This visual Activist vs Activist video is really quite a marvel and well worth the watch. I want to set it up for you first, by giving you a little background information. But instead of me filling you in, I’m going to turn it over to Tom Eley of the World Socialist Web Site:
Anger among workers at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California, toward the United Auto Workers (UAW) exploded at a January 24 meeting discussing the imminent closure of the facility. Nearly 5,000 workers will lose their jobs when the plant, formerly a joint venture of General Motors and Toyota, closes on March 31. Four hundred or so workers were present at the meeting
Several attendees captured the eruption on video, which began during comments by UAW Local 2244 Bargaining Chairman Javier Contreras. Contreras was booed, jeered, and interrupted as he attempted to present details of the severance package. At one point an outraged older worker demanded to know “where the hell” the union official had been for the last six months. Contreras burst out, “Shut the f— up, you motherf——!” At that point, furious workers rushed to the front of the room. Contreras and other local UAW personnel were defended by a few union officials. Local union leaders pleaded for calm and called in the police in a bid to control the workers.
Workers present say that the yelling began because union officials would not allow them to speak. Workers are angry that they have been kept in the dark over UAW negotiations with NUMMI.
The video footage reveals that the UAW, on the one hand, and rank-and-file auto workers, on the other, make up two mutually hostile camps. The workers bristle with mistrust and contempt for the union; the UAW officials are defensive and thuglike. The episode exposes the UAW’s role in executing the layoff and wage cut dictates of business—as well as their unmistakable contempt for the workers they nominally represent.
General Motors ended its participation in NUMMI in June 2009 as part of its forced bankruptcy at the hands of the Obama administration. Toyota then announced it would no longer continue operations there as of March 2010, blaming GM’s unilateral withdrawal from the partnership.
This is a scene that I guarantee you will see play out over and over again in the next few years. Union workers – strong Obama supporters – being axed from their cradle to grave, golden rice-bowl jobs. As Government Motors and Chrysler sell fewer and fewer cars, the axe will fall upon more and more average Joe Sixpacks, who will in turn look to their union brass and ask, “how did this happen to me?” And the answer will always be the same, ““Shut the f— up, you motherf——!”
And if the worker ever dares to question the authority of the union brass, they can expect a beat-down by hired thugs – the same type of hired thugs you see in the video. Remember - their union dues go to pay a hired thug to kick their faces in. I do believe that’s what is referred to as “irony”. Sniff.
I’m all for a person making a livable wage. That’s what it’s all about. Having said that, I remember in the good times when union reps went to the bargaining table they absolutely raped management, simply because they could. And even though the auto workers and their union reps knew that taking their company to the cleaners for temporary gains; there was a good chance it would bankrupt the company in the future, yet they still stuck the knife in and turned. And now a good portion of them are out of a job or soon will be. Sorry, but it’s hard for me to get teary eyed.
These kinds of scenes will not only play out many more times in the auto union halls across North America, but they will also play out in government buildings across every state of the union. It’s no secret that the majority of states are close to insolvent. And that can only mean two things: tax increases and firings. And if you think for one second that programs that subsidize the arts or programs that give money to illegal immigrants with limps will get cut before programs to improve hospital care or road maintenance, or state jobs, then you are clearly hopped up on skunk weed, you pot smoking lugan.
Fenris and I have been talking about this happening for quite a few years now. Some would say it’s the chickens coming home to roost. Fenris and I refer to it as the beginning of the end. And it’s not such a bad thing. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. It’s going to be a beaut.