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February, 2006

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Spirit of solidarity high at Detroit auto show protest

By Michael Berger

Over 500 people braved the freezing weather at the opening of the Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Hall. The demonstrators came from Indiana, Ohio, Northern Michigan, Canada and Detroit. The demonstration was called by Soldiers of Solidarity, a grassroots group of Delphi workers from around the country.

The demonstration expressed the anxiety that is present in our country today on health care, pensions, job creation, security and wages. People who work in auto and auto parts factories, airline companies, unions, Michigan Welfare Rights, and the City of Detroit, Metro Detroit Labor Party were among the workers in attendance. I spoke with many of the people at this march on the following questions:

  • What would you say to UAW President Ron Gettlefinger? "We want him to stop caving in to the unwarranted demands of the automobile executives. End the concessions."
  • What you say to the executives of Delphi and the automobile companies? "Stop destroying this industry, and driving our wages down. Stop exporting jobs to low wage economies."
  • What do you think of companies like Walmart? "They represent the worst of this economy with low wages and no benefits."
  • What do you think about National Healthcare, or healthcare as a right? "We fear losing our benefits. We need a system that will provide insurance for all of the country."

The spirit of solidarity and unity was very high. The desire to change direction in the country was evident by the commitment to attend this demonstration from areas hundreds of miles away.

This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
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