Monday, June 24, 2013

GMH in attack on wages

Vanguard July 2013 p. 5
Nick G.

US multinational General Motors Holden is demanding its production line workers at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia take a pay cut of up to $200 per week.

This tax-payer subsidised dinosaur has blackmailed successive state and federal governments to get one financial rescue package after another with the threat of closing its Australian operations.

It has also attacked its workforce on previous occasions, cutting out shifts and reducing workers to a four day week.

It treats its workers as one more just-in-time production component, laying off and hiring workers according to the anarchic whims of the market.  It is currently finalising 400 job cuts at Elizabeth and 100 at its Port Melbourne engineering plant.

Now it wants a direct wage cut.

It is simply outrageous that one of the biggest corporations in the world can make demands of this nature.

It is clearly past its use-by-date as a global entity as its US government rescue packages and its closure of plants such as the GM Opel plant in Bochum, Germany with 3000 job losses, announced in April, show.

It is in crisis, a crisis of overproduction and a crisis of capital investment and production costs.

The only answer to the problems besetting the manufacture of vehicles in Australia is to nationalise without compensation the entire industry and rationalise and plan its production to the needs of the market.

What do urban Australians need in the way of a small, green energy car?  Build it to meet that need.

What do Australian primary producers and urban tradespeople need in the way of a utility vehicle? Build it to meet that need.

What vehicles are required for better public transport?  Design and build.

What can be done with these big manufacturing facilities in the way of research and development for advanced manufacturing capacity?  Provide the funds and unleash the creativity of the workers both manual and intellectual.

What can be done for the workforce?  Give them the responsibility to control the process and intensity of production, and to determine the social purposes to which their surplus value (profit) is put instead of seeing it disappear overseas to the multinational bosses.

To implement such common sense measures requires anti-imperialist independence and socialism.
A capitalist society that allows giant multinational corporations to bully and intimidate their way through the inevitable crises of a market economy is unsustainable.

We fight for a better future.
Update: Big auto companies demanding taxpayer subsidies and sacrifices  from their workforce is a global phenomenon.
Read this report from Canada on Ford Motor's Extortion Results in Big Payoff.  You will need to scroll down to the third article.

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