Can autoworkers meet bosses challenge with a general strike?
Puerto Rico’s workers did By Milt Neidenberg Two United Auto Workers’ strikes at local General Motors plants in Flint, Mich., have brought GM production across North America to a virtual standstill. The strikes-now well into their second month-have shut down 26 out of 29 GM assembly plants from Mexico to Canada. And more closings are expected. The job actions are costing GM $75 million a day. The auto giant has already lost far more than the $1 billion that company spokespeople claim. Large related industries that bank on GM production are braced for profit losses. The strikes have lowered financial expectations for the entire U.S. economy this fiscal quarter. In spite of all these losses, GM is determined to restructure its global empire. In recent years, the company has aggressively closed and sold unionized factories in the U.S. At the same time, GM has invested millions of dollars to open up nonunion plants abroad, particularly in Mexico and Brazil. GM has cut 39,000 jobs in the la