Campaign to Oppose Two-Tier Wages -> American Axle Strike Resources - Archive


Come out and support Ada Walker ( UAW Local 235 ) at her Pre-Trial Hearing

Jun 2, 11:05 pm

Don’t forget Ada Walker’s pre-trial hearing on Mon., June 23, 2008, 8:30 am at the 36th District Court, 421 Madison. Ada was unjustly arrested at the AAM Headquarters Rally on April 24th where pictures were taken showing an officer having her in a choke hold. Her lawyer has requested a trial by jury instead of a ruling by a judge. The June 23rd hearing is to set the date of the trial. Please come out and support her if you can. I'll be at the entrance to direct you to the assigned courtroom or call me on my cell phone 313-215-7672.

Wendy


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SPECIAL: JUNE4, 2008 - FUND RAISER, SPAGHETTI DINNER & TRIBUTE

Click here for 'A TRIBUTE TO UAW AMERICAN AXLE STRIKERS!' in pdf format

Hey, everyone!

Please attend this fund raiser spaghetti dinner and tribute Sat., June 14th, 4pm-7pm at Local 235. Strikers and families are free. We want to raise funds for the strikers. Each striker who attends will fill out a ticket and all funds beyond the cost of the meal will be raffled off, with a special emphasis on those who are on lay-off.

Even though the results of this strike were a disaster, the courage the strikers showed in taking on Dick Dauch cannot be denied and will not be forgotten. See you there!

Wendy

---

Join us for an evening of celebration and solidarity in

A TRIBUTE TO UAW AMERICAN AXLE STRIKERS!

4-7 PM - SATURDAY JUNE 14, 2008

UAW LOCAL 235 HALL

2140 HOLBROOK AVE (at Lumpkin), HAMTRAMCK

For 87 grueling days workers struck American Axle and Manufacturing (AAM) plants in New York and Michigan in defense of living standards and working conditions won in past decades. With support from their families, other union members, progressive groups and the community, over 2,200 workers in Hamtramck and Detroit picketed and rallied valiantly in the snow and bitter cold to resist the demands for deep cuts by AAM’s CEO, Dick Dauch.

Fearful that the company would give their work to non-union workers, members of UAW Locals 235 and 262 voted to end their strike. Despite the unpredictable consequences of a “no” vote, nearly a third of Local 235 members voted against it! The contract that will now be put in place is contemptuous of the workers who made American Axle hugely profitable.

Although there is no joy in returning to work under the new terms and conditions – and, in the case of the Forge plant, to an imminent plant closure – these UAW members deserve recognition for their sacrifices. Their fight was not only about themselves, but about decent living and working standards for all workers, especially here in the heart of our metropolitan region – the City of Detroit – Uniontown! We will salute their steadfastness and determination and express our thanks at an evening of celebration and solidarity:

SPAGHETTI DINNER

UAW Local 235, 2140 Holbrook Avenue, Hamtramck (½ mile east of I-75)

4 to 7 pm Saturday, June 14th - SHORT PROGRAM AT 5:30 pm

STRIKERS & THEIR FAMILIES DINE FREE

CASH DONATIONS BY SUPPORTERS WELCOMED

American Axle Support Committee



Al Benchich, president, UAW Local 909* Paul Felton, executive board member,
Frank Hammer, retired int’l representative, UAW-GM* American Postal Workers Union 480-481 Area Local*
Wendy Thompson, retired president, UAW Local 235* Tiffany Ten Eyck, Labor Notes*
Dianne Feeley, UAW Local 235* Jim Rehberg, Wobbly Kitchen*
Armand Nevers, chair, Action Coalition of Strikers and Supporters (ACOSS)* Danna Schneider, UNITE HERE*
Ron Lare, former guide, UAW Local 600*
Ethel Schwartz, Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit* Dolores Killewald, Raging Grannies*
Tony Browning, UAW Local 1700* Alan Pollock, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice*
Elena Herrada, Centro Obrero*
Glenn Shelton, Mail Handlers Union Local 307* Bryan Pfeifer, UPTF*
Gary Walkowicz, UAW L. 600,Truck Plt. Bargaining Comm.-elect Shontelle Paul, district committee, UAW Local 600*
Selma Goode, ACOSS*

*organizational affiliation for identification purposes only

For more info, please call Wendy: 313-215-7672 or Frank: 313-863-3219

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SPECIAL: MAY 23, 2008 - General Watch - GM Shareholders Watching General Motors

Here's a chance to confront Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner on June 3, 2008 at GM's annual shareholders' meeting.

Click for the GM Shareholders Uprising



SPECIAL: MAY 22, 2008 - AAM Hamtramck Vote Result

AAM Hamtramck Vote Result



SPECIAL: MAY 22, 2008 - Good Luck UAW Local 235 - LINK IS NOW DEFUNCT

Good Luck UAW Local 235 - LINK IS NOW DEFUNCT



SPECIAL: MAY 21, 2008 - A small concept of therapy

Click here for 'A small concept of therapy' in pdf format




SPECIAL: MAY 18, 2008 - PENNIES FOR JOBS

Refuse the “Pennies for Jobs” Welfare Program!!

DEMAND A REAL CHANCE TO START OVER!!

Click here for the 'Pennies for Jobs' flyer in pdf format


The following is what AAM workers will need for a real chance at a successful new beginning. Please keep in mind, the first offer is never as good as the second. Vote no until we get an agreement our families can live with.

Buy-Out - A severance package equal to the worth of their job. $100,000 is nothing to the workers & it’s nothing to the partnership. Buffalo Workers let them skip out of town free. I’ve read that AAM plans on saving $100 Million a year from a closing that only cost them $85 Million. The UAW made out like bandits because they didn’t have to pay sub, etc. The government made out because the workers quit their jobs and lost out on unemployment and NAFTA TAA. Everyone made out like bandits, except the workers. $250,000 minimum, no voluntarily quit.

