Wednesday, December 21, 2016

ASSAULT ON THE AMERICAN WORKER: General Motors announces mass layoffs of workers in the US



“Throughout this period, the trade unions transitioned from their alliance with the Democratic Party on the basis of ferocious anti-communism into outright instruments of the corporations and the state. They have and continue to collaborate in the “orderly shutdown” of factories and mines, after pushing through wage and benefit cuts on the bogus pretext of “saving jobs.”




REPORT: The assault to finish off the American middle-class is NOT over

“The report noted that many illegals don't have jobs or have difficulty in landing good jobs because of local laws.”

“However, it identified several states that have begun easing employment laws so that illegals can get a job.”


"The collection of billionaires, bankers, CEOs, generals and social 

arch-reactionaries that will comprise his cabinet and White House 

inner circle is pledged to remove all constraints on the ability of 

the rich to plunder American society for their own personal gain 

and profit."

"At one point she hailed the “record profits” 

of the auto companies. She did not mention 

that these profits came at the expense of the 

jobs, wages and retirement benefits of 

thousands of auto workers, decimated under 

the terms of the auto bailout organized by the 

Obama administration."

AMERICA’S ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON – The Impact of Obama-Clintonomics

Under Obama-Clintonomics, the rich became VERY rich and we got the tax bills for their bailouts and crimes!

AMERICA: One paycheck and two illegals away from homelessness.

"The economists found that the pre-tax share of national income 

received by the bottom half of the US population has been cut 

nearly in half since 1980, from 20 percent to 12 percent, while the 

income share of the top one percent has nearly doubled, from 12 

percent to 20 percent."


