Socialist ViewPoint and analysis for working people

May/June • Vol 6, No. 3 •

Millerís Death Wish

By Gregg Shotwell

Some people are saying that Miller is closing down Delphi Coopersville because of me, Gregg Shotwell. Thatís not fair. Credit where credit is due. I not only shut down Coopersville, I shut down Saginaw, Flint, Adrian, Columbus, Milwaukee, Dayton, Sandusky, Athens, TuscaloosaÖamong others.

Bear in mind when Miller makes his death wish list of plant closings that he originally said we were going to get $9.50 an hour, then it was $12.50, now itís $16.50. And the UAW hasnít even talked to him. Heís literally talking to himself. He gave us two big raises out of sheer loneliness.

Remember Millerís deadlines? Heís a no-nonsense, straight talking, blowhard. First it was Dec. 16, then it was Jan. 20, then it was Feb. 17, and finally March 31. Every deadline was firm. He reminds me of somebodyís mother.

So why did he pick March 31? Is it any coincidence that the FBI and the SEC also picked March 31 for the deadline? Delphi executives were given a choice: sing or hang. Miller wanted to upstage the SEC and FBI, so he pulled out all the stops. When the dust settles the fact remains: fraud is at the bottom of the bankruptcy. We need to stir the pot so it wonít stick to the bottom. But more importantly we need to channel the anger and frustration of our fellow workers in a positive direction — Work to Rule. We are on the front lines of a battle to save the American Dream. Itís High Noon and Miller is riding into town on the Concession Train. I sure hope the tracks are secure. I wouldnít want the engine to derail before Miller arrives. I am really looking forward to meeting him. Iíve been running low on ammo. Damn hard to be literary when Faustus wonít come out of the closet. I canít wait to hear his recital at the Detroit Economic Club, tomorrow.

Now that Miller has pulled the trigger we can finally get down to the business of taking GM apart piece by piece. The vengeance is long overdue. Weíve lived under the gun too long. Retreat is not an option when thereís nowhere to go. But mechanics is something we know. We can put it together and we can take it apart. Timing. Itís all about timing. Millerís in a hurry. He wants to cash out. Every day longer pains him. Every delay costs him. Why should we be in a rush to strike or close the plants? Where do we have to go?

Are you considering the buy-off? Vote NO on your way out. Give the Finn a mickey. You know the drill. Itís all about timing.

The Concession Caucus wants to mitigate resistance with buy-offs. They must think weíve been asleep. To hell with promises of deferred compensation. I want my money up front. I want cash just like J.T. Battenberg and his crew got when the news of fraud first surfaced—$3.9 million for six executives, plus stock options conveniently sold before the bankruptcy October 8, 2005. Nice buy-off, hey? Me too. Iíll walk away for half a million bucks plus stock options.

GM is selling foreign subsidiaries for cash. Itís time Delphi did the same. We canít reasonably allow them to bankrupt the U.S. while they shelter assets overseas. Those assets are our legacy. We want what we earned. We canít afford to back down. Weíve lost too many of our ranks already. If the UAW isnít willing to fight for our legacy, it should be dissolved. Which reminds me. Send No Concession delegates to the Con Con. I canít emphasize enough that we need people who arenít afraid to talk back.

If we accept concessions today, who will fight tomorrow? Where will it end? Does anyone believe retirement is secure? I know GM Gypsies who have worked at ten different plants. Stand your ground. Thereís nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

We should prepare for a series of ďrolling strikesĒ and improvised disruptions. Why should we suffer a long strike? Make them pay and pay and pay. Donít waste your own time, waste company time. Hold Solidarity Action Committee Kungfu [SACK] meetings in cafeterias and break rooms and aisles. Figure out how we can defend our interests with concerted activities. Be easy on yourself and double hard on Delphi. Double hard.

Live Bait & Ammo # 69

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