Health Insurance – The partnership needs to pay for Workers Health Insurance for at least a year after the closings. I personally know many families that simply could not deal with the closing. I think my main concern here is the mental health aspect of what it does, not only to the workers, but to their families. 12 Months has to be the minimum.

Professional Financial Advice – Workers should be given the opportunity to receive free professional financial advice from a disinterested 3rd party. The going rate for jobs around here is about $12 - $14/hr. That’s a pretty big drop for most people and most people are ill equipped to handle it. Benefits Coordination – Buffalo Plant Workers who were entitled to State & Federal benefits failed to apply for them simply because they didn’t know they existed. There should be a partnership funded program to educate and inform workers about ALL the programs and benefits that they are entitled to. Again, this program needs to be administered by a disinterested 3rd party. Ideally, maybe something that is overseen by the Department Of Labor. Coordination would encompass things like Unemployment benefits, Sub (if Still available), worker retraining, education, NAFTA TAA, and if need be social programs. This program should be funded 100% by the UAW and AAM for a period of at least 2 years.




SPECIAL: MAY 20, 2008 - The Cons are Mouthpieces for Management

Click here for 'The Cons are Mouthpieces for Management' in pdf format

The Concession Caucus went into negotiations at American Axle with a strategy: soften workers up for the take down.

It took a long time. Maybe too long. Before, strikers were indignant. But now, the Cons have sharpened that anger with the abrasion of betrayal, honed it razor thin with the strop of deceit, hardened its seething blade in cold disregard. The hiss of the crowd could be heard a block from the info meeting.

The Concession Caucus led by Settles and Gettelfinger never did a damn thing to help the strikers. They didn’t double the strike pay. They didn’t demonstrate any leadership on the front lines. They didn’t earn credibility. Just the opposite.

Why should the rank & file believe in the Con’s fear mongering?

If strikers vote for ratification, they’ll do it out of disgust with the Cons in control of the UAW. Neither fear, nor defeat, nor lack of heart will guide their decision. They weren’t beaten on the picket line, they were undermined.

While the strike helped GM reduce inventory, the Cons were mum. But when the strike sank its teeth into the Corp’s carotid artery, the Cons turned on the strikers with a vengeance and spit Dick Dauch’s words into their faces.

The Cons are mouthpieces for management.

At Delphi the Cons always referred to the threat of the bankruptcy judge and the harsh measure his court could impose. But American Axle isn’t bankrupt, they’re profitable. So the Cons have to resort to Dick Dauch’s fantasies as a backdrop to the cutthroat buy off.

Wages cut, benefits slashed, pensions frozen. GM workers be warned. You’ve already been delphied. You don’t think you’ll get axled?

The Concession Train won’t stop until it meets an immovable rank & file. American Axle is not an isolated struggle. It’s a blow to all labor.

Fight the battle now that cannot be fought later.

Stay Solid, Shotwell




SPECIAL: MAY 19, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on WJR 760 News Radio

WJR 760 May 19, 2008 Ron Gettelfinger Podcast

Play this Online from WJR News Radio 760 - Ongoing American Axle Strike



UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - MONDAY MAY 19, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on News / Talk 760 WJR Radio

Click here for the unoffical transcript in pdf format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in doc format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in html format




MAY 19, 2008 - AAM UAW 2008 Contract Pages Download


Click here for AAM UAW 2008 Selected Contract Pages



SPECIAL: MAY 19, 2008 - Is This the Best We Can Do?

Click here for the 'Is This the Best We Can Do?' newsletter in pdf format

Click here for the 'Is This the Best We Can Do?' newsletter in doc format


After striking for 12 weeks, Local 235 members are being asked to vote on a tentative agreement. Thirty GM plants are down, GM dealers are crying over the problems they are having—just last week the Detroit News carried a story about how one dealer had to take an axle out of a brand new $58,000 vehicle in order to make a repair. Dick Dauch is a good poker player, but he’s playing with lives not cards. He has threatened to take production to Mexico and China, but as much as he’d like to do that, he can’t. Axles are too big and complicated to truck from Mexico or ship from China!

If you look at the tentative agreement, you see that what he wants to do, more than anything else, is to get rid of the workers who have built AAM. He wants to force out anyone who’s got more than 30 years by cutting health care benefits for anyone who isn’t gone by January 2009; he is dangling even more buyout money for the others.

Even those who decide to vote for this contract and plan to use the buydown package to have time to find another job know he doesn’t want them either. He’d rather just hire a whole new workforce at $11.50 an hour, no COLA, no pension and few benefits! We knew he wanted to get rid of us four years ago when we at Local 235 turned down 2-tier.

Here are the tentative agreement’s “lowlights”:

1 different wage scale within Detroit Gear, with production workers ranging from $14.35 to $18.50 per hour

2 different wage scales among Detroit Axle($14.35-$18.50), Cheektowaga ($14.35-$16.50) and Three Rivers ($10-$18) production workers so that for future work the plants can be pitted against each other

2 no increase in wages over the life of the contract

3 instead of 5% premium, 2nd shift would get 55 cents per hour; instead of 10% premium, 3rd shift would get 80 cents per hour

4 pensions frozen as of January 2009; receive 3% of wage in a 401K plus matching additional contribution (But who will have extra money to put anything in to it?)

5 combining skilled trades into only four classifications and reducing their hourly wage to $25-$26 (This is a proposed cut near and dear to Dauch, who would be the first CEO to reduce skilled trades wages—the Big Three didn’t, and neither did Delphi. If he carried this off, he’d have a big feather in his cap!)

6 added health care costs: weekly “contributions” will start at $10 (individual)-$25 (family) and increase 3% per year, 12 cent diversion of COLA each quarter for health care as well as higher up-front deductibles

7 overtime only kicks in after a 40-hr. week, not after an 8-hr. day

8 SUB fund of $18 million (donated by GM) is limited and underfunded

9 new hires would start at $11.50 per hour with no provision for COLA or even 5% in a 401K; only to get dental after three years. Most other benefits would not match current workers: less shift premium, higher co-pays, etc.

