Latest Solidarity Issue

Chrysler Group position on Jeep production plans

10/30/12

Chrysler CEO confirms Romney's Jeep ad is misleading

Editor's note: Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne saw the need to send a memo to Chrysler employees after Mitt Romney misrepresented what the corporation's plans are for the Jeep brand.

Chrysler Group’s production plans for the Jeep brand have become the focus of public debate.

I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China.

North American production is critical to achieving our goal of selling 800,000 Jeep vehicles by 2014. In fact, U.S. production of our Jeep models has nearly tripled (it is expected to be up 185%) since 2009 in order to keep up with global demand.

We also are investing to improve and expand our entire U.S. operations, including our Jeep facilities. The numbers tell the story:

We will invest more than $1.7 billion to develop and produce the next generation Jeep SUV, the successor of the Jeep Liberty -- including $500 million directly to tool and expand our Toledo Assembly Complex and will be adding about 1,100 jobs on a second shift by 2013.

At our Jefferson North Assembly Plant, where we build the Jeep Grand Cherokee, we have created 2,000 jobs since June 2009 and have invested more than $1.8 billion.

In Belvidere, where we build two Jeep models, we have added two shifts since 2009 resulting in an additional 2,600 jobs.

With the increase in demand for our vehicles, especially Jeep branded vehicles, we have added more than 11,200 U.S. jobs since 2009. Plants producing Jeep branded vehicles alone have seen the number of people invested in the success of the Jeep brand grow to more than 9,300 hourly jobs from 4,700. This will increase by an additional 1,100 as the Liberty successor, which will be produced in Toledo, is introduced for global distribution in the second quarter of 2013.

Together, we are working to establish a global enterprise and previously announced our intent to return Jeep production to China, the world’s largest auto market, in order to satisfy local market demand, which would not otherwise be accessible. Chrysler Group is interested in expanding the customer base for our award-winning Jeep vehicles, which can only be done by establishing local production. This will ultimately help bolster the Jeep brand, and solidify the resilience of U.S. jobs.

Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change. So much so that we committed that the iconic Wrangler nameplate, currently produced in our Toledo, Ohio plant, will never see full production outside the United States.

Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand.

It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.

Sergio Marchionne
 

UAW: Romney doubles down on Jeep lie

10/28/12

Romney continues misinformation and hypocrisy on Chrysler

DETROIT – Even after Chrysler Corp.'s Gualberto Ranieri, vice president of communications, said Friday, “Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China,” the Romney campaign put out a false and misleading ad basically repeating his bogus statement made Thursday in Ohio that Chrysler was moving all Jeep production to China.

All patriotic Americans should be applauding Chrysler’s amazing comeback and the billions of dollars that Chrysler is investing right here in the United States, creating tens of thousands of direct auto and “ripple” jobs in the United States.

One important example of this is Chrysler’s huge $500 million investment in its Jeep Toledo Assembly Complex and the addition of 1,100 jobs in this Ohio facility. This investment will also create another 5,000 to 10,000 “ripple” jobs in Ohio. Chrysler has added 7,000 jobs at American and Canadian Chrysler plants since 2009 and will add a third crew next week at the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit where the Jeep Grand Cherokee and other models are made.

“What is especially hypocritical of Mr. Romney’s statements and new ad is Bain Capital’s closing of profitable U.S. facilities and shifting work to China to make even higher profits like what is happening today in closing a profitable Sensata plant in Freeport, Ill., to move the work to China,” said UAW President Bob King. “Romney says in the ad that he will fight for every American job, so why isn’t he fighting for the American jobs at Sensata? And why isn’t he intervening with his own Bain Capital to keep these jobs in the U.S. rather than outsourcing them to China? We just wish that Mr. Romney was as committed to investing in the U.S. as Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is.

“Americans will remember that President Obama stood behind American working families and American communities in rescuing the U.S. auto industry and that Mr. Romney opposed the rescue and now attacks Chrysler with misinformation. In putting out this misinformation, Romney is recklessly undermining Chrysler’s reputation and threatening good American jobs,” King added.

 

 

Video: Romney and other economic vultures made out like bandits on Delphi

10/28/12

How the GOP presidential candidate made millions and his big donors made billions off the parts supplier bail out

See video

Author Greg Palast, in his book, "Billionaires and Ballot Bandits," examines the role Mitt Romney played in the Delphi bailout and how he and other economic vultures made millions as the storied parts supplier went into and came out of bankruptcy. In this video, Palast tells how Mitt and Ann Romney made at least $15 million from the carcass of Delphi and as much as $115 million.  

It also shows how Romney's cronies made more than $4 billion off the bankruptcy. These same billionaires also contributed millions to his presidential campaign. 

UAW: Why won’t Romney come clean about Jeep production moving to China?

10/27/12

DETROIT – Two days after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a crowd near Toledo, Ohio, that Chrysler was moving all Jeep production to China, the GOP candidate appears to be unfazed by his incorrect remarks and remains mum on the subject. 

