In response to UAW President Shawn Fain’s announcement Friday that only GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers will be called out on strike, Mack Trucks worker Will Lehman issued the following statement. Lehman was a rank-and-file candidate for president. He is currently suing the Department of Labor over mass disenfranchisement of workers in the 2022 UAW elections.
The United Auto Workers bureaucracy is carrying out another bait-and-switch on workers. UAW President Shawn Fain announced in a Facebook livestream that the parts distribution centers at General Motors and Stellantis will be called out on strike at noon today.
Let’s be clear on what this really means: This will have no impact on production. These are parts warehouses that ship components to the dealerships, not suppliers of the Big Three.
Just 5,600 more workers are being called out, less than 4 percent of the UAW Big Three membership. Ninety-seven percent of UAW members at the Big Three voted to go on strike, but only 12 percent total have been called out.
Fain and the UAW are not calling out any assembly or components plants, let alone the entire Big Three UAW membership, because that would deal an immediate and powerful blow to the companies. Nor is the UAW calling out any of the parts supplier workers who are working under expired contracts, such as at Lear Hammond, where workers have voted down three UAW-endorsed sellout contracts in recent months.
The UAW’s “stand up strike” policy is a fraud. The UAW apparatus is ordering the vast majority of its members to keep working and producing profits for the companies. This policy is a betrayal of the will of rank-and-file workers and the desire for all-out strike action across the auto industry.
Fain and the UAW are claiming “good progress” with Ford. No worker should view this claim as credible.
In Canada, the Unifor bureaucracy announced a deal with Ford on Tuesday night and is trying to conceal it from its members until ratification meetings on Saturday. Unifor is trying to ram through a sellout at Ford, and the UAW bureaucracy will do the same in the US when they feel the time is right.
It is time for the rank and file to take a stand and stop the sabotage of this struggle. Workers at the Big Three must call for emergency meetings at their locals, in order to discuss and adopt resolutions demanding all-out strike action across the auto industry. To coordinate this and overcome the resistance of the union bureaucracies, rank-and-file committees should be formed at each factory and warehouse.