Youngstown United Against Concessions
By Todd M. Jordan
Around 75 concerned autoworkers from the Youngstown area met at Youngstown University in Ohio on March 26, 2006. Most of the workers in attendance were from the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) whose leadership has stated their intention of defending their workers by calling a strike vote early this year. A few local elected union officials also attended to learn more about preparing for a strike at Delphi by working to rule, preparing to work without a contract and how a strike should be conducted.
The guest speaker was retired UAW International Executive Board Member and Regional Director, Warren Davis, who offered his experience and insight on the current situation at Delphi. The workers (myself included) honored a union brother who offered them a vast pool of experience and wisdom to use in their struggle. He was well received with continuous applause despite his humble attempts to discourage their admiration.
Workers had an open discussion regarding security in retirement and how concessions historically do not save jobs, pensions and healthcare. Other workers in attendance came as far away as New York City to offer information and their experiences from the Transport Workers Union (TWU) strike. Members of both the UAW and the IUE-CWA agreed at the end of the meeting to form a Soldiers of Solidarity local chapter. It was also agreed to work toward supporting the April 3, 2006 protest on the sidewalks surrounding the Masonic of Detroit at high noon.
Delphi CEO Robert S. Miller is to speak in Detroit about “the challenges of corporate turnaround and transformation.” Rank-and-file UAW and IUE-CWA from Michigan and Ohio have now agreed to join and support the picket in Detroit, Michigan to protest against the Detroit Economic Club and their guest speaker Delphi CEO Robert S. Miller.
—Future of the Union, March 28, 2006