UAW convention

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Jul 7 18:11:59 PDT 1998

Herb Kaye writes of the UAW national convention in the July 4 issue of People's Weekly World:

"Many delegates and millions of supporters around the country looked to the convention to formulate a program of solidarity with the more than 9,000 UAW members on strike against two General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan.

They have been out since early June in defense of their jobs and safe working conditions. Hoever, the convention was never allowed to deal with that struggle.

Several proposals for action voiced by many delegates, including a national rally in Flint, were rejected by UAW president and convention chair Stephen Yokich.

Yokich said the battles in Flint were local strikes - thus precluding the convention from taking action. Convention delegates seemed puzzled by this position but indicated general confidence in the union's leadership by unanimously reelecting the incumbent officers and their slate of regional directors."

I guess the electoral style appeals to the CP.

Kaye, after quoting speeches by AFL-CIO boss John Sweeney ("employers who put workers last in their pursuit of profits - it is wrong!") and Economic Policy Institute director Jeff Faux (who denounced NAFTA and cheered the defeat of fast track, went on to quote Yokich saying "local strike, local issues," and concluded:

"Like the Flint Sit-down Strike that brought them the UAW in 1937, the present generation of Flinto autoworkers have made and are making an historic contribution to the struggle for job seucrity of all working people in the United States - a struggle that deserves the support of all trade unionists and progressive-minded people." Including the UAW leadership, wouldn't you think?


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