 “Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan THE AMERICAN

General Motors announces mass layoffs of workers in the US

General Motors announces mass layoffs of workers in the US
By Jerry White
21 December 2016
General Motors officials on Monday announced that it would eliminate one of the two production shifts at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and cut 1,192 of the factory’s 3,000 jobs. The cuts, which will begin March 5, are in addition to thousands of other temporary and permanent layoffs announced by the US’s largest automaker in recent weeks.
Citing a slowdown in less profitable passenger car sales, the company announced Monday it will close five assembly plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck, for one to three weeks in January, idling over 10,000 workers. The other plants effected are Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kansas, for three weeks; the Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan for two weeks; and plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, for one week.
In addition to the shift elimination in Detroit, GM announced last month that it was suspending third shifts at the Lordstown and Lansing Grand River plants, also in January, resulting in the layoff of 2,000 workers.
Other major firms are using the holiday season to slash their workforces. Boeing Commercial Airplanes has slashed 6,000 jobs in the state of Washington alone this year. The company’s CEO, Kevin McAllister, warned, “While we have made progress in reducing costs and improving affordability, we will need to do more in 2017.”
The earthmoving equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, after laying off 10,000 employees last fall, said last week that it will issue another round of pink slips without specifying how many. Xerox, which is splitting in two before the year’s end, warned of coming layoffs, which will likely hit the 39,000 employees at Xerox’s “legacy” copier business.
GM shares rose a quarter of a percent on the announcements as part of an orgy on Wall Street that saw the New York Stock Exchange rose to just short of 20,000 points on Tuesday. The corporate and financial elite has no intention of letting up on the relentless attack on the jobs, wages and health and pension benefits of workers. The ruling class anticipates huge profits as the incoming Trump administration slashes corporate taxes and regulations.
Trump has tapped GM CEO Mary Barra for a seat on his 16-member economic policy team, along with Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the investment firm Blackstone; JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon; and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) filing that GM sent to Michigan authorities Monday, about half of the affected workers at the Detroit plant are temporary workers, nearly 80 work at GM Manufacturing Subsystems LLC, a subsidiary of GM, and 32 are salaried workers being transferred to other plants.
In a callous statement, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said in an email, “GM adjusts its manufacturing plants’ production schedules to meet market demand as part of the normal course of business.” Company claims that it will relocate most of the workers are doubtful at best.
In October 2015, GM and United Auto Workers officials announced with great fanfare that a second shift would be added to the 4.1 million-square-foot Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which would absorb the 500 workers cut from GM’s nearby Lake Orion facility. The announcement was timed to dampen opposition from GM’s 53,000 US workers to the UAW-backed concessions contract, which Fiat Chrysler workers had rejected by a 2-to-1 margin.
In addition to retaining the hated two-tier wage and benefit system and keeping total labor cost increases below the rate of inflation, the UAW contract facilitated the layoff of workers in an economic downturn. It expanded the use of low-paid temporary workers who could be hired and fired at will and sanctioned the Detroit automakers’ plans to end mid-size and small car production in the United States.
As a result, GM has seen record profits, including $2.8 billion in the third quarter, exceeding Wall Street estimates and doubling profits from a year earlier. The company, which had a cash hoard of $21.5 billion as of September, spent $5 billion to buy back its own shares this year and plans to buy back another $4 billion by the end of 2017.
While throwing workers onto the street, billions have been squandered to boost the returns of its richest investors. This includes Barra herself, who saw her total compensation rise 77 percent in 2015 to $28.6 million. The UAW, whose former vice president Joe Ashton sits on GM’s board of directors, has also been a major beneficiary. The UAW still owns a substantial block of GM shares through its control of the multibillion-dollar retiree health care trust.
The UAW International and UAW Local 22 did not issue any statements on the layoffs, and neither returned phone inquiries from the World Socialist Web Site .
Workers at the plant, however, were livid over the announcement.
“I’m not happy,” Michelle, who has worked at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for eight and a half years, told the WSWS. “People were upset at the plant meeting yesterday. No one could understand why they added the shift eight months ago if they were going to get rid of it eight months later.
“There were no union representatives on stage. It was getting ugly. Some workers had just bought GM cars to help the company, and this is how they were paid back.”
Many of the workers hired last April, she said, were being laid off before reaching one year of employment so that they would not qualify for Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB) pay from the company. “They’re being laid off on March 5, just weeks before the April cut-off date,” she said.
“Everybody’s scared about the economy and Trump getting elected. They’re selling big cars, but that is going to dry up and we could all lose our jobs. The union agreed to a cap on our profit-sharing checks, even though the company is making billions.”
Carddears was hired in 2008. She worked six months and was then laid off for three years before getting a job at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant in November 2011. “It’s sad what they’re doing to people and shows that the economy is heading toward a dive. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me.
“We do all the hard work in there building the cars, and they can just get rid of us. People were angry when they heard, and 17 workers just walked off the job. If we don’t fight then we are all going to be out of work.”
“Yesterday they told me I was out of a job after two years,” a young worker who did not give her name said. “The union told us we had job security. That was a fraud.”
The GM layoffs follow similar announcements by Fiat Chrysler and Ford in response to signs of a slowdown in the US automotive market, which has had three consecutive years of record sales. Most analysts say that the mini-boom in vehicle sales, largely spurred by low fuel prices, easy credit and pent-up demand from the Great Recession, is finally ending. GM’s inventories surged 28 percent between August 1 and December 1 to the highest level in nearly nine years, according to Automotive News.
At Dan & Vi’s Pizza on Chene Street across from the plant, a young welder at a nearby factory, Samantha, said, “They’re laying these workers off before the holidays—that’s ridiculous. I’m scared because I just got into the sheet metal trade, and we could lose our jobs.” Her friend Samuel added, “GM got a federal bailout, and they are throwing 1,200 workers out of their jobs.”
Akia, a young Chrysler worker, said, “In the four-year contract the UAW got it takes seven years to get top dollar. I’m supposed to get it by 2019—if I last that long.”
Symbolizing the transformation of the former Motor City into a low-wage haven, the day after the GM layoff notice county officials announced that online retailer Amazon will open a distribution center in nearby Livonia next year and hire 1,000 workers. The facility will be built at the former site of GM’s Delco Chassis factory, shut in the 1990s and demolished in the early 2000s.




"Republicans should call for lower immigration to stop the Democrat voter recruitment.  But more importantly, all Americans should call for lower immigration in order to offer a better opportunity of finding jobs for those millions of their fellow Americans of all political persuasions who would like to work."


"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty


The slow and painful death of America that dominates American society."

AMERICA: One paycheck and two illegals 

away from homelessness.

Trump’s Labor Department Pick: Put Americans Last

By Mark Krikorian

The Corner at National Review, December 8, 2016

Excerpt: Trump’s pick for Labor secretary is perhaps the worst person imaginable for that role: Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast-food chains Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, and others. He is one of the nation’s most outspoken business voices for Gang of Eight-style immigration policies. He didn’t just sign an open letter once as a favor to a friend; he’s been a high-profile champion of amnesty and huge increases in immigration and guestworkers. This op-ed in Politico, timed to coincide with the launch of the Gang of Eight effort in 2013, could have been written by Jeb Bush. Here he is at AEI in 2013 making the case for importing more low-skilled workers. Here he joins with the Bloomberg-Murdoch Billionaires for Open Borders outfit and Grover Norquist in an effort to “push 2016 presidential candidates and congressional Republican leaders to support immigration reform this year.” There’s plenty more.
Now, Trump has been waffling and contradictory on the worker side of immigration (among other things) all along – I’ve written about it here, here, and here, for instance. Nor is it the case that Trump’s simply a liberal con man – Sessions could be one of the best Attorneys General we’ve ever had, Price and DeVos are solid conservative picks, and there’s every reason to think his Supreme Court nomination will be sound.

