Latest Solidarity Issue

Demand Michigan TV stations stop running erroneous anti-Prop 2 ad

10/31/12

PWF logoIn Michigan, call your local television station and demand they stop running the anti-Proposal 2 ad "Dangerous." Even the Free Press has stated the ad is wrong and asked that it be taken down.

Here is the list of phone numbers of local TV stations to call in pdf format.

Unions, good government groups to file ethics complaint against Romney for failing to disclose his big auto rescue profit

10/31/12

Groups urge Office of Government Ethics to make Romney disclose or divest

WASHINGTON -- A coalition of community, labor and good-government organizations is calling on the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to investigate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for noncompliance with the Ethics in Government Act and compel him to either disclose his investments or divest them.

"The American people have a right to know about Governor Romney's potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue," said UAW President Bob King. "It's time for Governor Romney to disclose or divest."

"While Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation's most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others," King added.

The groups sending the complaint letter, including SEIU, UAW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Public Citizen, Public Campaign, People for the American Way and The Social Equity Group, believe that Romney's undisclosed stock holdings create serious conflicts of interest. They point to the auto rescue as a key example. 

The Nation recently reported that the Romney family personally profited by at least $15.3 million from the auto loans of 2009 through his investment in the Delphi Corp. auto parts company. Yet Romney's June 1, 2012, Public Financial Disclosure Report to the Office of Government Ethics did not reveal this windfall because he did not disclose the underlying holdings of his private equity and limited partnership funds.

Here are details of a joint news conference to be held Thursday in Toledo, Ohio: 

WHO: UAW President Bob King
           SEIU Executive Vice President Tom Woodruff
           Investigative reporter Greg Palast, author of "Mitt Romney's Bailout Bonanza" in The Nation, and                the book, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps."
           Delphi workers 

WHAT:
 News conference on Mitt Romney's conflicts of interest with his investments, including his profiting                from the auto bailout.

WHERE:   UAW Local 12, 2300 Ashland Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43620

WHEN:    Thursday, Nov. 1, 2 p.m.

 

 

Bill Clinton endorses Michigan's Proposal 2

10/30/12

Protect Working Families news release: Former president urges a YES vote to protect collective bargaining

Today the Vote Yes on 2 Campaign to protect collective bargaining confirmed the support of former President Bill Clinton.  

“Collective bargaining protects rights for all working families, and gives you a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions,” said Clinton.  “Voting yes on Proposal 2 also protects workers from corporate special interests that arbitrarily cut wages, benefits and pensions and ship jobs overseas.”

PWF logo

“We are thrilled to have President Clinton’s support for Proposal 2 because collective bargaining gives all workers a voice on the job,” said Protect Working Families Campaign Manager Ken Brock.  “Collective bargaining helped save our auto industry, and a yes vote on Proposal 2 will ensure that police officers, firefighters, and nurses can negotiate for the staffing levels and equipment that they need to keep our communities safe.”

President Clinton is the latest in a string of prominent endorsements, including the Michigan PTA, former Governor Jennifer Granholm and numerous law enforcement officials such as Sheriff Benny Napoleon.  A yes vote on Proposal 2 protects collective bargaining, while a no vote is a vote against this fundamental right.

For more information on Proposal 2 visit ProtectWorkingFamilies.com. You can also like Protect Working Families on Facebook or follow @ProtectMIJobs on Twitter.

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Opponents of Prop 2 to protect collective bargaining caught with false ad

10/30/12

Protect Working Families news release: 'Dangerous' ad unfit for airwaves

Opponents of Prop 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining were caught misleading voters again in their latest 30 second TV ad. The ad, “Dangerous” misrepresented statements printed in the Detroit Free Press by an opposition spokesman. After being confronted with the facts, PMT was forced to remove the ad from the airwaves or make serious changes.

In the ad, a voiceover states, “A special interest sweatheart deal . . . .” The visual overlay reads: “Sweetheart Deals Paid For By Taxpayers,” which is attributed to the Detroit Free Press.

The unavoidable implication is that the Detroit Free Press made this statement about Proposal 2. In fact, the Free Press has made no such statement about Proposal 2. The statement falsely attributed to the Free Press actually was made in the opinion piece by Chamber of Commerce President Richard Studley, published in the Free Press on October 14, 2012 (“Opposing Points of View: Unions' Power Grab Imperils Michigan's Fragile Economic Recovery”).

The accusation of “sweetheart deals” falsely attributed to the Detroit Free Press actually is only mud-slinging by the chief spokesman for the corporate special interests opposing collective bargaining for Michigan workers; it is not the opinion of the Free Press as the ad suggests.

Misleading voters is nothing new for the corporate special interests opposing Prop 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining. Together PMT and Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution have spent nearly $25 million on false ads that have been denounced by law enforcement across the state, former Governor Jennifer Granholm and former Supreme Court Justice Alton Davis, among many others.


FactCheck.org
, a national campaign research organization criticized PMT’s ads on Friday, calling them “scare tactics” and stating that PMT “goes too far” and “fails to tell the whole story when it claims the amendment ‘could prohibit schools from removing employees with criminal records."

The latest attacks by corporate special interests include bringing a lawsuit against the Michigan PTA, that challenges their tax status, for endorsing Prop 2 because it provides teachers the materials and class sizes to help kids learn and keep them safe.

Attacking parents is the lowest form of intimidation. These bullying tactics were denounced by the Michigan Nonprofit Association, who stated “PMT’s leaders were clearly either ignorant or dismissive of the law. 501 (c)(3) organizations are entitled to lobby for or against ballot proposals and any competent attorney would be able to explain this.”

 

Romney-Ryan: Private equity pirates profiting off the misfortune of Delphi autoworkers

10/30/12

See video

DETROIT -- Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are the last people who should be championing the cause of Delphi salaried workers whose pensions were terminated during the General Motors and Delphi bankruptcies. Despite opposing the auto rescue, Romney personally profited off the deal that cut the pensions of workers at Delphi Automotive, an automotive parts division spun off from GM in 1999.

A recent report in The Nation detailed Romney's investment in the hedge fund that swooped in to buy - for pennies on the dollar - controlling interest in Delphi during its bankruptcy. The Romney campaign has not denied that the Romney family made at least $15 million and as much as $115 million off its investment in the hedge fund that controlled Delphi after its bankruptcy.

Romney's investor group leveraged more than $12 billion in rescue funds from the U.S. Treasury Department through its major customer, GM, by threatening to withhold components critical to the assembly of GM cars. Steven Rattner, former counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration during the auto restructuring, likened it to "extortion demands by the Barbary pirates."

"It was Mitt Romney's major campaign contributor -- not the Obama administration -- who forced the termination of all of the Delphi pension plans for both union and salaried workers," said UAW President Bob King. "GM is paying the portion of the pension of UAW members that is not covered by the PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.], because it is honoring an agreement in place since 1999, when Delphi was spun off from GM. We have always supported the salaried Delphi workers receiving their full pensions, and it is unfortunate that Mitt Romney, after dumping their pensions, is further exploiting these workers for his personal gain. Delphi's major new owners made enough profit in just one year to have fully funded these salaried workers' pensions and still made $400 million."

"So while Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation's most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others. The company Romney founded, Bain Capital, continues to devastate American workers and communities by closing profitable U.S. facilities and shifting work to China to make even more profits. A current example happening today is Bain closing a profitable Sensata plant in Freeport, Ill.," King said.

"Romney says 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? Romney's pirate practices have only recently come to light through the investigative work of journalist Greg Palast. What else is Romney hiding?" King added.

 

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