently voted to strike against the Big Three automakers. But as a rank-and-file General Motors worker explains, the ongoing corruption cases within the union make it hard to prepare to walk off the job.
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