10 increasing the number of workers each committeeperson represents

11 eliminating the right to strike during the term of the contract for issues such as health and safety, speed-up, sub-contracting, and bargaining in bad faith

12 decreasing the time frame the union has to counter the company’s plan to outsource from 150 days to 30 days

13 nickel and dimes a whole range of benefits including co-pays for generic drugs, capping health care for future retirees, tuition assistance

14 closing down Detroit Forge and Tonawanda Forge (while opening up a $10 an hour non-union plant in Oxford)

15 removing Three Rivers from the no plant closing provision

16 shoving us out of the GM Umpire System, to be replaced by an inferior system of arbitration

17 eliminating of some holiday and vacation time

18 taking some of our products out from under the protection of the Successor Clause

19 cutting relief time from 23 minutes to 15 minutes

What Does This Tentative Agreement Mean for Dauch?

There are many UAW members who work for independent parts suppliers where wages and benefits are vastly inferior to the Big Three Contracts. Ever since five GM plants were sold in 1994 and became American Axle, we have been fighting to stay under the umbrella of the Big Three Pattern Contract. This contract is so different, we would loose that protection—it would be like falling off a cliff. The free fall will be extremely difficult to recover from later on down the road. This proposal guts the pattern and threatens to pull all Big Three workers down with their next contract.

What Vote No Means

If a majority votes no on this contract, what would happen next? The union would have to schedule a meeting to listen to what strikers want and would go back and try to negotiate an acceptable agreement.

But everything doesn’t hinge on what happens across the negotiating table, and that’s what’s been lacking so far in this struggle for a decent contract. We have to put “street heat” behind the negotiations. This means:

20 increasing the weekly benefit to $400 so strikers can survive a bit better

21 encouraging union locals to help with an adopt-a-striker program (benefit reps can locate the strikers who have special hardship, face foreclosure, etc.)

22 having the UAW International demand GM not accept scab parts from American Axle. A cut off of GM business would force Dauch to abandon his union-busting strategy. (This was successfully used at Johnson Controls/Ford a few years ago.

23 building a support network (strikers, their families, friends, union supporters etc.) willing to commit civil disobedience in order to seal AAM plants—no scabs, no trucks coming in or out

24 setting up a speakers bureau and informational picket lines to reach out to all unions, community organizations and churches to spread the word about our strike and how they can help us

25 hold weekly rallies at the AAM headquarters

26 reschedule a massive rally at Hart Plaza

We have sacrificed over the last 12 weeks. Now that we have reduced GM’s inventory, let’s not stop putting the pressure on, but accelerate to preserve our wages and benefits! Let’s remember solidarity crosses the generations of workers—we have what others struggled for. We can only keep what we are willing to fight for, and pass it on to the next generation of workers. The solidarity we have deepened over the last three months on the picket lines makes us strong—let’s stay strong and reject Dauch’s economic terrorism.

No, this tentative contract is not the best we can do. Send the negotiators back to the table! We demand justice and a decent livelihood!

Shifting Gears, Newsletter by and for the UAW/AAM Rank and File

Wthomp4490@aol.com, 313-892-7974,american-axle@googlegroups.com            labor donated



SPECIAL: MAY 19, 2008 - Another group has to take over


Sunday, May 18, 2008 8:25 PM

DO YOU NEED YOUR JOB !

Just remember what Mr. Gettelfinger said today at the meeting. If we don't accept this, because it is the best he could get, and if we turned it down that Dick Dauch could hire replacement workers to take our jobs and we could do nothing about it. So maybe a lower paying job is better than no job at all.

That is what I got out of the meeting, give up and surrender and save what little you have left.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

What should we do? I will lose my house if I accept the lower pay. My job is non-core. I will lose about $13.50 per hour. I have 3 kids, I am trying to raise.

The info packet I brought home from the meeting I gave to my brother that works at Delphi and we did not even get as good of a contract as they did and they were bankrupt!

I need help. I do not know what to do. I can not afford to lose my job and I can not afford the pay cut.

Betty

--==+|+==--

Sunday, May 18, 9:26 PM

Betty,

The GOBS and Yum-Yums will tell you anything to get you to do what they want you to do. You realize now that the Union is in collusion with the company. They aren't following the UAW Constitution, they are violating it. You feel the way that the UAW/Auto Industry partnership want you to feel. Forcing people into a life of poverty is no easy task. The method being used on the AAM workers is one that took a lot of time and money to develop.

Now you understand why I kept preaching that we had to do more, that the UAW was selling us out. This is the exact same method that was used against Buffalo Plant Workers that caused them to vote against Detroit and ultimately caused them to quit their good paying jobs. "It's the best we can do", "there's only one solution to the problem".

There's always more than one solution to any problem. If this is the Best Gettelfinger can do, he should resign. The GOBS and Yum-Yums that are trying to convince you to live in poverty won't be joining you there. These people have been promised rewards for their efforts to drive you into the poor house. Next thing you know someone will be telling you to work two jobs, one check goes to pay dick dauch and the other you get to keep. Sounds crazy, but thats exactly what's being proposed.

Believe it or not, right now we're in the drivers seat. If you vote no, the bargaining committee has to go back to the table and work for a better deal. What the UAW/AAM Partnership wants is to get out of this practically free. It's the Pennies For Jobs program. It's a bad deal and there is no reason anyone has to accept it. If you ask me, workers would be better off asking for the "Second Chance" that I have proposed. At least that gives you a real chance at starting over. Now, more than ever, the rank and file need to stand together. The only reason you were on strike was to beat you down financially. The real war has just begun. It's ugly, it's depressing, but we need to carry on. On one hand we know we can have poverty for free, no one knows what we can gain if we actually work for it.

UNITED WE STAND!!!

