THE Detroit board of US carmaker General Motors last Friday postponed making a decision on who should acquire its Opel division, including the two GM plants in the UK.
The Detroit gang favours the RHJ venture capitalist group, who say that they are going to sack over 10,000, organise wage cuts and plant closures, and pledge that within three years they will sell it back to GM, with all union, productivity and wage problems solved.
They are in the Texas Pacific stop-at-nothing-to make-a-profit mould. TP in 2005, when workers at Gate Gourmet rejected their survival plan, organised a replacement scab workforce and sacked 800 workers in the car park by megaphone!
The German trade unions have already said that they will consider RHJ taking over GM Europe as a declaration of war on the trade unions.
It seems that the British government and the Unite trade union leaders favour RHJ, since they reckon that fewer British and more German workers will be sacked.
The German government and German trade unions favour Magna because they reckon that more non-German workers will be sacked than German workers, and the German Chancellor Merkel is willing to loan Magna 4.5 billion euros to try and clinch the deal.
This is the battle that is raging from Detroit to Berlin, with the workers, including the British workers, being kept in the dark about what is really happening, and being told that the different groups of workers are in fact rivals for the same jobs.
This is a false policy. The EU GM unions must unite to resist all sackings and closures with occupations and the demand for nationalisation.
There has not been one mass meeting called by Unite, in either GMM Luton or GM Ellesmere Port, to organise workers to defend their jobs in the UK and throughout Europe.
In fact, if Detroit and Berlin cannot make a deal, the whole of GM Europe will go into liquidation. The Unite trade union leaders do not have a policy for this crisis.
Both Woodley and Simpson say that nationalisation of the GM plants is not appropriate in this situation. They must think the mass sackings and plant closures are more appropriate! In fact they have made a deal with their pals in the Labour government that they will not lead a fight at the GM UK plants.
They are betraying the workers.
With the TUC Congress coming up in Liverpool, they are also trying to cover up their capitulation. There has not been a single mass meeting in Luton or Ellesmere Port – but they have called a fringe meeting at the TUC Congress, to be addressed by Unite’s joint leaders, Simpson and Woodley, under the banner ‘Saving Vauxhall Jobs, Defending the Motor Car Industry’. This, from leaders who have not lifted a finger to defend a single job.
They obviously intend to try and pull the wool over the eyes of the TUC Congress to give the impression that some sort of struggle is taking place.
The Unite website advert continues that they will be appearing ‘With the families of the Vauxhall workers from Luton and Ellesmere Port’. This will be news both in Luton and Ellesmere Port.
The message of the News Line is don’t disappoint these leaders. Hundreds of workers and their families should turn up at the Unite TUC fringe meeting, which is most likely to be the only chance that GM workers will get to confront these two misleaders.
The meeting is on Tuesday, September 15th, from 17.30 – 19.00, Room 3-5, Jury’s Inn Hotel, Liverpool.
This is your chance to hold these leaders to account as to why they are opposed to nationalising the GM UK plants and why they offer more support to their friends Brown and Mandelson than they do to their subs-paying members. Be there on the 15th to give the leaders their marching orders.