Industrial Worker #1704 (April 2008)

The April 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Submitted by Juan Conatz on May 16, 2016

Contents include:

- NYC IWWs win $350,000 in back wages

- IWW Organizing Summit agenda set

- ILWU declares May 1 day to stop war

- Wobbly trucker refuses to cross UAW picket at American Axle

- Metro Lighting remains a scab business

- Barcelona workers end occupation

- Puerto Rican teachers defy government, AFL

- "Flag 3" sues Seattle for false arrest

- Green unionism: saving the world and the union

- FBI arrest Marie Mason, 3 others for 'eco-terrorism'

- Wobblies observe Internal Women's Day

- World labor solidarity


Juan Conatz

8 years 2 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Juan Conatz on May 16, 2016

Man, this letter was great:

Well, the strike at American Axle & Mfg. has its first casualty. I refused to cross the picket the United Auto Workers(UAW) set up at an off-site warehouse in Three Rivers, Michigan.

Went round and round with the outfit I was hauling for… even spoke with the apparent number 2 guy in the company. Interesting conversation, which truly reinforced the notion that we have nothing in common with the employing class.

I ended up dropping the truck and trailer in Indiana and quitting. UAW was very appreciative. They got a Three Rivers car dealership to loan them a van, so they could give me a ride back to my home in southwestern Ohio, about 250 miles one way. Loaded all my gear from the truck into the van and we had a fineride all the way home. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you do the right thing. I got them to give me one of the “UAW On Strike” signs they had with them. Good souvenir. I can put it with the stuff I kept from the AK Steel lockout I endured in 2006.

The American Axle workers are being told to take probably a $14/hour cut plus loss of benefits, etc. Same old song sung by GM, Ford, et al.

Frankly, I expect the UAW to eventually cave, as they just aren’t structured to beat the boss. As I explained to my captive audience as we rolled through Ohio, “The UAW scabs itself!” Not being organized industrially, having different expirations for their contracts, UAW being an agent rather than a member run union, etc., it explains why the UAW plants will always receive and assemble parts from other UAW plants that are on strike.

Always have, always will. There can never be any solidarity there as long as they eat their own. The Janesville, Wisconsin plant is assembling scab parts as I write this. They are UAW.
Apparently, the old company will deduct cost of retrieving their truck from my pay. Abandonment, I believe it is called. Company couldn’t believe I didn’t care about that. Hey, I told them when they hired me, I wasn’t about money.

Will start new job search on Monday. UAW guy gave me a contact to call about a trucking job. We’ll see. Won’t take just anything. A guy has to have some standards. Actually, may not be able to stay in trucking due to the abandonment. Oh, well. Ya gotta take a stand somewhere, sometime. It’s lonely at the top. Hehheh.

Don’t let the bastards wear you down,
Terry, x360160