NYBiker

--==+|+==--

Monday, May 19, 5:43 AM

Today's Wall Street Journal reports how GM is gearing up to start again once it gets AAM parts. If the parts from Mexico were enough, they would already be geared up. This article proves the strikers would be still in command if they continue.

The problem is that everyone is home alone worrying, just like Betty. No one is sure how everyone else thinks. No ideas are being shared face to face, about whether to fight on and if so, how. If there could be a meeting gathered together, where everyone like Betty could say everything on their mind and decide as a group what to do, we might all be surprised at the results! One by one we are weak. Together we are strong.

One thing is clear to me. Another group has to take over from the officials who are ruining this strike. At least half of the membership doesn't want to surrender. That half needs someone to call them together and see what they as a group can do. The officer group has decided to surrender but the rank and file can make a different decision, if they hurry.

Solidarity,

Larry




May 18, 2008: UAW - AAM 2008 Bargaining Documents

NOTE:On many systems, right click on the image, choose the 'Save Target As ...' option (or 'Save Link As' option) from the pop-up menu, and save the pdf file to local storage. Next choose the 'Open' option to view the pdf file with Acrobat Reader running as a standalone application.

Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 1 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 2 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 3 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 4
Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 5 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 6 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 7 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 8
Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 9 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 10 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 11 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 12
Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 13 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 14 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 15 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 16
Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 17 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 18 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 19 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 20
Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 21 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 22 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 23 Click here for the UAW - AAM 2008 Report Page 24
Click here for the entire UAW - AAM 2008 Summary



SPECIAL: MAY 18, 2008 - CONCESSIONARY CONTRACT

Click here for the 'CONCESSIONARY CONTRACT' flyer in pdf format


Please take a good look at this concessionary contract.

Do they really expect us to take several dollars an hour less after standing out for over 80 days?

If we give in now and accept this contract then we can say we really got our ass's kicked.

From some inside info, I have heard we lost about $32.00 an hour in wages and benefits, sub standard health care, work rules that would let anybody, anytime, anywhere, as long as it is safe. Sound familiar? Remember the 4 A's from the town hall, that is what they are expecting.

If you accept this contract and in 4 years from now you can't even afford to buy the product our parts go into, just think you making about $18.00 an hour and gas over 5 or 6 dollars a gal. and food prices thru the roof, and don't even think about putting your kids thru school.

With inflation going up, it would be hard to make it if we took no cuts at all.

NOW IS WHEN THE REAL FIGHT SHOULD START !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS VOTE NO ON CONCESSIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




SPECIAL: MAY 18, 2008 - APPEAL FOR UNITY AND SUPPORT

Appeal for Unity and Support of WNY AAM Workers Options

I'd like to appeal to all those connected in any way with American Axle in Western New York to come out and support the Workers who are facing immanent job loss. This includes, families, friends, fellow Auto Workers, Workers at businesses who supply or have supplied AAM/ WNY, management, security guards, local 424 members past and present, and the Western New York Community as a whole. Its time we showed the world how many people this kind of thing really effects.


The meetings will take place:

Monday May 19, 2008
at Region 9,
35 George Karl Blvd.,
Suite 100
Amherst, NY 14221

Cheektowaga - 9:00am

Tonawanda - 2:00pm

Please arrive before 8:30am

If you received this appeal by email, please take a moment to forward it to as many people as you can.

If your a WNY'er that's just visiting, please cut and paste this into an email and send it to everyone in your address book.




SPECIAL: MAY 17, 2008   IMPORTANT!!!     PRINT & DISTRIBUTE!!!

The UAW is about to present you with the worst contract the UAW has ever presented Auto Workers. This is truly a historic moment. It marks either the end of the UAW as a viable advocate of the worker and American labor or a resurgence of the American Labor Movement led by workers that refuse to lose everything they have and live in poverty so that a rich, greedy, multinational corporation can be just a little bit richer.

It's time the working men and women DEMAND that the bureaucracy follow the UAW constitution!!! We don't need to wait and see what the Tentative Agreement holds, they've been leaking it so that you'll be conditioned into accepting it right along. We need to let our feeling be known in ADVANCE!!! Tell them to save the "This is the best we can do" bullshit for someone else!!! Let them know at the first meeting that we want them to uphold the UAW Constitution and that we will accept nothing less. Up until now, the UAW hasn't done a single concrete thing to blunt this crime against the workers. It's been all give and take. Give to the company, take from the workers.

Be sure you get the threats on Video because there is no other way they can get a logical, clear thinking individual to give up everything they've worked their entire lives for without them. Let's show the world how the UAW supports its members!!!

Please print and distribute this flyer at the next meeting. We may not be able to save everything, but we don't need to give it all away.


Click Here for the 'Support Workers, Not Corporations! flyer in pdf format

Support Workers, Not Corporations!

Although American Axle workers have been on strike for over 12 Weeks Striking against Concessions, UAW President Ronald Gettelfinger has announced he has agreed to grant a very profitable American Axle & Manufacturing hundreds of concessions and permission to close 2 plants which is in direct conflict of what the workers are fighting for and a violation of the UAW Constitution.

The UAW Constitution clearly states in article 2, section 1 “To improve working conditions, create a uniform system of shorter hours, higher wages, health care and pensions; to maintain and protect the interests of workers under the jurisdiction of this International Union.”

The granting of hundreds of concessions, plant closures, etc. does nothing to comply with this article, in fact, Ronald Gettelfinger’s actions are in direct violation of the above article.

The preamble of the UAW Constitution states “the UAW's purpose is to afford the opportunity for workers to master their work environment; to achieve not only improvement in their economic status but, of equal importance, to gain from their labors a greater measure of dignity, of self- fulfillment and self-worth.”

Unemployment and poverty do not equate to “gaining from our labors a greater measure of dignity, of self-fulfillment or self-worth”. Mr. Gettelfinger has made it clear that, to date, his “leadership” is in conflict with the purpose of the UAW and detrimental to the workers, their families, and the communities in which the workers live.