TRUMPERNOMICS: Serving the Rich, the Greedy and the 



Puzder’s nomination is of a piece with Trump’s other cabinet choices. Betsy DeVos, an enemy of public education, has been selected to head the Department of Education. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon known for his antipathy towards government “interference” in housing regulation, has been nominated as the Housing and Urban Development Secretary.




TRUMP'S OPEN BORDERS AND AMNESTY/ NON-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES WILL HELP KEEP THE HAMBURGER INDUSTRY WELL STOCKED WITH "CHEAP" LABOR ILLEGALS.... The America people will then be forced to pay the REAL cost of all that staggeringly expensive labor

“Yet Andrew Puzder, the chief executive of the company that operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has been chosen by President-elect Donald Trump as labor secretary.”

“Mr. Puzder, however, has been adamantly opposed to a meaningful increase in the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. Mr. Trump has said he could stomach an increase to $10, which is still abysmal.”

“Here is the record at those restaurants. When the Obama Labor Department looked at thousands of complaints involving fast-food workers, it found labor law violations in 60 percent of the investigations at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, usually for failure to pay the minimum wage or time and a half for overtime.”



OPEN BORDERS: The Democrat Party’s Weapon of Mass Destruction on the American Worker

"Los Angeles saw all crime rise in 2015: violent crime up 19.9 percent, homicides up 10.2 percent, shooting victims up 12.6 percent, rapes up 8.6 percent, robberies up 12.3 percent, and aggravated assault up 27.5 percent,"Landry said.”

Says the “WALL” will now be only “NO TRESSPASSING” signs posted every hundred miles!
“He's showing more empathy for illegal aliens than he is for American citizens.  Shouldn't it be the concerns of Americans he should be considering first, before the feelings of illegals?  These people are taking taxpayer money and American jobs, some committing crimes, and many are not assimilating and speaking English, and Trump wants them to stay?”

“They have no concern for workers. You are just a number”

