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Call of the International Automotive Workers Coordination for May Day 2017 and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28th

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Let’s Build up and Strengthen the Automotive Workers Coordination!

May Day must not be only a celebration, but a day of struggle of the working class for its common goals, because the gains are always the result of an continual struggle. The capitalists want to reverse the gains workers have won, and launch ever new attacks to maximize profits through super-exploitation. The increasing competition between multinational monopolies, and the chaos of the capitalist market lead to economic and political crises, worsening working conditions for workers and the livelihood of their families. This also leads to wars causing the migration of millions of people and refugee crises. An arms race has started and growing militarization and spreading of wars.

In many countries the Automotive multinational groups are dismissing workers or even closing plants. The overproduction that auto multinationals have generated in recent years, is presently turning into restructuring with thousands of jobs at risk for example in Brazil.

In the competition between brands, the merger of two companies like Opel and PSA is a new concentration of market and economic power in few hands. We reject all kinds of blackmailing with job losses and worsening workers’ conditions as a consequence of this merger. We call for solidarity between all the workers of the two companies to defend their rights, wages, and jobs.

The scandalous fraud of VW board shows that bosses don’t shy away from any crime in that destructive fighting; however, we are sure that all other multinational companies are likely to be involved in the same fraud. It is a global problem that has criminal effects on the health of millions of people. We reject the secret “future-pact” struck between the top management of VW and Worker Council (IG Metall) to hide this scandal and make workers pay with a minimum of 30,000 job losses and a restructuring, while the leaders get outrageous benefits and compensation. We call upon for the resignation of the responsible ones in management and government and be punished.

We can see that competitiveness is also causing a continuous aggression to workers who become ill or are injured because of the high pace of work and conditions of semi-slavery. The dismissals at GM in Colombia, VW workers sent to the assembly lines despite serious illnesses, harassing actions by social security and Governments in many countries, deserve an important mobilizing response for 28th April, international day of occupational health. We call for strike actions and resistance in all the auto plants.

We as automotive workers are outraged with these developments. In many plants workers are resisting and decided not to allow being blackmailed, not to accept that there is allegedly “no alternative”, for instance presently in GM Argentina and Brazil, Opel, VW, Hyundai etc.

There are also important initiatives to carry out offensive demands, like the Indian Maruti Suzuki workers who fought for their Trade-Union-Rights and the end of the contract work system. The multinational Suzuki, along with the Indian Government, have carried out their criminal anti-labour action with the arrest for over two years of more than a hundred strikers and life sentences for 13 workers, besides long term imprisonment for 18 more.

Automotive Workers are also part of big mass movements e.g. in South Korea and Brazil, in the first line in the struggle against those Governments. We welcome the response of all trade unions in Brazil, calling a General strike for April 28 for the Temer-Government to resign and against his anti-labour-reforms!

We won’t accept the capitalist logic, that increase in productivity leads to job reduction. Besides these assaults against workers consequences are foreseen on employment, due to the necessary transformation of polluting combustion engines to electromobility technology, digitalization and robotization called industry 4.0. We demand: Reduction of the working week to be 30 hours with same wage! And reduction of the retirement age!

All these experiences are calling for international relationships between us Automotive Workers in all countries and groups of companies and the coordination of our struggles, overcoming the division. With the founding of the International Automotive Workers coordination we are taking a step in this direction.

Let’s use May Day to mobilize the working class, to raise the level of consciousness and international unity needed to stand up against our oppressors.

We stand against racism and social chauvinism, for the freedom of movement and the right of settlement for all immigrants and refugees in particular and call workers to oppose any military action and our governments’ arms race.

We call upon all the Automotive Workers, women and men, and all workers struggling in other industries, to fight against the criminalization of strikes in many countries around the world, and particular in India.

We demand the immediate release for all of the jailed workers of Maruti Suzuki as it was a trial without evidence and a political sentence against the just struggle of the Maruti-Suzuki-Workers-Union.

We call upon a donation-campaign for their families between 1st of May and 1st of June 2017.

We call for all auto workers and other supporters in all countries to join the Automotive Workers Coordination and strengthen our movement by signing-in as member of the movement.

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The date 28 April emerged in Canada in commemoration of the victims of workplace accidents due to the initiative of the trade union movement, and it was spread in various countries by the trade unions, the leagues and local and international alliances. The day was chosen because of an accident, in which 78 workers were killed in a mine in Virginia (USA) in the year 1969. The International Organization of Labor (ILO) has dedicated this day to the reflexion about the safety and health of work since the year 2003.
All over the world, millions of workers have accidents and hundred thousands of people die while conducting their work. Following estimations of the the ILO, about 270 million workplace accidents happen in the world each year, in addition about 160 million cases of occupational diseases each year. Furthermore, according to the ILO, 5000 workers on average die each day from accidents or diseases related to their work. More than three per minute. 22 000 of the dead workers are children, victims of child labor.

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