The Workers of American Axle Demand that Ronald Gettelfinger and the rest of the UAW Bureaucracy begin to follow and enforce the spirit and the word of the UAW Constitution. To this end we are requesting the following action be taken immediately:

  1. Remove all concessions from the table immediately!


  2. Double Strike Benefits to $400/wk


  3. Assist in the formation of independent strike committees


  4. Assist in organizing rallies such as the one scheduled for Hart Plaza. Rallies also need to be held throughout Western New York in an effort to save those jobs.


  5. Instruct Union Officials speak to the press concerning the effects of AAM’s demands on workers families and the communities in which they live. “No Comment” does nothing to educate the public about our cause or garner much needed media and public support.


  6. Setup a speaker’s bureau to visit local Unions and Churches.


  7. Setup an “adopt a striker” program for Workers experiencing extreme hardship.


  8. Instruct the UAW to leadership to bring to bear all of its might against the destruction of workers lives and ultimately, the destruction of our Union. The UAW must do more to engage the politicians that receive the political portion of our Union dues which is significant.

We feel that Ronald Gettelfinger’s and the UAW leadership’s total disregard of the UAW Constitution is harmful not only to the Workers of American Axle, but to ALL American Workers.



It's time for the new leaders of the American Labor Movement step up to the plate. You have NOTHING to lose by distributing this flyer, Gettelfinger has already given it all away. The worst thing that can happen is you save your job.

UNITED WE STAND!!!
LABOR DONATED



SPECIAL: MAY 16, 2008 - 'Double The AAM Striker's Strike Pay' Petition

Click here for the AAM Striker's 'Strike Pay Petition' in pdf format

Click here for the AAM Striker's 'Strike Pay Petition' in doc format


We request that the UAW International immediately double the strike pay of our brothers and sisters who have been on strike at American Axle since February 26. Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!


.....Name............................................Local.......


_________________________________________________________________




SPECIAL: MAY 14, 2008 We Can Win This Strike!

Click Here for the 'We Can Win This Strike' Newsletter' in pdf format


Information Picket Line, Wed., May 14, 2008, Induction Services, 24800 Mound (south of 10 mile, east side) 6am-7am, 2:30pm-4pm (park in lot just north of plant)


Supervisor scabs have been running Hino axles for Toyota down at the Detroit Forge. We followed trucks to Induction Services. We want to inform workers there of these scab parts they are being forced to handle.


After hearing President Gettelfinger’s radio show, one thing is clear: “hundreds of concessions” have gained us nothing except the demand for more concessions! It’s time for a change in strategy! No plant closings! No wage cut! We can win this strike by forcing GM to stop buying scab parts from American Axle! What would Dauch do then?


The International needs to: 1) Remove all concessions from the table immediately! 2) Double the strike benefits to $400 a week. 3) Reschedule the Hart Plaza rally. We also need a rally in downtown Buffalo in front of the City Hall! 4) Hold weekly rallies at the AAM Headquarters. 2000 strikers and supporters showed for our last one! 5) Bring strikers and supporters out to halt production at Detroit Forge of stabilizer bars for GM cars and the Hino axle for Toyota with civil disobedience. 6) Hold informational picket lines wherever there are scab parts. 7) Set up a speakers bureau to visit local unions and churches. 8) Set up an adopt a striker program with hardship cases recommended by benefit reps.


We had a very successful information picket line at Poletown. The support we received from the workers as we handed out our leaflet was overwhelming. Let’s reach out to the community! We can’t fall for that lie that American Axle can move all operations to Mexico. Axles are too bulky, risk damage, and shipping would be prohibitive. No plant closings! No wage cut! Vote no if these key demands are not met!


Here’s what Gettelfinger said about the negotiations. Go to: http://www.wwj.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=2140052



AAM strikers and retirees: let's go to our union meetings and turn up the "street heat." Workers united will not be defeated!


Local 235: don’t forget General Membership Meeting, this Sunday, May 18th, 2pm


Shifting Gears, Newsletter by and for the Rank and File


american-axle@googlegroups.com, soldiersofsolidarity@googlegroups.com wthomp4490@aol.com, 313-892-7974, 313-215-7672


labor donated




SPECIAL: MAY 14, 2008 INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line

Click Here for the 'INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line Flyer' in pdf format

GM $200 million should go towards wages not lump sums! We‘re starting to get somewhere so let’s keep the pressure on! We need to shine a light on the Hino axle from the Forge for Toyota. Supervisor scabs have been running them down at the Detroit Forge. We followed trucks to:


Induction Services,

24800 Mound Rd. Warren, MI 48091( Just south of 10 mile, east side)

We want to inform workers there of these scab parts they are being forced to handle.

Information Picket Line, Wed., May 14, 2008 6am-7am, 2:30pm-4pm (park in lot just north of plant)



For more information contact Wendy Thompson wthomp4490@aol.com

or call 313 215 7672 or 313 892 7974



LABOR DONATED

INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line Map 1


INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line Map 2


INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line Map 3





SPECIAL: INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line
An Update on the May 14, 2008 event

Click here for the update to the INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line


This week's informational picket, a success!

Once again our information picket line at Induction Services like at Poletown was a success! We had heard it was a non-union plant and had a leaflet that explained why we were there, who we were and encouraged them to join a union. A worker came out to inform us that they were a part of UAW, L. 771, an amalgamated local in Region 1. He did not know that work coming to them was made by scabs at American Axle.

In fact, their contract expires tomorrow and they have had a strike vote! We revised our leaflet for the afternoon shift expressing solidarity with them in their attempt to gain a good contract. Most workers were friendly and interested in what we had to say. They are located on a very busy street so many people honked when they saw our signs saying “Unity”, “Union, Yes” and “Solidarity”. Since it was raining, we looked very dedicated!

We must have touched a nerve because we were called by a company lawyer, who then called Local 235 President-elect Bill Alford, Jr. demanding he make us stop. He told him it was our legal right. No doubt Induction Services did not want it known their connection to American Axle, especially by their workers! And the idea of their workers coming into contact with us must be pretty scary!