US autoworkers express anger, opposition at GM layoffs

By a WSWS reporting team 

23 December 2016
Autoworkers are reacting with bitterness, anger and defiance in the face of the announcement by General Motors that it is cutting one shift and 1,192 jobs at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant. The facility builds the GM Volt, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse passenger car models.
The layoffs at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant are in addition to temporary and permanent layoffs announced by GM in recent weeks affecting 10,000 workers in Ohio, Michigan, Kansas and Kentucky. In addition to Detroit, shifts are being eliminated at the Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio and the Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan, cutting 2,000 jobs. The layoffs also include 80 contract workers at GM Manufacturing Subsystems.
In recent weeks both Fiat Chrysler and Ford have also announced job cuts, including temporary layoffs at plants building the Ford F-150 pickup truck and workers at the Fiat Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly plant, which has been temporarily idled due to the company’s decision to stop building passenger cars in the US in order to focus on more profitable trucks and SUVs. On Monday, FCA said it would halt output for New Year’s week at two factories in Brampton and Windsor, making Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger sedans and Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
Autoworkers at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter expressed opposition to the job cuts and disgust with the United Auto Workers union, which has not even made a pretense of opposition. During the shift change Thursday, supporters distributed copies of the newsletter, which contained a statement calling on workers to form rank-and-file committees to fight the layoffs and defend the right to a job.
Tony, a temporary worker who faces the loss of his job, said, “Right before the announcement GM reported record-breaking sales. Then they said, ‘Thank you for your help and for working hard...we are eliminating second shift.’”
Many of the workers who are being laid off were originally hired in April of 2016 and will have less than one year of seniority in the plant when the job cuts take effect March 5.
Tony continued, “When we hired in the UAW told us it was a long-term assignment. They lied to us in order to get more work out of us. What GM did is cannibalistic and sociopathic. They have no concern for workers. You are just a number. They treat robots better.”
For its part, the UAW has insisted that the auto companies have the right to cut jobs at will in order to maintain their profit levels. A statement issued by UAW Local 22 at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant adopted the language of management, saying the company based its decision on “cost-efficiency.”
Indeed the 2015 UAW-GM contract paved the way for the current layoffs by permitting the auto companies to double the number of temporary workers they can hire, effectively creating a third tier of super-exploited workers who can be disposed of at will at no cost to management. This was designed to allow auto companies to quickly downsize and slash costs at the sign of the slightest downturn in sales.
The UAW is a major shareholder of GM stock and its former vice president, Joseph Ashton, sits on the GM board of directors. This gives the UAW a direct financial incentive to slash the jobs, wages, health benefits and pensions of the workers it falsely claims to “represent.”
One second-shift worker said, “For the last six months they have worked us like slaves to build up their inventory. The mood in the plant is terrible. Thirty people walked out and quit in one day. Management doesn’t want to let anyone take sick time, because they are afraid you will not come back.”
The layoffs will have a devastating impact on workers, who are not only losing income, but also crucial benefits such as health care. The fact that most workers affected by the layoffs have less than one year of seniority, means they are not eligible for Supplemental Unemployment Benefits and are only eligible for 20 weeks of state benefits.
A second-shift worker, Jessica, said, “I drive here from Toledo, Ohio every day. People quit full-time jobs, where they had worked for years and had benefits, to come here because GM and the UAW promised us permanent jobs. But you have to have two years before they bring you in and they are laying us off before one year. It’s a slap in the face.
“They are not calling it a layoff but a ‘suspension’ but it is the same thing. In March we are going to lose our health insurance. It’s like we’re working for nothing now.
“During the meeting they said, ‘We’re losing our jobs because the cars aren’t selling.’ Some people used their GM discount to buy a car—and they are getting kicked out. Inside the plant the UAW is telling people, ‘This is what you get for voting for Trump.’ But it would have happened with Clinton too.
“It’s wrong. My dad worked 30 years for Chrysler. He saw lots of layoffs. But it is worse now because of the contracts. It’s like we were hired to get the contract passed. If you don’t have two years you get no profit sharing, no bonuses. They said ‘in-progression’ worker would reach top pay after seven years. But if you are a temp and get laid off you start from the bottom again.
“They don’t care about the workers, about our families and the rising cost of food. They told us to register with the state to get unemployment benefits, but that won’t be more than $300 a week. What can you buy with that?”
Adam, another Detroit-Hamtramck worker who is facing layoff, said, “I am losing my health benefits. My wife has a blood clot in her lungs and has to take this crazy expensive blood thinner.
“These layoffs were deliberately calculated to take place right before everybody got their seniority. We had been asking the UAW questions for months, but every time they assured us that nothing was going on. They definitely knew this was coming. They are in bed with management.”
Bob , said, “I worked for US Steel in Ecorse, Michigan for 21 years but when I heard they were hiring I came here to get a more permanent job. I had tried to get into the auto industry in the 1990s. Now they are laying me off.
“I was hired on April 4 and they are going to lay us off on March 4. That way we don’t get the year we need to qualify for SUB pay (Supplement Unemployment Benefits).”
The job cuts are being carried out despite booming profits for the US automakers. This includes a $2.8 billion-dollar profit in the third quarter of 2016 by GM alone. The production cuts point to a slowdown in auto sales, which are winding down after increasing for several years. They presage new, ferocious attacks by the automakers on jobs and living standards.
Bob continued, “No matter where you are they don’t care about the worker. Management does what it wants so they can make millions. When I hired in they said we would know our work schedule a week in advance. You don’t know how many times it’s been 10:30 at night and you still don’t know if you are going to work to 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 or what.”
Another young worker said, “Everyone is upset. There definitely should be a fight. They brought us in on false hopes. People quit their jobs in order to work here, and now they are being let go.”
While he did not like Trump, he said, workers were given no alternative in the 2016 elections. “People are fed up with all politicians. The election became a sideshow. They said let us run these two clowns and see who wins.”
Justin, a young worker who transferred from a GM battery plant, said, “I haven’t been here a year and I’m getting kicked out. I’ve worked at GM for two years as a temporary worker, which is supposed to be enough to qualify for a full-time position. But they won’t let you transfer your time from your previous plant if you get transferred.”
The layoffs will have a broad impact across the Detroit area, which is already one of the poorest in the nation. A truck driver who stopped at Dan & Vi’s Pizza, down the street from the plant, told the WSWS Autoworkers Newsletter, “I work 60 hours a week and still can’t afford a place to live. How are we supposed to afford to buy the cars they build over there? The idiots who are making all the money, don’t they know it’s all going to dry up?
“Trump and Clinton, what do they have in common with us?”
“It’s terrible what is happening to the GM workers,” a Detroit firefighter who stopped at the pizzeria, said. “It’s what big businesses are doing all over. Here in Detroit they robbed our pensions during the bankruptcy.”

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