Here’s what Romney said late Thursday in a speech at a Defiance, Ohio, rally:

"I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China,” said Romney, citing an unnamed news story.

But two days after the obvious lie, Romney has not apologized for his fear tactic and neither Romney nor his camp will discuss it.

Chrysler immediately refuted Romney’s comments in a blog on the company’s website.

“Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China,” wrote Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler's vice president of communications.

“It seems that every time Mitt Romney attempts to talk about the auto industry and how much he cares about American workers, he fumbles. This time he needs to take personal responsibility for perpetuating a deplorable and false statement about Chrysler, a U.S. automaker that has bounced back in a big way after bankruptcy,” said UAW President Bob King.

“Once again the differences between Mitt Romney and President Obama are clear: The president fought on behalf of U.S. autoworkers and didn’t let us down,” King added.

“Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about the auto industry and Chrysler’s production plans would know what Mitt Romney said wasn’t true,” said UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who directs the union’s Chrysler Department. “Since the 2009 auto rescue and recovery, we’ve added 7,000 workers at Chrysler, and we’ll add a third crew next week at the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit – where Jeep Grand Cherokees and other models are made.”

“It’s just another slap in the face to our autoworkers, but not surprising since Mitt Romney opposed the auto loans of Chrysler and General Motors,” said Ken Lortz, who directs UAW Region 2B, which represents workers in Ohio, as well as Indiana. “The Jeep plant in Toledo is expanding right now. In fact one year ago, Chrysler announced the addition of a second shift and 1,100 more jobs, along with a $500 million investment in upgrading the plant and adding a body shop.  Shame on Mitt Romney for twisting the story to scare people and then not even admitting he was wrong.”

 

 

 

UAW members arrested for civil disobedience at Romney-Bain Sensata plant

10/25/12

Workers' jobs being shipped to China; Romney says nothing

Brandon Campbell, left, and Ted Dever, UAW staff members in Region 4, as well as George Welitschinsky, president of Local 1268, far right, were arrested along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson for civil disobedience as they protested Mitt Romney/Bain Capital's decision to outsource work at the Freeport, Ill., Sensata plant to China. Below: Protesters on the march near the plant. Photos by Hal Sutton/UAW Local 1268.
 

 FREEPORT, Ill. -- Sensata, owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, is making record profits by reaping the benefits of the American economy and American workforce.  In a blatant and disgusting display of corporate greed, they've decided record profits are not enough.

They are closing this factory and shipping the equipment and jobs to China. The current workers contribute to our American economy with every dollar they make.

Just like someone who hides their money in the Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts, the uber-rich Bain Capital execs care nothing about that. They have no concern for the lives they destroy or the economy they continue to destroy.

The UAW, as well as the Steelworkers, SEIU and the Sensata workers about to lose their jobs were on hand to protest on Oct. 24, 2012. Fourteen protesters were arrested for civil disobedience.

At some point, enough is enough! For the workers and supporters who marched, and for those who were arrested -- this day marked that point - they stood together and said just that -- enough is enough! 

There will be another protest on Saturday at 10 a.m. outside the facility with UAW President Bob King participating.

Protest photo gallery. All photos by Hall Sutton, UAW Local 1268.

-- Brandon Campbell

Mitt Romney: Economic traitor

10/25/12

Ad highlights Bain Capital made U.S. workers to take down the Stars and Stripes while they were forced to train their Chinese replacements

See video

WASHINGTON -- Today, Workers’ Voice and Patriot Majority announced a television and online ad campaign highlighting how Mitt Romney is an economic traitor, specifically how Romney’s Bain Capital made workers at its Sensata Illinois plant take down the American flag as they were forced to train their Chinese replacements. 

“Mitt Romney is an economic traitor who desecrated the flag while decimating jobs,” said Workers’ Voice Communications Director Eddie Vale. “It’s bad enough that Romney and Bain destroy American jobs and send them to China. But to make American workers take down our flag while training their Chinese replacements is something only an economic traitor would do.”

As Sensata worker Tom Gaulrapp says in the ad, “We’re supposed to be ashamed that we’re Americans?”

- View the ad above and the accompanying website at www.EconomicTraitor.com

- The display ads – see below:

 

 

 

 

Veterans for Obama explain why they back the president

10/25/12

Video: Twins who served say the president has veterans' backs

See video

 "I voted for President Obama in 2008 because he said what he's going to do. I'm voting for him in 2012 because he did what he said he was going to do."

-- Seth Lovell

"As a veteran, I took a lot of offense to Governor Romney's 47 percent comments. I don't think he took into consideration that that 47 percent includes veterans who have served overseas and have given up a year or more of their lives to serve their country."

-- Eli Lovell 

New ad shows the positive impact collective bargaining has on Michigan’s working families

10/25/12

Protect Working Families news release: Ad shows how collective bargaining levels the playing field for workers

See video

Proposal 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining released a new 30-second ad today that shows how collective bargaining helps working families get their jobs done the Michigan way – through hard work.