Take the 'hundreds' of concessions off the table! No wage cuts! No plant closings!



For more information contact Wendy Thompson wthomp4490@aol.com

or call 313 215 7672 or 313 892 7974



LABOR DONATED




SPECIAL: Flyer handed out at the MAY 14, 2008 INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line

Click here for the flyer from the INDUCTION SERVICES Information Picket Line


Solidarity
with Induction Services Workers Against Toyota Accepting Scab Parts

Since February 26 American Axle UAW workers have been striking for a decent contract and against wage cuts and plant closings. When the strike began we were picketing in the snow. Since then we’ve picketed in the rain and wind, and now it’s spring and we are still at square one in the negotiations. We are now the longest strike in U.S. auto history in more than forty years! Last year Dick Dauch, American Axle’s CEO, had a benefit package of $10 million, a 9% increase, nonetheless he’s demanding that workers take a 50% wage and benefit cut. In fact, over the last 14 years he’s made more than $250 million! But he’s also threatening to close down several plants. If we gave in to these demands many of us would loose our homes and be unable to provide for our children’s education. We believe everyone should have the right to a decent wage!

Since we have been on strike American Axle supervisors have been building the Hino axles, which are being sent to Induction Services. So we have set up an informational picket line on public property to highlight how wrong it is for Toyota to use scab Hino axles that American Axle workers were making before the strike, and would like to make again after we settle. We have notified the National Labor Relations Board that we are here, and they told us our activity is perfectly legal.

We are not asking you to stop work, but we do ask that if you handle Hino axles from American Axle Detroit Forge please look for the upmost quality. Inferior work can mean serious consequences. We also ask that you “work to rule.” That is we are asking you not to do management any favors – just go by the written rules.

We understand that you are a UAW-represented shop, that your contract is coming up and that you too have taken a strike vote. We want to express our solidarity with you in your fight for a better contract.

When workers stand together, we have much more protection than when each person stands alone. We are asking for your support to our fight, and we pledge to have your back. Let’s stay in touch!


SOLIDARITY FOREVER!


A Group of American Axle Strikers, Retirees from UAW L. 235, L. 262 and Supporters


For further information contact L. 235 at 313-871-1190, L. 262 at 313-871-1262


(written by Shifting Gears, wthomp4490@aol.com, 313-892-7974)

Labor donated


MAY 14, 2008 - Senator Barack Obama acknowledges the struggle, and pledges solidarity with American Axle Strikers


"Not too far from here, at American Axle, UAW members have gone on strike to fight for good wages, and good benefits, and a decent standard of living. These are things that all hard-working families should expect, and that UAW members deserve, and we stand in solidarity with the folks on the picket lines, and the families that are impacted by this strike."


Barack Obama, Macomb Community College, Warren MI, 48088

Read and listen to "Obama Courts Working-Class Vote in Macomb Co." by Sarah Hulett from Michigan Radio
Read the full text of Barack's remarks, as prepared for delivery from Obama HQ




MAY 12, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on WJR 760 News Radio

WJR 760 May 12, 2008 Ron Gettelfinger Podcast

Play this Online from WJR News Radio 760 - Ongoing American Axle Strike



UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - MONDAY MAY 12, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on News / Talk 760 WJR Radio

Click here for the unoffical transcript in pdf format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in doc format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in html format




MAY 10, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on WWJ 950 News Radio

WWJ 950 May 10, 2008 Ron Gettelfinger Podcast

Play this Online from WWJ Newsradio 950 - American Axle Strike 05/10



UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - SATURDAY MAY 10, 2008 UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on WWJ 950 News Radio

Click here for the unoffical transcript in pdf format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in doc format

Click here for the unoffical transcript in html format




SPECIAL: MAY 6, 2008 - Our Enduring Support for Union Sister Ada Walker


Brothers and Sisters!!
Mon. June 23rd, 2008
36th District Court, 421 Madison, Det., Mi. 48226


Come Out in Support of Our Union Sister on June 23rd. Sister Ada Walker was unfairly arrested at the massive UAW Rally outside American Axle HQ on April 24th, 2008.

Tuesday May 6, 10:44 pm

Report from the Courthouse - Sister Ada Walker appeared on Monday May 5th, 2008, 8:30am

Despite the last minute call for support, five of us got through an enormous Monday morning crowd to the courtroom in support of Ada Walker, L. 235 worker unfairly arrested at our rally at the AAM headquarters. A lawyer was assigned from the UAW Legal Dept. and he asked for trial by jury. The date for the trial will be set at a hearing on Mon. June 23rd. Attendance at this hearing will be good, but we’ll need a big turn-out especially for the trial.

For information contact Wendy Thompson wthomp4490@aol.com or call 313 215 7672 or 313 892 7974


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SPECIAL: MAY 4, 2008 - Call to American Axle Strikers and Supporters


Brothers and Sisters!!

Mon., May 5th, 2008, 8:30am


Support Our Union Sister on May 5th unfairly arrested at UAW Rally at American Axle


Please Come Out and Support Our Union Sister Ada Walker, Mon., May 5th, 2008, 8:30am at the 36th District Court, 421 Madison, Det., Mi. 48226


(Sister Walker was unfairly arrested and strong-armed while attempting to cross the street unfairly arrested in front of the American Axle Headquarters.)


Local 235, UAW

Click here for 42408AAMStrikersRally135.JPG Click here for 42408AAMStrikersRally135.JPG Click here 42408AAMStrikersRally139.JPG
Click here for 42408AAMStrikersRally140.JPG Click here for 42408AAMStrikersRally141.JPG Click here for 42408AAMStrikersRally142.JPG
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SPECIAL: MAY 2, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter - Update

Click Here for the MAY 2, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter - Update, in pdf format



UPDATE - Informational Picket at Poletown,

Fri., May 2nd, 5:15am-6am, 1:45pm-2:30pm


AAM Informational Picket at Poletown Went Well, Join us This Afternoon


All went well this morning at Poletown. The Shop Chair Frank Moultrie had attended our rally at the AAM Headquarters and put in his newsletter that we were coming.


