Party USA: Statements
MOBILIZE TO SUPPORT AMERICAN AXLE WORKERS
by the SPUSA Labor Commission
The Socialist Party USA stands in solidarity with the American Axle
workers as they carry out a strike in defense of their wages and
benefits. The American
Corporation has attempted to reduce wages to $14/hour from $23/hour and
cut retiree pension benefits. An almost 40% wage decrease is
intolerable under any circumstances, but in a time of financial surplus
- when American Axle is able to pay a hefty dividend to its
shareholders it is simply unconscionable. This episode is the most
recent example of the overall offensive waged by corporations against
manufacturing workers in America.
the corporate entity known as American Axle legally owns the means of
producing these sought-after automobile components, it is the labor of
the workers which creates the value. Without workers willing to labor
there would be no production or dividends for Wall Street investors.
The Socialist Party fully supports the American Axle workers' struggle
to sustain their livelihoods. We see this conflict as another example
of the manner in which CEO’s, Boards of Directors and Shareholders live
off the backs of workers.
far negotiations have provided no avenues toward meeting the workers
demands. Instead, management has attempted to use collective bargaining
as a means to squash the aspirations of these workers. American Axle
executives, like their partners at General Motors, have shown little
concern for the plight of their employees, viewing them as workhorses
rather than human beings. Strike and direct action is the only language
these corporate fat-cats can potentially understand.
urge striking American Axle workers to decisively reject any contract
that includes cuts to wages, cuts or cost-sharing of healthcare or a
reduction of pensions. It is rank-and-file American Axle workers, not
UAW officials who are making the financial sacrifices in this strike,
and it is the rank-and-file workers through their strike committees who
ultimately have the power to determine where the strike will lead. As
the current period demonstrates, making more concessions will not stop
the overall concessionary trend; it will only re-enforce it. The only
way to stop the cycle is for the American automotive industry to once
again feel the collective strength of the working class.
further call on all workers, whether organized or not, to actively join
our brothers and sisters at American Axle in their struggle. The
attacks by American Axle on its workers are one part of an escalating
crackdown on the living standards of working people by an obsolete
system that puts private profit before human need. The particular
struggle of the American Axle strikers affects every worker in every
industry. A victory in this strike would be a victory for the whole
working class. We must keep the momentum going!
Socialist Party supports this strike and calls for a more comprehensive
program centered on democratic social ownership through worker’s
control of the automotive and other industries. Social ownership will
allow for the development of vehicles for the use and human needs of
workers and consumers, rather than the private profit of a tiny few.
Further, we stand for the right of all manufacturing and service
workers to retain the full value of their labor time and all that they
produce. Our program also calls for publicly-funded universal
healthcare for all, the elimination of capital flight, and mandatory
union-recognition based on card-check. We support militant, united
labor action including hot cargo agreements and boycotts, factory
committees, secondary and sympathy strikes, sit-down strikes, general
strikes, and ultimately the democratic control of the workplaces. We
encourage all UAW workers who agree with these demands to join us
today! More generally, we want to work with all those who are prepared
to confront the corporate bullies that are oppressing us.
Labor Commission is one of the focal points of the Socialist Party's
efforts to become rooted in grassroots struggles. Please support its
work. To get involved, write to the Labor Commission Chair on firstname.lastname@example.org.