After the very successfull strikes for a noticeable increase of the wages at VW Bratislava (Slovakia) and at Fiat Kragujevac (Serbia) is actually the determination of struggle and the ability to be ready for struggle in development under the employees in automotive industry.
At the moment the employees at Autoeuropa Volkswagen in Palmela/Lissabon (Portugal) are mobilizing with resoluteness against the increasing exploitation. VW announced the demand to extend working time to a regular work on Saturdays. A strike is being prepared for 30th of August. Further days of strike will follow in September.
Actually at Ford in São Bernardo de Campo (Brazil) struggle is developing against on 10th of August announced dismissals of 364 employees (10% of the workers in the production line). Union association Conlutas is calling all metalworkers-tradeunions for a nationwide strike and manifestations on 14th of September.
In South Korea the employees of Hyundai Motors, Kia Motors and GM Motors are in negociations for new collective bargaining agreements in the automotive industry and have decided in big majority to go on strike. Last week thousands of Hyundai workers went on strike for several hours. For the weekend they refused to do overtime work. Metal union KMWU demands a clear increase of the wages and the Distribution of 30% of the profit as a bonus to the employees.
In China 500 employees at VW Chanchun are fighting very selfconcious for their taking over to a regular contract at VW – after 10 years of contractual work. At protest activities in May three activists were arrested, one of them is still in prison.
In Germany there are more and more militant activities in increasing selfconciousness, for example against the dismissals of contractual workers at VW, Opel and Daimler. The disclosure and the charge of the responsibles of the manipulation of emissions values is be hind and the involvement of automotive industry and goverment till installing a criminal auto-cartel is more and more visible. This has lead German Government into a deep credibility crises.
In Spain,where the benefits for the employers are hundred times higher then the wages of the workers, continued existence of location Villaverde (Madrid) is threatened. The leaderships of the system stabilizing unions have accepted 341 dismissals, the cancellation of one shift and till 100 days a year, following ERE (law for regulation of mass dismissals).
The automotive companies are reacting more and more nervous and try to oppress militant colleagues. Like Porsche in Stuttgart (Germany) suspended Siegmar Herrlinger from work, because he denounced the fraud with the emissions and demanded the punishment of the responsibles. In Bursa (Turkey) automotive supplier Yazaki dismissed colleague Dilek Gültekin out of political reasons. In France Farid Borsali from union CGT at PSA Poissy was convicted, because union CGT didn't sign contracts with PSA. At Nissan in Canton/Mississippi (USA) in majority afroamerican employees have, after a 14 year long struggle, gained the recognition of their trade union representation with free elections.
Against these repressions to militant automotive workers international solidarity is also provided of International Automotive Workers Conference.
On the occasion of 5th anniversary of the struggle of Maruti Suzuki mid of July a big rally in Gurgaon/India was organized. Workers of Maruti Suzuki stressed together with workers and unionist from other companies and branches the need to continue the struggle for justice to the incarcerated leaders of the union. They continue collecting money to support the families of the imprisoned workers.
All these struggles are a result of a process of learning under us automotive workers, all in spirit of 1st International Automotive Workers Conference and her slogan „From one torch to thousands – we carry them in the world“. Like the speakers of the companies cooperation of the VW colleagues wrote to their colleagues in Bratislava: „Selfconcious you have internationally set a very important mark, not to bow anymore to logic of profits of the bosses of the corporation. You have resisted on a main point against the offensive of exploitation. Not their thinking of „VW family“ but our class interests became the focus of attention. You are not second class workers. You have not been intimidated from all attemps of separation and from all laments of endangering the location of Bratislava. Congratulation to this success!“
International Coordinating Group of Automotive Workers Coordinationierung is calling all automotive workers and their families, as well as their friends and supporters:
Organize solidarity with the struggling employees and start further initiatives of coordination, like activities of solidarity linked to the planned strikes!
Take over solidarity against oppression and dismissals of struggling colleagues!
Support is also still needed for the important struggle of the workers of Maruti Suzuki in India against the conviction of 13 activists of strike to life sentence!
Long live international solidarity!
Carlos Luiz Prates Mancha (Brazil), Diego Rejon Bayo (Spain), Jörn Kleffel (Germany)
Coordinators of ICOG