People honked support as they went in, many taking our leaflet. One Committeeperson took a pile in with him.


Please join us this afternoon.


Meet at Local 235, Holbrook and Lumpkin at 1:30pm or 1:45pm at the Grand Blvd. entrance at the service drive of I-94 (off at Mt. Elliott Exit, go west past Chene to Grand Blvd., park across freeway at Dan & Vi’s Pizza. If you get lost call 313-215-7672.)


Wendy

Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!

Shifting Gears, Newsletter by and for the UAW/AAM Rank and File

labor donated




SPECIAL: MAY 2, 2008 Shifting Gears - Leaflet for Poletown Workers

Click Here for the MAY 2, 2008 Shifting Gears - Leaflet for Poletown Workers, in pdf format

Click Here for the MAY 2, 2008 Shifting Gears - Leaflet for Poletown Workers, in rtf format



Solidarity

With UAW Poletown Workers Against GM Accepting Scab Parts


American Axle UAW workers want to thank you for the support UAW Poletown workers have given us since we went out on strike Feb, 26 in our struggle for a decent contract and against wage cuts and plant closings. We all hate the fact that the law forces workers to handle scab parts. GM should not be allowing these parts into the plant.

We stand here on public property for an informational picket line to highlight how wrong it is for cars to be made with stabilizer bars American Axle workers were making before the strike. We don’t know whether they are being made by AAM supervisors, by workers in Mexico, or by Dana, but they are our work! We called the National Labor Relations Board to inform them that we would be here today, and they informed us that our activity is perfectly legal. We are not asking you to stop work, but we do ask that if you handle stabilizer bars look for the upmost quality. Burrs on the bars affect vehicle performance. Grievances can be written. If this part is inferior, it can have serious consequences.

We also ask that you “work to rule”. This is also perfectly legal. You simply go strictly by the contract and don’t do management any favors. We all do things we do not necessarily have to do. We would appreciate you sending a message to GM management that they should not be allowing scab parts into the plant. You can do this by ceasing to engage in these small favors until not only is our strike settled, but we believe it will also help you in your fight for a decent local agreement!

GM seems to be rotating assembly plants to try to keep production going. Poletown is back to work this week after having been shut down by the AAM strike. Shutting down car production is very important for our strike, and you see from the newspapers that we have had an impact on both AAM and GM profits. We know that none of us will win decent contracts without backing up our demands with unified action. The CEO at American Axle has made more than $250 million in salary and perks over the last 14 years, yet he continues to demand wage cuts that if we agreed to them, would force us out of our homes and unable to educate our children.

We hope that you will continue to back us in every way you can! We are here today to thank you for your past support and to ask you to examine the stabilizer bars very carefully. It’s perfectly legal for you to join with us after you get off work today if you’d like when you are on your own time. Stop and talk with us and we’d be pleased to tell you how AAM has not moved off square one since day one!

Thanks so much for your support. We have received so much solidarity since we went out and pledge to have your back in your fight for a decent local contract!


SOLIDARITY FOREVER!


A Group of American Axle Strikers, Retirees from UAW L. 235, L. 262 and Supporters
For further information contact L. 235 at 313-871-1190, L. 262 at 313-871-1262
(written by Shifting Gears, Wthomp4490@aol.com, 313-892-7974)
Labor donated



April Edition - Serial CEO - How NOT To Manage a Bankruptcy or Strike 101

The Shunning of Dauch and Miller - Poster boys for Arrogance, Paranoia & Naked Greed Gone Wrong

It just isn't civilised to draw attention to how the rich prosecute the class war!

Click for April Edition -Serial CEO fullsize version



A Win for the Worker's Rally at AAM HQ Stockholder Meeting April 24, 2008

A Win for the Worker's Rally at AAM HQ Stockholder Meeting April 24, 2008



SPECIAL: APRIL 30, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter - Update

Click Here for the APRIL 30, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter - Update, in pdf format

Click Here for the APRIL 30, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter - Update, in doc format



Informational Picket at Poletown,

Fri., May 2nd, 5:15am-6am, 1:45pm-2:30pm


GM seems to be rotating assembly plants to try to keep production going. Can something be done about this? Yes, let’s set up information picket lines at plants that are forced to run with scab parts and hand out a leaflet encouraging our fellow workers to work to rule and check for the upmost quality. This is perfectly legal because we are not asking them to shut down. We are just giving out information. We will call the NLRB office and inform them we will be distributing an informational leaflet getting their OK.

Poletown is back to work this week after having been shut down by the AAM strike. Besides asking for support for the AAM strike, we can also give them support for their struggle since they do not yet have a local agreement!

Let's go to Poletown on Fri., May 2nd, 5:15am-6am, 1:45pm-2:30pm.


Meet us to car pool at Local 235 at 5 am (and 1:30pm) or

Meet us at the Poletown east gate on the I-94 service drive by the overpass west of Mt. Elliott (park at the Dan & Vi store south of I-94 and cross at overpass).

Check with L. 235 on May 1st to see if Poletown has gone down due to another GM local strike.


Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!

Shifting Gears, Newsletter by and for the UAW/AAM Rank and File

labor donated




SPECIAL: APRIL 29, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter

Click Here for the APRIL 29, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter, in pdf format

Click Here for the APRIL 29, 2008 Shifting Gears Newsletter, in doc format



Let’s Keep the Momentum Going!

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word for the Local 235 Rally at the AAM Headquarters Thurs., April 24th. It was fantastic! We used the stockholder's meeting to publicize our right to decent wages and benefits. And it happened BECAUSE at the UAW Local 235 union meeting we passed a motion to organize the march and rally.

One reporter said the rally had “an old-fashioned feel to it." That means when the union was stronger than it is now -- well UAW strikers are reviving that tradition today!

