The manufacturing facility assembly held per week in the past at Ford Motor Firm in Saarlouis, Germany, was such an apparent fraud that there’s just one conclusion to be drawn: we should withdraw mandate to the IG Metall commerce union and the works council headed by Markus Thal and to battle for our pursuits ourselves. If we do not act now, we can pay a heavy worth!
We’re shamelessly lied to and deceived. For greater than a yr, we’ve got not recognized what’s going to occur to us when the manufacturing of the Focus mannequin is completed. This should cease instantly!
We require that:
- No work with out readability on the longer term. The fast launch of a strike vote and the preparation for a strike and occupation of the manufacturing facility!
- Ending the cover-up by revealing the identification of the alleged investor. Its staff are our allies.
- The total and everlasting employment of the remaining three,850 staff underneath present collective bargaining situations within the steel and electrical trade in North Rhine-Westphalia till 2032 and past, and never simply 2,500 staff or probably be even1.000. No switch to different firms!
The works council and the IG Metall union need to stop the strike in any respect prices. That is the that means of the ridiculous “Situations for Ford Saarlouis” graphic that has been circulating within the manufacturing facility for a number of days.
Within the model of a kids’s guide, IG Metall praises the so-called “investor course of” as possibility 1 and vehemently rejects possibility 2, “the strike.” This chart may simply as effectively have come from the workplace of Ford chief government Martin Sander, who has repeatedly warned of manufacturing facility unrest and industrial motion on the grounds that it will scare off potential traders.
The truth that the IGM and the works council now overtly oppose the strike provides a brand new dimension to the capitulation. Till now, Thal & cie had mixed their servility to the corporate’s executives with the announcement that if administration didn’t current a “viable prospect for the longer term…a strike could be inevitable”.
After all, this has at all times been a lie, as has the declare that concessions and social cuts will assure jobs. The alternative is occurring. In 2018, we had 7,000 workers. As we speak we’re solely at four,500. Most certainly, on account of the funding course of, in two years we can be right down to 2,500, and even much less.
Thal has boasted menacingly up to now that if there was no prospect for us, Ford would face “the most costly plant closure in historical past.” In truth, Thal, Michel and his works council cronies, together with Degranges and Köhlinger of IG Metall, are working to safe Ford the bottom price manufacturing facility closure in historical past.
What they bear in mind is obvious. They need to hold us at nighttime for so long as potential and pit us towards one another, stoking fears whereas step by step closing the manufacturing facility. One want solely recall the liquidation of Neue Halberg Guss (NHG), the place years of delaying maneuvers by IG Metall lastly led to the closure of the plant. In March 2020, the final 1,000 steelworkers had been made redundant, with out severance pay being paid.
A former momentary employee on the Ford plant in Wülfrath additionally warned us: “Our works council used the identical techniques. They betrayed us. The Wülfrath manufacturing facility was offered a number of occasions from 2000. Finally Knorr-Bremse ended up with what was left of the manufacturing facility. “We had been momentary staff, then fixed-term workers,” stated the previous colleague. “On 11 events, we prolonged our employment contracts. When the manufacturing facility lastly closed, we did not get a penny.
The funding course of is a recipe for a gradual shutdown
Through the firm assembly, a pompous PowerPoint presentation tried to cover the various unanswered questions:
The “letter of intent” allegedly signed by an get together is completely non-binding. Every situation will be withdrawn with out consequence for the signatories. The thriller surrounding the ominous investor confirms that that is certainly the case. If a letter of intent exists, what does it say?
The state authorities and Ford promised the investor cash to spend money on the Saarlouis website. In keeping with Thal, the investor plans to examine the plant earlier than September and take it over earlier than the tip of the yr. Will it additionally take over the manufacturing services or simply the positioning? What ought to we produce, we who stay on the finish of the method? Will it nonetheless have one thing to do with the automotive trade?
