Go to Home page Go to Past Issues Subscribe Go to Links

January, 2006

Click Here for more Delphi coverage!

Resistance must not cool down

By Claire McClinton
Labor leader and activist in Flint, Michigan

While launching a campaign to keep Delphi in Youngstown, Ohio, the vice chairman of the Chamber of Commerce there was on to something when he said, "This is not a normal labor-management tiff." This is about survival -- the survival of a way of life. It's about a social contract that is being swept away by the social forces of a new global economy -- one based on technology and the cheapest labor possible. It is not exaggerating to say that the hardworking union members at Delphi face a challenge of historic proportions. With heavy hitters the likes of GM and Delphi, no one will be untouched if they have their way with us.

Resistance to these outrageous demands and plans has taken on a number of forms. There has been informational picketing in front of Delphi plants all over the country. There have been candlelight vigils and rallies. Massive grassroots meetings around the country have resulted in the formation of a rank and file group called Soldiers of Solidarity (SOS). Tactics and strategies are discussed at the meetings including "Work To Rule." Workers are briefed on how to work in their own self interest right on the plant floors doing just the minimum of work, as well as on how to protect their jobs. SOS is calling for a picket at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on January 8, 2006. SOS is made up primarily of Delphi workers and seeks to foster participation from the community at large.

Another sign of growing awareness happened at Ford where the vote to cut retirees' health care barely passed. A retiree from GM has already filed suit in Federal Court protesting the health care cuts. Mobilizing@ Delphi Coalition, a group endorsed by the union leadership, was formed to bring all Dephi unions together. There is a petition drive under way urging that the state and federal legislatures step up and put a stop to the Delphi attacks.

Our future and the future of the good life that we want for ourselves and our families is of no consequence to the Delphis and GMs of this world. We live in a world today that shows us that "what's good for GM is absolutely not good for the worker."