It was great to see strikers and their family members turn out. Region 1 called the other locals in the region and encouraged them to come out, and they did, including Region 1 Director Joe Peters. UAW members from other regions and community supporters were there. Our rally was disciplined even when provoked by one police officer who manhandled and unfairly arrested one of our members.

The press is still not stating our case enough. We DO NOT make more than Chrysler and Ford axle workers. We ARE NOT demanding special treatment, we are demanding PARITY. When you talk to the press, tell them Dick Dauch is lying when he says we are three times more expensive than our counterparts – Ford and Chrysler axle workers!


We need to keep up the "street heat."


1. Let's get the UAW to reschedule the Hart Plaza Rally (up the street from the GM building) to show GM we mean business! They can bring Dauch down to earth if they really want to! The International said the rally was “only postponed." So let's get a date and keep the momentum going! New York workers also need a rally in downtown Buffalo in front of the City Hall!

2. GM seems to be rotating assembly plants to try to keep production up. Poletown is back this week. Can something be done about this? Yes, let’s set up information picket lines and hand out a leaflet encouraging our fellow workers to work to rule and check for the upmost quality. This is perfectly legal because we are not asking them to shut down. We are just giving out information. We can also give them support because they do not yet have a local agreement!

Let's go to Poletown on Fri., May 2nd, 5:15am-6am, 1:45pm-2:30pm. Meet us to car pool at Local 235 at 5 am (and 1:30pm) or meet us at the east gate on the I-94 service drive by the overpass west of Mt. Elliott (park at the Dan & Vi store south of I-94 and cross at overpass). We will call the NLRB office and inform them we will be distributing an informational leaflet (we are not stopping Local 22 members from going into work or impeding production.) Check with L. 235 on May 1st to see if Poletown has gone down due to a GM local strike.

Three Rivers strikers should also set up an informational picket at the Fort Wayne Plant which has been getting axles from Mexico.

Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!

Shifting Gears, Newsletter by and for the UAW/AAM Rank and File

Wthomp4490@aol.com, 313-892-7974,american-axle@googlegroups.com

labor donated




Pictures from the UAW Worker's Rally at AAM HQ Stockholder Meeting April 24, 2008

Click for Alan Pollock's photos of the UAW Worker's Rally April 24, 2008



SPECIAL: APRIL 24, 2008 AAM HQ - UAW Rank and File Rally

Click Here for the AAM HQ UAW Rank and File Rally Flyer

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Stockholders meeting at the AAM Headquarters at Holbrook and I-75.

We will be there on the inside and outside.

Join us at 1:00 pm!

SHOW UP AT THE AAM HQ, APRIL 24.

SOLIDARITY WILL NOT BE CANCELED.

Click here for the American Axle Workers Rally Map

The UAW International cancelled the "RALLY @ HART PLAZA" on short notice

but they can't cancel

RANK & FILE SOLIDARITY at the AAM HQ

COME TO AAM WORLD HEADQUARTERS AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

FOR A NO CONCESSION CONTRACT



CORPORATE SLUM LORDS WANT TO CONDEMN WORKING PEOPLE TO A LIFE OF

POVERTY. They take money out of our communities but they don't want to

put any money back in. Wage cuts and tax breaks do not equal more

investment. Corporate slum lords are destroying America.



WE ARE ALL UNDER ATTACK.

IF STRIKERS AT AMERICAN AXLE AND ALLIANCE INTERIORS WIN,

WE ALL WIN.

IF STRIKERS LOSE, WE ALL LOSE.



For more information contact Wendy Thompson wthomp4490@aol.com

or call 313 215 7672 or 313 892 7974



LABOR DONATED

Click here for the American Axle Workers Rally Map



SPECIAL: APRIL 18, 2008 AAM - UAW Rank and File Rally

Click Here for the AAM UAW Rank and File Rally Flyer

The UAW International can cancel the "RALLY @ HART PLAZA" on short notice

but they can't cancel



RANK & FILE SOLIDARITY on the PICKET LINE



COME TO THE PICKET LINES AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT



FOR A NO CONCESSION CONTRACT



CORPORATE SLUM LORDS WANT TO CONDEMN WORKING PEOPLE TO A LIFE OF

POVERTY. They take money out of our communities but they don't want to

put any money back in. Wage cuts and tax breaks do not equal more

investment. Corporate slum lords are destroying America.



WE ARE ALL UNDER ATTACK.

IF STRIKERS AT AMERICAN AXLE AND ALLIANCE INTERIORS WIN,

WE ALL WIN.



IF STRIKERS LOSE, WE ALL LOSE.



SHOW UP AT THE PICKET LINE NEAREST YOU THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 18.



SOLIDARITY WILL NOT BE CANCELED.



UAW Local 262, 8490 St. Aubin, Hamtramck, MI 48212

UAW Local 235, 2140 Hobrook, Hamtramck, MI 48212 FRIDAY April 18, 2008 11:30am

UAW Local 846, Tonawanda St., Buffalo, NY 14207

UAW Local 2093, 15802 Hoffman, Three Rivers, MI 49093 THURSDAY April 17, 2008 Noon to 2PM



and don't forget



UAW Local 724, ALLIANCE INTERIORS,

4521 W. Mt. Hope Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917



For more information contact Wendy Thompson wthomp4490@aol.com

or call 313 215 7672 or 313 892 7974



LABOR DONATED




American Axle Strike Rally Info

Click here for the American Axle Strike Rally Info



SEP / ISEE - AAM Meeting Info

Click here for the SEP / ISEE - AAM meeting info



AAM Worker Strikers News Archive

Click for AAM Worker Strikers News Archive



American Axle Workers Group Forum - LINK IS NOW DEFUNCT

American Axle Workers Group Forum - NOW DEFUNCT



Striking AAM Workers Support from UAW Info - LINK IS NOW DEFUNCT

Click Here For Striking AAM Workers Support from UAW Info



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