The 1,000 jobs promised by Ford are canceled out by the a lot talked about complete of two,500 jobs that can be retained. Presently we’ve got a workforce of roughly four,500 individuals. This yr, 650 of them are leaving with severance pay and 80 have signed partial retirement contracts (this determine was not included within the presentation). This leaves round three,850 colleagues, of whom solely 2,500, if that is even the case, can be transferred to the brand new firm after June 30, 2025.
What occurs to the 1,350 colleagues who go dwelling empty-handed? The presentation solely refers to “later initiatives”. She states that the works council has concluded an organization settlement for these colleagues, however what precisely has been agreed? IGM district chief Köhlinger instructed reporters that “severance pay, qualification measures and probably the creation of a switch firm” had been being mentioned.
It’s stated that the investor “intends” to pay the wage scales agreed to by IGM. For the 1,000 staff coated by the corporate settlement with Ford, that is the IGM wage scale for North Rhine-Westphalia, which presently applies to all of us. However what concerning the different 1,500 colleagues? Will in addition they obtain the North Rhine–Westphalia wage or maybe the Saarland IGM wage? As a result of meaning about 5 p.c much less pay for long-serving staff. Who amongst us will profit from the situations promised by Ford? And who can be employed on the phrases of the investor?
IG Metall intentionally organizes this division to silence us and depart us on the mercy of the brand new investor. This can be a central component of the union’s technique to stifle any strike.
Two causes play an necessary function within the technique of the bureaucratic equipment of the commerce union and the works council, a technique geared toward stopping a wrestle to defend the manufacturing facility and all jobs.
The primary is the event of warfare and mindless navy build-up, the prices of that are imposed on the working class by means of austerity measures and social cuts. The commerce unions assist this coverage of warfare and attempt to stifle any commerce union wrestle for concern that it’ll shortly be linked to a wrestle towards warfare and militarism.
The second motive is our proximity to France. A few of us stay and have household on this neighboring nation the place strikes and road fights are commonplace. We’re all carefully following the struggles unfolding towards Macron’s hated authorities and its brutal pension cuts, which have been happening for months. Our sympathies are with the French staff, and we imagine that the time has come for us to battle collectively.
That is precisely what IG Metall and its Thal works council need to stop. They concern strike at our Ford plant will coincide with strikes in France and turn into the set off for a big strike motion throughout Europe and internationally. In every single place, resistance is rising. In Britain, a wave of strikes by postal, railway, public service, schooling and well being staff has been happening for months. In Spain, staff in lots of sectors are on strike on the eve of recent elections. In Portugal and Italy, but additionally within the Czech Republic and Romania, strikes towards mass layoffs and authorities austerity measures are rising.
We’ve additionally proven that we need to battle and we’ve got multiplied demonstrations and work stoppages for the reason that final manufacturing facility assembly. Final Wednesday, when a poll was known as off, the ultimate meeting crew headed to the physique store to face off with the plant’s high store stewards. For the reason that latter weren’t obtainable, it was the junior delegates who needed to calm the indignant staff.
It is time to battle: towards Ford, towards IG Metall and towards their works council!
That’s the reason we ask, along with what we’ve got already talked about above:
To oppose all makes an attempt to divide the workforce! Ship delegations of trusted colleagues to arrange a joint strike with our colleagues in Cologne, the place the manufacturing of the Fiesta mannequin is stopped and the waves of price reducing comply with each other.
Such a delegation of reliable colleagues can also be anticipated to journey to Valencia, Spain, the place nearly 1,200 jobs are being lower and wages lowered, and the place the works council of José Luis Parra of the UGT is brutally attacking to inside opposition.
As well as, the delegation ought to go to our colleagues within the industrial park, who’re going to be made redundant with meager severance pay and who, like us, are being held again by the union.
Contact us and assist us construct the Ford Motion Committee. Contact us by WhatsApp on the quantity +491633378340.
(Article revealed in English on July 13, 2023)