Collective bargaining gives working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and safer working conditions that are good for us all.

The ad says:

“It’s how we do it in Michigan. Hard work. Every day. But getting ahead is getting tougher.

Corporate CEOs get rich by cutting our jobs and benefits. That puts our future at risk.

Collective bargaining protects us. It levels the playing field, so workers have a voice and share in a company’s success. It’s protection against unfair layoffs or arbitrary cuts.

Voting Yes on 2 protects collective bargaining. Voting no puts us all at risk. Yes on 2.”

Collective bargaining protects the basic right of working families to have a voice in their workplace. Proposal 2 doesn’t give workers any rights they do not already possess.

Opponents of collective bargaining are scared they may lose the ability to arbitrarily cut jobs, ship them overseas or reduce wages.                          

Jobs covered by collective bargaining decreased by about 10 percent from 1989 to 2010, according to the Economic Policy Institute. During that same time span, the average annual pay adjusted for inflation dropped by about $6,000 even as productivity increased by nearly 30 percent, according to the EPI.

States with higher levels of unionization have lower poverty levels, higher average incomes, lower workplace deaths, higher educational outcomes, and higher pension and health insurance coverage, according to Policy Matters Ohio, a nonpartisan think tank.

Corporate bosses hide behind shadowy front groups to purchase or reserve more than $22 million in ads riddled with lies, misleading information and fear mongering. A loophole in the Michigan Campaign Finance law lets the groups off the hook from revealing who is bankrolling them.

Corporate special interests have vowed to do whatever it takes to eliminate the right of working families to have a voice in the workplace. These special interests pressure Lansing politicians to pass laws that weaken worker rights and circumvent previously negotiated contracts.

Collective bargaining gives firefighters and police officers a voice to negotiate for life-saving equipment, protects nurses who speak up about a patient’s care and gives teachers smaller class sizes so they can better educate our children.

A Yes vote on Proposal 2 protects collective bargaining, while a no vote is against collective bargaining. For more information, visit www.protectworkingfamilies.com.

 

 

Standing up to Romney's 'vulture capitalism'

10/24/12

Bob King, others to rally with Illinois Sensata workers against Bain's outsourcing

FREEPORT, Ill. - UAW President Bob King will rally with workers and labor leaders from across the country Saturday to support Sensata Technologies workers here facing outsourcing by Bain Capital in the fight to save their jobs.

The Sensata plant is owned by Bain Capital, founded by Mitt Romney, and makes sensors and controls for auto manufacturers. The company plans to close Nov. 5 -- the day before Election Day -- kicking 170 workers to the curb while sending their jobs overseas to Chinese sweatshops.

Meantime, Sensata has forced workers at the Freeport plant to train replacements from China and even reduced their severance packages. Workers and their supporters have been camping out across from the plant -- at "Bainport Encampment" -- to bring attention to their cause.

In Monday's final presidential debate, President Obama proved that he is a leader who has taken important actions to create a level playing field for U.S. companies and workers around the world. He has fought hard to stop the unfair trade practices of China and other global trading partners because he understands that fair trade is important to creating and maintaining auto jobs in the United States.

While President Obama was saving the auto industry, Romney was profiting off the outsourcing of American jobs by investing in companies that were "pioneers of outsourcing."  Romney led investments in companies that outsourced jobs, including those that grew into some of the largest outsourcing and offshoring companies in the world, while families and communities were left behind, forced into crisis.

"Mitt Romney has never stood up for American workers, and Bain Capital has put profits before people over and over," said UAW President Bob King.  "Mitt Romney won't stand up for American workers at Sensata in Freeport, Illinois - a company in which he is a direct investor - even though their jobs are being moved to China in the middle of this presidential election.

"Romney stands silent but stands to profit as Bain Capital offshores American jobs to China, even though the workers in Freeport make a modest wage of $14 to $17 per hour," said King, adding that investigators have documented the exploitation of the overwhelmingly young and female workforce at Sensata's Chinese facilities.

According to a recent report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, workers at Sensata's facilities in China earn wages ranging from 99 cents to $1.35 per hour, work forced overtime in excess of legal limits, and 70 percent of them work 12-hour days, seven days a week.

"Romney has never stood up for American workers like President Obama has. Instead, he used them for his own personal profit and political advantage. Republican President Teddy Roosevelt said 'speak softly and carry a big stick.' Romney speaks loudly and outsources the sticks to China," said King, adding: "His record on jobs and offshoring work is despicable. Romney is so wrong for working families."

Here are more details of Saturday's event:

What:  Rally with UAW President Bob King

When:  Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m.

Where: "Bainport Encampment" - Stephenson County Fairgrounds, 2250 S. Walnut Road, Freeport, Ill.

Romney debates himself, Round 2

10/24/12

See video

This video, Round 2 of Mitt Romney debating himself, comes courtesy of Daily Kos. Round 1, also from Daily Kos, can be found here.